Next-gen networks: Feds have cash for good ideas

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is reluctant to wait for NextG networks. And who can blame him? NextG promises faster cellular, Wi-Fiand satellite networks, all of which can be used to improve data streaming, wireless communications, analysis and automation.

For NSF, this translates into improved national defense, education, public health and safety, transportation and digital infrastructure. For businesses, NextG means greater efficiency, flexibility, business insights and more opportunities to replace human workers with robots. (Just saying.)

Imagine offering your declining human staff connection speeds of 1 Gbps or more, along with delays of 1 millisecond or less for a huge number of devices and services. This will enable applications such as augmented reality / virtual reality (AR / VR) and video analysis. NextG networks will benefit software defined network (SDN), programmable accelerators, Network Functional Virtualization (NFV), cloud computing platforms, dynamic orchestration and mobile computing edges (MEC).

Once fully implemented, NextG network systems will provide connectivity for billions internet of things devices and billions of people around the world. NextG will enable machines to communicate with each other and make computational and storage resources available on demand at the edge and from the cloud.

“The economy,” says NSF, “will become increasingly dependent on the high availability, security and reliability of such network systems.”

Sounds awesome! Well, except for the “dependent” part. Also, NSF, this part is a bit noisy: “Any malfunction, falsification or degradation in the network service can have very destructive, if not potentially catastrophic effects.”

In an effort to cope with this preconceived notion, the agency is coordinating its efforts to unleash the tremendous power of innovative and monetary rewards to ensure that NextG network systems have a high degree of resilience in scale (regardless of complexity), reliability and availability. . ”

NSF has partnered with other federal agencies and private industry to form Elastic and intelligent program of the next generation (RINGS) to “improve core technologies to ensure the availability, security and reliability of NextG systems worldwide”.

“The RINGS program seeks innovation to improve both resilience and performance in various aspects of NextG’s communications, networking and computing systems,” says NSF. “For the purposes of this request, resilience is the ability to survive, adapt gracefully and recover quickly from malicious attacks, component failures and natural and man-made disturbances.”

In particular, RINGS hopes to increase resilience “in all layers of the network protocol and computational stacks, as well as in bandwidth, latency and connection density”. Proposals submitted should focus on one or more research areas listed in two broad categories: 1) sustainable network systems and 2) cost-effective technologies.

Acceptable areas of study for sustainable network systems include full protection, network intelligence / adaptability, and network autonomy. RINGS is looking for research within activating technologies [radio-frequency] and mixed-signal circuits, antennas and components, new spectrum management technologies, a scalable continuum from device to end to cloud, and the unification of the digital, physical, and virtual worlds.

The program has allocated $ 40 million, with which it plans to make 40 prizes of up to $ 1 million each and three years. NSF said it was the agency’s biggest effort to coordinate a public-private research program to date. Other participants include the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Apple, Ericsson, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, Qualcomm Technologies and VMware.

You can check the requirements of the program here. Now get out there and make NextG safe for the rest of us.

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