Private funds to stimulate network innovation

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The National Science Foundation will distribute $ 40 million in research funding to stimulate innovations in software-defined networks, network function virtualization, cloud, analytics, and more.

$ 40 million is invested by the National Science Foundation to drive innovation r

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is eager to see the emergence of Next Generation Networks (NextGs). And we understand it! The NextG promises to accelerate the speed of cellular networks, WiFi, satellite networks, and consequently, improve data flow, wireless communications, analysis and automation. The point for the NSF is that these improvements will translate into national defense, education, public health and safety, transport and digital infrastructure. In the case of businesses, NextG means greater efficiency, greater flexibility, better understanding of their business, and opportunities to replace human workers with robots (to put it simply). Imagine that companies could offer their employees, even if they are fewer and fewer, connectivity speeds of 1 Gbps or more, with latencies of 1 millisecond or less on their multiple devices and with their many services. They could integrate augmented reality or virtual reality (AR / VR) applications or video analysis apps.

NextG networks will leverage Software Defined Networks (SDNs), Programmable Accelerators, Network Function Virtualization (NFV), Cloud Platforms, Dynamic Orchestration, and Multiple Access Edge Computing (MEC). When deployed globally, NextG network systems will provide connectivity to billions of IoT devices and billions of people around the world. NextG will allow machines to communicate with each other and deliver on-demand compute and storage resources at the edge and in the cloud. According to the National Science Foundation, “the economy will be increasingly dependent on the high availability, security and reliability of these network systems.” It all sounds great! Finally, except for the “dependency” aspect. Not to mention this somewhat disconcerting threat, pointed out by the NSF: “Any failure, falsification or degradation of the network service can have very disruptive effects, even potentially catastrophic”.

Develop NextG networks around the world

In an attempt to avoid this fatality, the agency coordinates the distribution of financial aid to support innovation in order to ensure that “the systems in the NextG network exhibit high degrees of resilience at scale (regardless of complexity), reliability and availability ”. NSF has partnered with other federal agencies and the private sector to create the Resilient and Intelligent Next-Generation Systems (RINGS) program. Its objective: “to advance the underlying technologies to guarantee the availability, security and reliability of NextG systems on a global scale”. As the foundation explained, “the RINGS program seeks innovations that can improve both the resilience and performance of communications, networks and computer systems involved in NextG”. It also specifies that “in this context, resilience refers to the ability to survive, adapt and recover quickly after malicious attacks, component failures and natural and human disturbances”.

Specifically, RINGS hopes to build resiliency “across all layers of network protocols and compute stacks, but also resiliency in throughput, latency, and connection density.” Proposals submitted must address one or more research areas listed in two broad categories: 1) resilient network systems, and 2) enabling technologies. Eligible research in the area of ​​resilient network systems includes full-stack security, network intelligence / adaptability, and network autonomy. In the area of ​​enabling technologies, RINGS is researching circuits, antennas and components (radio frequency) and mixed signal, new spectrum management technologies, an evolving continuum from device to edge and cloud, and the fusion of worlds. digital, physical and virtual.

40 million dollar prize

The program, with an allocation of $ 40 million, plans to award 40 prizes of up to $ 1 million each over a three-year period. According to the NSF, this is the agency’s largest initiative to date to coordinate a public-private research program. Other participants include the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering at the Department of Defense, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Apple, Ericsson, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, Qualcomm Technologies and VMware. Full details of the program requirements are available in the following document.

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