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Wi-Fi The R/Evolution Continues [SystemX Seminar EE310]

Wi-Fi The R/Evolution Continues
Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 4:30pm
AllenX Auditorium
Sundar Sankaran (Ruckus)
Abstract / Description: 

September 2015 marked the 25th anniversary of IEEE 802.11, commonly referred to as Wi-Fi. Over these 25 years, Wi-Fi has ascended from a technology that enabled computers to wirelessly transfer data at 2 Mbps to winning a spot in Maslow's pyramid as the most basic human need. IEEE 802.11 got here, as Lewis Carroll suggested, by running twice as fast. The standard has continuously advanced itself by introducing amendments, such as 802.11n, 802.11ac and 802.11ax. These amendments support higher data rates to meet ever-increasing application demands through the adoption of higher-order modulation schemes such as 64-, 256-, and 1024-QAM, by supporting channel bonding up to 160 MHz and by employing MIMO techniques to transmit multiple streams to single client. In addition to increasing the peak data rate, efforts have been made to improve the spectral efficiency, which characterizes how well the system uses the available spectrum. Multi-user techniques such as MU-MIMO and OFDMA have been introduced in 802.11ac and 802.11ax to improve spectral efficiency and network capacity.

This talk will provide an overview of the upcoming 802.11ax standard, particularly the features that enable it to achieve higher capacity. Given its ubiquitous presence, WiFi, by enabling indoor locationing, has also emerged as a tool to improve operational efficiency and engage with customers like never before. WiFi Alliance recently launched a certification program to deliver high accuracy indoor locationing. We will also provide a survey of WiFi-based indoor locationing technologies,as well as the applications enabled.


The EE310 seminar series is intended to offer students a window onto the research directions of the SystemX industrial affiliates and associated faculty.

Offers a series of talks covering emerging topics in contemporary hardware/software systems design. Attention will be paid to the key building blocks of sensors, processing elements and wired/wireless communications, as well as their foundations in semiconductor technology, SoC construction, and physical assembly as informed by the SystemX Focus Areas. The series will draw upon distinguished engineering speakers from both industry and academia who are involved at all levels of the technology stack and the applications that are only now becoming possible.


Sundar Sankaran is a VP of Engineering at Ruckus Wireless, where he leads the Access Point HW and SW teams. He is a wireless industry veteran with extensive experience building wireless systems. Sundar joined Ruckus from Atheros/Qualcomm, where he was a Senior Director of Technology and served as the overall engineering lead, with the responsibility to deliver silicon along with reference hardware and software, on multiple WiFi chip programs. Prior to Qualcomm Atheros, he has had stints at Intel, ArrayComm, and Infosys. He is a co-inventor on 18 US patents as well as several pending patents. Sundar earned a Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Anna University, and Master's and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech.