Access and Feeds

CSAIL and Computing: Faster WiFi and Routers. Faster Analytics.

By Dick Weisinger

The introduction of the internet brought with it a much more rapid software and hardware development cycle than had been seen before.  The new rapid development cycle referred to new features being rolled out at ‘Internet Speed‘.  Over the last two decades, the speed of development has only gotten faster.

One organization that is an example of how fast new developments can be rolled out is MIT’s CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory). We’ve written in the past about work at CSAIL in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Security.

Recently CSAIL has announced a number of research breakthroughs.  Maybe appropriately, one of their recent announcements was related to faster internet speeds.  CSAIL has recently developed a system called MegaMIMO 2.0 (multiple-input, multiple-output ) which can transfer data on WiFi three times faster than current top WiFi speeds with double the range.  The method is based on optimally using the available transmission spectrum.

Ezzeldin Hamed, PhD student and lead author of the MegaMIMO 2.0 paper, said that “in today’s wireless world, you can’t solve spectrum crunch by throwing more transmitters at the problem, because they will all still be interfering with one another. The answer is to have all those access points work with each other simultaneously to efficiently use the available spectrum.”

Another recent development announced by MIT CSAIL is a new language which could help speed the processing of big data.  It’s called Milk.

Vladimir Kiriansky, a doctoral student in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, explained that “it’s as if, every time you want a spoonful of cereal, you open the fridge, open the milk carton, pour a spoonful of milk, close the carton, and put it back in the fridge.”

Matei Zaharia, an assistant professor of computer science at Stanford University, said that “many important applications today are data-intensive, but unfortunately, the growing gap in performance between memory and CPU means they do not fully utilize current hardware.  Milk helps to address this gap by optimizing memory access in common programming constructs. The work combines detailed knowledge about the design of memory controllers with knowledge about compilers to implement good optimizations for current hardware.”

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