A Unified Platform for Communication Systems Design and Prototyping: An LTE MIMO Case Study

Friday, April 23, 2010
ENS 637


Due to the rise in complexity of current and next-generation communication systems, thedevelopment cost for these systems is becoming increasingly prohibitive, especially forapplications that do not benefit from economies of scale. The existing paradigm of teamsthat focus separately on theory and algorithm design, HW/SW design, prototyping andimplementation, with a likewise diverse set of tools and HW/SW platforms, is proving tobe inefficient, especially with the ever-tightening cost and time-to-market requirements. Hence, a unified platform that simplifies transition from theory and algorithmdevelopment to first prototype implementation is highly valuable.

In this paper/talk, we explore the benefits of a highly integrated hardware and softwareplatform for the design and prototyping of a 2x2 LTE-MIMO wireless link. We investigatethe use of parameterized synchronous dataflow model of computation to specify thefunctionality, which in tandem with a computing platform consisting of traditionalprocessor, FPGA, and tightly-integrated real-world I/O, can allow the communicationsexpert to focus on the key innovative aspects of his system, and selectively abstract thelow-level details that the researcher considers distractions. We describe the benefitsof this approach, and show a working prototype of the LTE system built using thisparadigm.


Dr. Ian C. Wong received the BS degree in electronics and communications engineering(magna cum laude) from the University of the Philippines in 2000, and the MS and PhDdegrees in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 and2007, respectively.

From 2000-2002, he was a senior science research specialist at the Advanced Science andTechnology Institute in Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, where he worked on formalmodels for computation for Bluetooth protocol stack development. He has held summerinternship positions at National Instruments and Freescale Semiconductor, both in Austin,TX USA from 2003-2006. From 2007-2009, he was a systems research and standards engineerwith the Cellular Products Group, Freescale Semiconductor, Austin, TX USA, where herepresented Freescale in the 3GPP LTE standardization efforts. He is currently a SeniorEngineer at National Instruments in Austin, TX researching on unified hardware andsoftware platforms for next-generation wireless system design, simulation, andprototyping.

Dr. Wong is the co-author of the Springer book Resource Allocation for MultiuserMulticarrier Wireless Systems, has 6 patents pending, 25 peer-reviewed journal andconference papers, and over 40 standards contributions. He was awarded the TexasTelecommunications Engineering Consortium Fellowship in 2003-2004, and the WirelessNetworking and Communications Group student leadership award in 2007. His research interests include models of computation for signalprocessing, statistical signal processing and optimization for wired and wirelessbroadband communication systems.


National Instruments