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Author Topic: Communications Research  (Read 1400 times)

WWWombat

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Communications Research
« on: May 21, 2017, 05:53:39 PM »

I recently found a reference to a workshop run by BT Research 6 months ago, at Adastral Park. It looks to have been targeted at academic researchers in the communications field, and includes a fair amount of SDN, NFV, G.Fast, Optical and 5G content.

Presentations are available on the "programme" page here:
http://www.cn2winterschool.group.shef.ac.uk/

The G.Fast presentation offers some insight into where BT are aiming next:
- "We believe there’s another hybrid fibre/copper technology beyond G.fast"
- "A key aspect of our research is understanding the potential for beam steering to extract additional capacity from the copper cable"
- "We are now using MIMO techniques from radio to boost performance in copper cables"
- "There is a lots [SIC] more capacity to come from copper"

Beamforming? In cables?

One figure suggests that the idea is an extension of vectoring. Instead of "just" using the transmitters on other pairs to transmit "anti-noise" signals, the idea looks like using those transmitters to bolster the strength of your own signal, and get more bits out of it.

There's plenty more than just G.Fast, though...
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burakkucat

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Re: Communications Research
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 06:53:17 PM »

Thank you for the link. I'll take a look, later, once I'm back at The Cattery.
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BigJ

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Re: Communications Research
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2017, 09:23:54 PM »

"A key aspect of our research is understanding the potential for beam steering to extract additional capacity from the copper cable"

That statement blow my mind and seems more appropriate to a sci-fi novel  ;)

There's little point in me reading the article as it will be waaay over my head. However, I wonder if the term has been "appropriated" from another field of engineering? In my younger days, I worked in electronics so I was quite confused when I heard the term "impedance mismatch" applied to object-relational mapping in the software field.
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gt94sss2

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Re: Communications Research
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2017, 11:40:32 PM »

The G.Fast presentation offers some insight into where BT are aiming next:
- "We believe there’s another hybrid fibre/copper technology beyond G.fast"
- "A key aspect of our research is understanding the potential for beam steering to extract additional capacity from the copper cable"
- "We are now using MIMO techniques from radio to boost performance in copper cables"
- "There is a lots [SIC] more capacity to come from copper"

Interesting - I assumed they were talking about XG-FAST or as the successor to G.Fast. I read somewhere the ITU have started work on a G.mgfast (for Multi-gigabit) stasndard as they call it.

At least BTs slides confirm what we have known for some time though some doubters refused to believe:

Quote
Openreach will initially deploy G.fast at their existing PCP locations and then move deeper into the network
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WWWombat

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Re: Communications Research
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2017, 12:04:24 PM »

However, I wonder if the term has been "appropriated" from another field of engineering?

In this case, beam steering is all the rage in research for 5G, and is part of ongoing efforts in WiFi. It is also known as "Massive MIMO".

The central idea is having hundreds of antenna on a base station, all driven slightly differently for signals destined for different users ... to effectively steer the best signal quality straight towards that mobile.

On top of that, you can make use of multiple base stations, in multiple locations, to amplify the effect. That needs very tight synchronisation, and centralised control.

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WWWombat

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Re: Communications Research
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2017, 12:11:21 PM »

I imagine the research is indeed part of the g.mgfast work, and that the "XG-Fast" demo might have included these ideas, but might not (the tense used in the wording suggests the latter).

At least BTs slides confirm what we have known for some time though some doubters refused to believe:
Quote
Openreach will initially deploy G.fast at their existing PCP locations and then move deeper into the network

BT have been saying this for a long time, in this kind of presentation, even if they've been quiet in more "joe public" channels. It is one reason I go looking for these ;)

I tend to think that they're waiting for more research on the backhaul - the connection from those G.Fast nodes placed deeper (ie 300m away from the cabinet) back to the cabinet ... and I suspect the potential for "copper backhaul" is one item on this agenda. Maybe the options for powering are still up in the air too.
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phi2008

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Re: Communications Research
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2017, 01:56:25 PM »

Beamforming? In cables?

I guess they're talking about using the gaps between wires as waveguides for terabit performace, details here -

http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1331713&page_number=1

http://about.att.com/story/trial_project_airgig.html
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JGO

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Re: Communications Research
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2017, 04:05:34 PM »

Can't help feeling that if BA's system (which is complicated by size and thus could be protected by duplication) can go wrong so spectacularly,  I personally would avoid a system complicated by techniques which just have to be precisely correct. 
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WWWombat

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Re: Communications Research
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2017, 12:33:03 PM »

In this case, I don't think it is the same as the waveguide idea. I think it is down to using copper - and turning crosstalk from a foe to a friend. But that is definitely just my opinion.

Side question: Will the waveguide idea work even if the inter-wire gaps are jelly-filled? Rather than air?
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burakkucat

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Re: Communications Research
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2017, 03:01:51 PM »

Side question: Will the waveguide idea work even if the inter-wire gaps are jelly-filled? Rather than air?

From a purely scientific view I can see no reason why it would not work. The only proviso would be that the waveguide's "filling" is homogeneous. Obviously there will be a different velocity of propagation dependent upon the filling . . . vacuum > air > petroleum jelly.   
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