Meeting the Demands of the Digital Home with High-Speed Multi-Hop Wireless Networks

In the near future, homes will be equipped with wireless
networks that bridge data and consumer electronics
networks, interconnecting desktop PCs, mobile laptops
and handhelds, High-Definition TVs (HDTVs), DVD
players, camcorders, and other multimedia devices. This
environment introduces new wireless network
requirements, including high and dependable bandwidth,
low latency, and coverage throughout the home. Multihop
wireless technology offers unique benefits for
creating a high-speed, robust home wireless network.
However, to support these demanding usage models,
significant wireless networking innovations are required
across the physical, MAC, and routing layers, and
solutions need to be found for higher level issues such as
Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees, device discovery,
and security. In addition, user acceptance of multi-hop
wireless networks will require ease of installation. Intel
R&D is currently researching self-organizing multi-hop
wireless networks for home environments. This paper
introduces the technologies and tradeoffs needed to
create a multi-hop wireless home network, identifying
benefits and limitations. In particular, we describe usage
scenarios and assumptions that drive the requirements.
Finally, we provide an outline of the key technology
problems that must be solved and recommend the
necessary next steps to make this vision a reality.

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