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FM Used to Improve Wi-Fi

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 03:40PM

We may not think about it much, but one aspect of modern life is having a lot of transmissions piercing our bodies all the time to bring our various devices the latest information. Sometimes these transmissions run into each other, causing interference that slows things down significantly. Researchers at Northwestern University have devised a clever way to ease this congestion by looking to FM transmissions.

Unless you are living far removed from your neighbors, there is a good chance that you have wireless networks that bump against each other, and transmissions for one network can affect those of others. To address this issue, the researchers have developed a scheduling system that takes advantage of how common and penetrating FM signals are. These signals are able to pass through walls and other obstacles without much loss, and are comprised of blocks 104 bits long. Because these bits will arrive at neighboring networks at nearly the same time, they can be used to synchronize schedules between the networks. By monitoring transmissions at different times, the Wi-FM system can determine what parts of the schedule are free and only transmit at those times, preventing congestion, and all without direct communication between the networks.

This technology could actually be deployed relatively easily as in many cases it only requires a software update. Many wireless devices already have FM components integrated into the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips.

Source: Northwestern University

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