WiFi: 5G and Beyond

Dr. Sriram Sundararajan and Dr. Nihar Jindal
Researchers, Broadcom
Given on: February 14, 2013


WiFi has become a ubiquitous component of today’s digital age, to the point where WiFi is embedded into almost every smartphone, laptop, and tablet produced, and where WiFi access is expected in almost any consumer setting. Indeed, well over one billion WiFi-enabled devices are sold every year, and WiFi is even becoming integrated into household appliances such as refrigerators and thermostats. The objective of this talk is to provide an overview of the technology underpinning WiFi. We will begin by discussing the IEEE 802.11 standards, including the fifth-generation 802.11ac standard. We will give a brief introduction to the basic PHY and MAC, and we will highlight some of the key new PHY features incorporated in 802.11ac, such as transmit beamforming and multi-user MIMO. We will then overview the myriad of challenges involved in implementing WiFi as a component of a multi-standard System-on-Chips for wireless connectivity. These SoCs typically integrate the entire RF/analog chain in bulk “digital” CMOS process, and indeed this level of “antenna to bits” integration is responsible for driving down the cost of wireless connectivity and making it ubiquitous today. Some of the interesting design challenges for such SoCs include dealing with the on-chip RF and analog impairments via digitally assisted analog techniques, designing for low power, managing multiple wireless PHYs operating concurrently on a single die, etc.


Sriram Sundararajan received a Bachelor of Technology degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, in 1989, and a Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California at Berkeley in 1995. Between 1995 and 2005 he was a Senior Member of Technical Staff with Texas Instruments, Dallas, Texas, where he worked on 3GPP standardization, and system design for cellular communications, including single chip multiprocessors for wireless base stations. At present he is a systems engineering manager at Broadcom Corp. in Sunnyvale California, where he is involved in designing low power wireless communications ICs for wireless connectivity.

Nihar Jindal (S’99–M’04) received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1999 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, in 2001 and 2004, respectively. He is currently a Principal Engineer at Broadcom Corporation, where he works on WLAN system design and 802.11 standardization. From 2004-2010 he served as an Associate (2010) and Assistant (2004-09) Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Dr. Jindal was the recipient of the IEEE Communications Society and Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award in 2005 and 2010, the University of Minnesota McKnight Land Grant Professorship Award in 2007, the NSF CAREER award in 2008, and the best paper award for the IEEE JOURNAL ON SELECTED AREAS IN COMMUNICATIONS in 2009.