Layered Realities - 5G in a BOX

An intelligent box for convergence of all network technologies and connected devices / Virtualisation of high-performance network functions at the edge / Re-purposing the network at the edge for delay sensitive and computing intensive applications / Plug-able advanced computing capability at the edge of the network / Deep learning about network close to users and applications

Watershed Registration

Smart Internet Lab at the University of Bristol and Watershed invite you to experience next generation wireless connectivity (5G) through a series of artistic and technical events.

Sign up to find out more and be the first to receive all the programme details and secure your spot to take part in this weekend of FREE showcases and demos.

Layered Realities Weekend - A 5G Showcase

Over the weekend of 17th - 18th March 2018, the University of Bristol's Smart Internet Lab welcomes you to the world's first 5G public showcase in Millennium Square, Bristol. Demonstrations, talks and artistic experimentation combine in an exciting blend of technology and expression. This event is running in conjunction with Watershed & We The Curious.

Photo Credit: Kaleider's - 'From The Light Of Fire, Our Dancing Shadows'

All our demonstrations will take place in a large marquee on Millennium Square. 

Key technology and industrial sectors, such as smart city, automotive and entertainment are rapidly being transformed by capabilities offered by 5G. For 5G to support these sectors, also known as verticals, a high degree of technological convergence and programmability is required, empowering the verticals with enhanced technical capacity to trigger the development of new innovative products, applications and services.  

A “5G in a BOX” utilises advanced hardware programmable platforms and high-performance commodity computing servers to offer a generic and programmable platform for deployment at the edges of a 5G network. It enables different verticals to deploy and execute on-demand, application specific and customised low latency network functions at the edge of the network. It also provides a point of convergence for various wireless and wired 5G technologies and computing platforms that can be customised for specific services and technologies. ‌

Technical Description 

An end-to-end 5G network comprises heterogeneous types of technologies, from new radio such as massive-MIMO and millimetre wave to high speed optical network and advanced computing platforms, such as mobile edge computing. Furthermore, most of the 5G network functions are virtualized as a software entity that requires a low latency computing platform often at the edge of the network.    

Availability of high-performance programmable and flexible hardware enables offloading network functions to the hardware and accelerates them. FPGAs (programmable hardware devices) are receiving increasing attention as a preferred programmable platform because of low cost and high performance. Unlike the software that executes in sequential order, FPGAs execute concurrently and hence supports high data rate and lower latency. A '5G in a BOX' node utilises FPGA platforms and high performance commodity computing servers to offer a generic and programmable platform for deployment at the edges of a 5G network. It accelerates execution of 5G network functions and also provides a point of convergence for heterogeneous wireless and optical transports as well as computing platforms. 

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