Technology Applications Panel

PANEL 3: Wireless Mesh Networking for the Digital Home

Lakshman Krishnamurthy

Network Architecture Lab, Intel Corporation


Lakshman Krishnamurthy is a Senior Staff Engineer, Network Architecture Lab, Intel Corporation, where he leads the projects in sensor networks and mesh networking projects. The sensor network project focuses on building heterogeneous sensor networks that use heterogeneity to solve the scaling and resource constraints in this regime. The team has built numerous applications including a conference room finder and an interactive voting network. The project has also built an Intel® XScale™ based reference design for a sensor network gateway and Canby, the compactflash mote NIC. Previously, Lakshman was an architect of Intel’s digital television stack, where he contributed to the first nation wide interactive TV broadcast trial with PBS. He received B.E. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Mysore, India and the University of Kentucky, respectively.

Panel Summary:

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.  In a wireless home network today a wireless-enabled device, such as a laptop, directly connects to the network through an access point.  This is known as a single hop network.  In the future, homes will use multi-hop networks, also known as mesh networks, to connect all the devices in the home to each other or to a broadband connection.  In a multi-hop network, a device can connect to its destination through wireless routers, essentially taking many hops to complete a data connection from the client device to a broadband connection.
Multi-hop wireless technology offers unique benefits for creating a high-speed, robust home wireless network.  The benefits over traditional infrastructure wireless networks include extending coverage without requiring deployment of multiple wired base stations, increasing utilization of spatial capacity to realize higher throughput, and offering alternate communication paths to provide failure recovery and better throughput. Intel R&D is researching these self-organizing multi-hop wireless networks for home environments. 
This panel will discuss the evolution of wireless home networking, the role of mesh networking, and the usage models that will require this technology.