National Instruments opens new U.S. wireless innovation lab to advance 5G

Plenty of folks point out that the U.S. is lagging when it comes to 5G, but researchers are hoping to spur 5G R&D in the U.S. with the new Wireless Innovation Lab at National Instruments (NI)  headquarters in Austin, Texas.

NI provides a hardware and software platform for vendors like Nokia Networks (NYSE:NOK) to build prototypes and conduct tests in field trials as they work toward developing 5G standards. Universities doing R&D are another big customer segment.

In announcing the lab opening, NI said it supports ongoing collaborations with top academic and industry research groups participating in its RF/Communications Lead User program. Researchers at Intel, Lund University, Nokia Networks (NYSE:NOK), NYU Wireless, Samsung, the University of Texas at Austin and TU Dresden are "driving significant advances in the development of next-generation wireless systems and furthering research in 5G," the company said in a press release.

Current demonstrations and projects on display in the lab include mmWave cellular systems, the 5G Massive MIMO Testbed and the LabVIEW Communications System Design Suite.

"At the Wireless Networking and Communications Group (WNCG), we have had several research projects with the RF/Communications Lead User team that range from MIMO interference alignment to interference cancellation," said Robert Heath, professor and IEEE Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. "We've seen accelerated prototyping on all of these projects and we're eager to build on the latest research."

NI says its software-defined platform based on LabView and PXI is ideal for researching and prototyping cutting-edge technology like what Nokia is doing with 10 Gbps data rates in the mmWave spectrum.

Nokia's 10 Gbps demonstration with NI at the Brooklyn 5G Summit last month was designed to show that extremely fast broadband speeds will offer users enough capacity wherever they go to perform every function they want without a drop in speed or connection, regardless of how many people are connected.

The idea is to give users the ability, for example, to download a full-length HD movie to their phone in a matter of seconds rather than minutes. Video chats will be "so immersive that users will feel like they can reach out and touch the other person right through the screen," according to Nokia.

For more:
- see the NI release
- see this site

Related Articles:
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National Instruments provides technology starting blocks in race to 5G
NYU Wireless says U.S. falling behind in 5G, presses FCC to act now on mmWave spectrum
NYU researchers make waves with millimeter-wave breakthrough

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