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Wireless MAC Processors: Programming MAC Protocols on Commodity Hardware

  • Autori: Tinnirello, I.; Bianchi, G.; Gallo, P.; Garlisi, D.; Giuliano, F.; Gringoli, F.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2012
  • Tipologia: Proceedings (TIPOLOGIA NON ATTIVA)
  • OA Link:


Programmable wireless platforms aim at responding to the quest for wireless access flexibility and adaptability. This paper introduces the notion of wireless MAC processors. Instead of implementing a specific MAC protocol stack, Wireless MAC processors do support a set of Medium Access Control ”commands” which can be run-time composed (programmed) through software defined state machines, thus providing the desired MAC protocol operation. We clearly distinguish from related work in this area as, unlike other works which rely on dedicated DSPs or programmable hardware platforms, we experimentally prove the feasibility of the wireless MAC processor concept over ultra cheap commodity WLAN hardware cards. Specifically, we reflash the firmware of the commercial Broadcom AirForce54G off-the-shelf chipset, replacing its 802.11 WLAN MAC protocol implementation with our proposed extended state machine execution engine. We prove the flexibility of the proposed approach through three use-case implementation examples.