Glia: A Practical Solution for Effective High Datarate Wifi-Arrays

Sandeep Kakumanu and Raghupathy Sivakumar
GNAN Research Group
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

The 15th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MOBICOM 2009), Beijing, China, Sept. 20-25, 2009.


Wi-fi standards have provisions for multiple orthogonal channels where the orthogonality allows them to be used simultaneously both in time and frequency without interference concerns. In this paper, we pose the following question: Can devices use the multiple orthogonal channels in wi-fi networks simultaneously to realize a high data-rate wireless link and hence cater to applications requiring high bandwidths? In other words, given that there are 3 orthogonal wi-fi channels in the 2.4GHz band and 12 orthogonal wi-fi channels in the 5GHz band, can a pair of devices each equipped with 15 wi-fi radios use all the available orthogonal channels to achieve a high data-rate link operating at 600Mbps? Surprisingly, we find through experimental evaluation that the actual observed performance when using all fifteen orthogonal channels between two devices is a mere 91Mbps. We identify the reasons behind the low performance and present Glia, a software only solution that effectively exercises all available radios. We prototype Glia and show using experimental evaluations that Glia helps achieve close to 600Mbps data-rate when using all possible wi-fi channels.

Presentation: [pdf (849KB)]      Full Paper: [pdf (738KB)]