/>
X

3 Questions: About Mesh Networking

This interview with Scott Burke, vice president of engineering for PacketHop, originally appeared in the IT Business Edge weekly report on Empowering a Mobile Workforce. To see a complete listing of IT Business Edge weekly reports or sign up for this free technology intelligence agent, visit www.
zd-defaultauthor-it-business-edge.jpg
Written by IT Business Edge on

This interview with Scott Burke, vice president of engineering for PacketHop, originally appeared in the IT Business Edge weekly report on Empowering a Mobile Workforce. To see a complete listing of IT Business Edge weekly reports or sign up for this free technology intelligence agent, visit www.itbusinessedge.com.

Question: The idea of mesh networking isn't new, is it?

Burke: The concept of mesh networking goes further back than the name. The fixed Internet we have today can be thought of as a large fixed mesh network. Recent possibilities for growth [for mesh networking] came from Wi-Fi chips being deployed everywhere and the increase in device CPU capacity and [the resulting] increases in computational capabilities of PDAs and laptops. Those two factors combined to make it possible to have mobile mesh devices that are, in a sense, large mobile routers.

Question: You say that a lot of the early research was done at the Stanford Research Institute, which is now SRI. Who was asking for it?

Burke: The military. If you and I were soldiers going into the field, typically, we would only have voice communications. They wanted wireless data networks to be formed on the fly. That was the early genesis of mobile mesh. [PacketHop is] focused primarily on the network layer, kind of going back to the concept of a new routing protocol. Routing on the fixed Internet is very well designed for high-bandwidth uses but doesn't do very well if there is a lot of mobility. That's why SRI did a lot of research. There [also] is a standards effort at the IETF called MANET, for Mobile Ad Hoc Networking. They're trying to design a new routing protocol that works very well in highly mobile situations.

Question: Where will meshes thrive?

Burke: We really are looking closely at five key markets. The first is homeland security. That's a market that is happening right now. In the enterprise, we are looking at mobile [enterprise] as well as inside the enterprise. Home networking, home entertainment will come shortly, as UWB [ultra wideband] happens. The fourth market is consumer. [One element] is the notion that if you are near an AP and I'm far away, I can hop through you to get to the AP. It's called multi-hop networking. And gaming devices such as the Sony Playstation [will use] ad hoc mesh networks. The last market, which is slightly out ahead, is automotive. There is a lot of emphasis on consumer services in the car, but, more importantly, there are safety issues.

TechRepublic originally published this article on 27 January 2004.

Related

Why you should really stop charging your phone overnight
iphone-charging.jpg

Why you should really stop charging your phone overnight

iPhone
How to get Photoshop for free
photoshop free trial

How to get Photoshop for free

Photo & Video
I loved driving the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, and there's only one reason I can't buy one
img-1724

I loved driving the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, and there's only one reason I can't buy one

Electric Vehicles