UMIC demonstrates progress towards ultra high-speed communication

A joint exhibit by the Chair for Theoretical Information Technology (Electrical Engineering) and the Chair for Computer Graphics and Multimedia (Computer Science) at CeBIT 2009

Wireless communication will face drastically increasing data, voice, and multimedia traffic in the near future. Innovative applications are emerging and will become part of everyday life. Accordingly, mobile internet access has to be provided for a huge number of subscribers at high rates everywhere and anytime. Because of the scarce radio spectrum, and worldwide regulations on how to use it, this will be a demanding challenge for communication engineers and computer scientists. Moreover, new algorithms for handling and transmitting complex multimedia data have to be developed in order to support future mobile multimedia applications.

Within the UMIC cluster of excellence at RWTH Aachen University the present demonstrator has been developed in cooperation of the Chair for Theoretical Information Technology and the Chair for Computer Graphics and Multimedia. It illustrates our progress towards Ultra high-speed Mobile Information and Communication. In this research initiative we span the entire spectrum of mobile communication research from the physical layer to the application layer.

The most promising technology for achieving reliable radio links of high capacity is orthogonal frequency division multiplex (OFDM). The available frequency band is split into small sub-channels, and each is used for transmitting a certain fraction of the total traffic. To endue such a link with highest capacity and simultaneously robustness against varying channel conditions, the sub-carriers are utilized in an optimal way. Difficult problems of mathematical nature arise, particularly how to adaptively seize sub-carriers with respect to power and rate. The present demonstrator solves these problems continuously under varying channel conditions.

On the application side we demonstrate the prototype of a mobile 3D pedestrian navigation and information system. 3D virtual city models are becoming more and more important in quite diverse application scenarios. The generation of such models is, however, often done manually and hence very time consuming and rather expensive. Therefore we are developing methods and algorithms to generate realistic 3D city models in a mostly automatic manner from 2D map and terrain data as well as aerial and street-level photography. Since the graphics performance of today's mobile devices is not sufficient for interactive display of such highly detailed 3D models, we present a new rendering server architecture, which provides visualization services for mobile devices that are not powerful enough to render such large scale models themselves.