artificial intelligence

NSF, NIST, DOD team up on resilient next-gen networking

National Science Foundation is working with two other federal agencies and industry partners to accelerate research on the next generation of high-throughput, low-latency communication networks and associated computing systems.

The Resilient and Intelligent Next-Generation Systems (RINGS) program seeks to advance the underlying technologies to guarantee worldwide availability, security and reliability of new systems that will support to education, transportation, public health and safety, defense and associated critical infrastructure, NSF officials said in the program’s announcement.

These next-generation networks will leverage software-defined networking, programmable accelerators, network function virtualization, cloud-computing platforms, dynamic orchestration and mobile edge computing, NSF said in the RINGS program solicitation. The program’s goal is to approach the design of next-generation network systems by focusing on resilience as the primary consideration while aiming for superior performance. 

Today’s solutions do not yet address network resilience “in a comprehensive, integrated manner, which has led to a world where factors such as security vulnerabilities, unstable updates and misconfigured systems create unpredictable behaviors,” the solicitation said. “While tolerated in today's networks, these unpredictable behaviors are unacceptable in a NextG network system supporting 'essential and critical services.'”

For RINGS, resiliency means security, adaptability and/or autonomy, “across all layers of the networking protocol and computation stacks as well as in throughput, latency, and connection density,” NSF said.

The program is looking for research into resilient systems, including full-stack security, network intelligence/adaptability, autonomy and exploration into resiliency components.  Research covering the enabling technologies is expected to address RF and mixed signal circuits, antennas and components; spectrum management technologies; the scalable device-to-edge-to-cloud continuum and the merging of digital, physical and virtual worlds.

RINGS’ federal partners are NSF, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. Apple, Ericsson, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, Qualcomm and VMware are the industry participants. 

The $40 million program is funded by contributions from the partners and expects to issue approximately 40, three-year $1 million awards to academic researchers.

NSF will select and administer the research projects, and the industry partners may -- post-award -- make contribute resources such as staff, software, datasets or other computing infrastructure. Awardees are not required to use any company's offered contributions, NSF said.

More on RINGS is available here.

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