CIAN Box Architecture

Outcome/accomplishment: The CIAN-box is a major outcome of the cross-disciplinary research being conducted in the Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN), headquartered at the University of Arizona and an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC). The CIAN-box combines numerous components to create a network node that functions as more than a simple internet bit pipe by monitoring the quality of data flowing through its links. Impact/benefits: The CIAN-box is a network node that ensures faster speeds and more accurate data by combining components from a variety of disciplines—a type of research made possible by an ERC, which leverages leading researchers from various areas of engineering and science. Among other components, it uses tunable lasers and optical switches developed by device-oriented researchers, measuring gear developed by researchers involved in optical subsystems, as well as network control algorithms developed by computer scientists. Explanation/Background: Smarter networks are needed to meet the world’s demand for greater internet bandwidth, driven in large part by video transmission and the spread of smartphones. Growing internet traffic is also causing an increase in energy consumption in information and communication technologies. Based on these traffic trends, present networking equipment may face unsustainable power requirements.


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