Software-defined and programmable networking is a key enabling technology to support 6G in achieving their promises of increased scalability and flexibility at a lower cost. Deep network programmability, that is the ability to program the network fabric both vertically (control and data plane) and horizontally (end to end), is expected to characterize the new generation of mobile networks (6G), currently under development, towards supporting extreme performance requirements and service-specific operations. To this end, data plane programming capabilities in next-generation mobile networks can bring significant benefits with regards to network slicing and multi-tenancy, dynamic traffic engineering, offloading network functions to hardware accelerators, etc.
Specifically, the objective of the PhD project, conducted in collaboration with Ericsson, the leading mobile communications equipment manufacturer, is to investigate data plane programmability in the context of the new generation of mobile networks. The PhD will focus on the disaggregated Radio Access Network. Concretely, the candidate will investigate problems including but not restricted to the specification and implementation of a common abstraction layer for heterogenous programmable data planes, data plane multitenancy and modularization and programmable traffic management (i.e., scheduling radio resources).
The research is conducted within the scope of the Future Network Services
: the 6G flagship project for the Netherlands where 60 leading ICT businesses, mobile operators, semiconductor manufacturers and research institutions, have united to spearhead the development of specific aspects of 6G: Software antennas, AI-driven network software, and groundbreaking 6G applications.
You will be embedded in the MNS group. The group focuses its research on the fundamental architectural problems that arise from the interconnection of systems and of data flows. We look at the emerging architectures that can support the operations of the future Internet. More information can be found here
Within Ericsson Hungary, your work will be anchored to the team in Ericsson's Research Area Networks, which drives innovations towards 6G and the future network platform. Our local competence and expertise are in Radio Network (RAN) and Packet Core architectures and protocols, programmable networks, and network automation. More information is available here
. Tasks and responsibilities:
- focus on the development and evaluation of and end-to-end programmable data plane, supporting multitenancy and modularity, through the definition and implementation of a generic hardware abstraction layer, supporting heterogeneous systems e.g., GPUs, TPUs, FPGAs, SOCs;
- Investigate optimization aspects of network control and data plane functionality;
- develop appropriate proof of concept(s) to benchmark the performance or validate the applicability of proposed approaches;
- access a unique state-of-the-art testbed to also put theory to practice and be at the forefront of the Dutch 6G national ecosystem;
- become active in the research community and collaborate with other institutes and/or companies that are part of the project;
- publish and present work regularly at international conferences, workshops, and journals;
- assist in teaching activities (labs) and in supervising bachelor and master students.