RENEW is a technology partner to POWDER, an NSF-funded platform for advanced wireless research. RENEW will provide cutting edge technology for deployment on POWDER testbed for next-generation wireless research. RENEW is a partnership of Rice University, University of Michigan and Texas Southern University.


RENEW will be designed for programmable & observable wireless networks

The RENEW project will develop world’s first fully programmable and observable wireless radio network. With RENEW, wireless research and development community will be able to test diverse ideas and concepts, ranging from low-level hardware to all the way to novel applications. The project will support many firsts, like

  • programmable wide-band radios, including 5G bands of 2.5 and 3.5GHz,
  • large-scale MIMO, including massive MIMO,
  • novel PHY and network stacks, including 5G-like and WiFi-like protocol stacks,
  • be observable at all layers of the protocol stack, and
  • will have the ability to leverage distributed computational resources throughout the infrastructure.

RENEW will be open-source

An important driving objective is to open-source all the code developed by the RENEW team while protecting the intellectual property of our corporate partners. RENEW will also maximize the use of open-source programming tools, thereby aiming to broaden access to the RENEW repositories and tools. In addition to the open-source codebase, RENEW will also develop open-access educational materials and aim to reach a large community.

RENEW will support diverse hardware

RENEW will initially target Argos base-stations and client hardware, developed as part of Rice Argos project. Argos Version 3 is a fully deployable base-station hardware, commercially available from Skylark Wireless, a Rice spin-off.


Argos base-station deployed on Rice University Campus

Since the Argos hardware uses off-the-shelf computing components, the RENEW open-source repository components can eventually be leveraged by other SDR platforms, like GNU Radio and WARP. Additionally, the modular design of the software components will also encourage re-use by the community to conduct novel experiments and discover novel uses.

RENEW will be deployed

The RENEW platform will be integrated and deployed on the POWDER platform, deployed on the University of Utah campus and areas around the campus. The POWDER framework will provide full access to all the capabilities of RENEW framework and be open to the community, and the power of a programmable wireless radio network will be available to the research community for the first time.

RENEW team will leverage extensive past experience

The RENEW team will leverage extensive past experience, namely

  1. Rice WARP (founded in 2006, PI Sabharwal), a high-performance open-source SDR platform that has been used by 450+ research papers as of November 2017.
  2. Rice TFA wireless (founded 2006, PI Knightly) that is one of the largest free wireless network, in an under-resourced community, operational for more than a decade.
  3. Rice Argos (founded in 2010, PI Zhong), developed the world’s first massive MIMO programmable platform.
  4. UMich MobileLab (founded in 2011, PI Mao), has developed some of the most widely used mobile measurement toolkits.
  5. TSU VR-Lab (PI Chen), has developed world’s open-source teaching labs for conducting experiments with physical objects, like robotic agents.