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Indian origin researcher’s team achieves WiFi at 10,000 times less power

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Washington: A team of US Engineers which included and Indian origin researcher demonstrated that it is possible to generate Wi-Fi transmissions using 10,000 less power than conventional methods. This is an attempt to save more energy while playing games and doing other things that eat more energy.

The new “Passive Wi-Fi” system also consumes 1,000 times less power than existing energy-efficient wireless communication platforms, such as Bluetooth Low Energy and Zigbee, said computer scientists and electrical engineers from the University of Washington.

“We wanted to see if we could achieve Wi-Fi transmissions using almost no power at all. That is basically what ‘Passive Wi-Fi’ delivers. We can get Wi-Fi for 10,000 times less power than the best thing that’s out there,” said study co-author Shyam Gollakota, assistant professor of computer science and engineering.

“Passive Wi-Fi” can for the first time transmit Wi-Fi signals at bit rates of up to 11 megabits per second that can be decoded on any of the billions of devices with Wi-Fi connectivity. These speeds are lower than the maximum Wi-Fi speeds but 11 times higher than Bluetooth. Apart from saving battery life, wireless communication that uses almost no power will help enable an “Internet of Things” reality where household devices and wearable sensors can communicate using Wi-Fi without worrying about power.

“All the networking, heavy-lifting, and power-consuming pieces are done by the one plugged-in device. The passive devices are only reflecting to generate the Wi-Fi packets, which is a really energy-efficient way to communicate,” explained co-author Vamsi Talla, an electrical engineering doctoral student. To achieve such low-power Wi-Fi transmissions, the team essentially decoupled the digital and analog operations involved in radio transmissions.

The Passive Wi-Fi architecture assigns the analog, power-intensive functions – like producing a signal at a specific frequency — to a single device in the network that is plugged into the wall. An array of sensors produces Wi-Fi packets of information using very little power by simply reflecting and absorbing that signal using a digital switch.

In real-world conditions on the university campus, the team found the passive Wi-Fi sensors and a smartphone can communicate even at distances of 100 feet between them. Because the sensors are creating actual Wi-Fi packets, they can communicate with any Wi-Fi enabled device right out of the box. “Our sensors can talk to any router, smartphone, tablet or other electronic device with a Wi-Fi chipset,” noted electrical engineering doctoral student Bryce Kellogg.

The technology can enable entirely new types of communication that haven’t been possible because energy demands have outstripped available power supplies. It could also simplify our data-intensive worlds. “Now that we can achieve Wi-Fi for tens of microwatts of power and can do much better than both Bluetooth and ZigBee, you could now imagine using Wi-Fi for everything,” said Joshua Smith, associate professor of computer science and engineering.

The technology has also been named one of the 10 breakthrough technologies of 2016 by the journal MIT Technology Review. A paper describing those results will be presented in March at the 13th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation in California. (IANS)

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Low Cure Rate For Childhood Cancer in India: Experts

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner

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Health insurance covers only for hospitalization and doesn’t necessarily cover the medical expenses incurred for the treatment of major illnesses. flickr

Childhood cancer comprises almost 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India, experts said here on Friday, expressing concern over the low cure rate due to lack of available data.

“The disturbing reality is that the cure rate of pediatric cancer is almost 80 per cent in the developed countries. When we see the data from major cancer centres, it actually can match up to the Western standard but this data is not enough,” Haemato-Oncologist Vivek Agarwala said at an awareness programme conducted by Narayana Superspecialty Hospital, Howrah.

According to the Indian Council for Medical Research, cancer in children constitutes approximately 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India.

Agarwala said a large portion of the incidence of childhood cancer in society is still not addressed.

Cancer survivor. Flickr

Also, a large section who don’t have access to premier institutes are often diagnosed late due to financial crunch and that is why the overall treatment rate in India is low.

“Probably, the government and society at large are not considering it a big problem as it is just around 5 per cent. We are always campaigning for breast and cervical cancers,” Agarwala said.

“We must remember this 5 per cent of cancer is majorly curable if given proper treatment,” he said.

Leukaemia and retinoblastoma (a form of cancer where children have a white eye) are the two common forms of cancer in children.

Also Read- Push-ups Can Lower The Risk of Heart Diseases

Talking about awareness and symptoms that parents need to watch out for, he said: “Symptoms are different for different cancers, but children who have cancer have poor growth, poor weight gain and decreased appetite. One must get their children evaluated on seeing these symptoms”.

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner. (IANS)