Special Seminar: Ambuj Varshney "Towards Ubiquitous Sensing: Tackling the Energy Asymmetry between Sensing, Computation, and Communication in Wireless Embedded Systems"

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Towards Ubiquitous Sensing: Tackling the Energy Asymmetry between Sensing, Computation, and Communication in Wireless Embedded Systems

Ambuj Varshney

Thursday, 4 March at 13:00
via Zoom https://aalto.zoom.us/j/68276884083

Abstract: Wireless Embedded Systems has seen tremendous growth with a vast number of deployed devices, with their numbers continuing to increase rapidly. However, we claim that insufficient attention is being paid to their most fundamental energy challenges--that is, the rapidly growing asymmetry in the energy consumption between the sensing, computation, and communication operations of emerging devices. This leads to an over-reliance on batteries with the associated challenges of battery replacement at a massive scale as well as the need to design various duty-cycling mechanisms to prolong their lifetime. In this talk, we argue that the key reason is that these devices’ architectures have remained unchanged, particularly with their reliance and usage of conventional transceivers including LoRa, BLE, and ZigBee radios.

In this talk, I describe my efforts to rethink wireless embedded systems architecture to enable designs that consume significantly lower energy than current approaches. I describe efforts to design backscatter based systems that enable communications over large distances while consuming tens of microwatts of power consumption.

This enables the design of platforms that operate without batteries on limited amounts of energy that can be harvested from the ambient environment. I conclude by laying the foundations for designing radically new transmitters using tunnel diodes. This paves the way for massive data collection from the physical environment.

Bio: Ambuj Varshney is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley and a researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden). His research interests over the past decade have been focused on embedded systems and mobile computing. Over the past several years, he has designed embedded systems that tackle the energy asymmetry between different components of the embedded platforms. He has several primary authored publications at flagship venues of mobile computing and embedded systems, such as Mobicom (2), Mobisys and Sensys (2). His research has led to awards, accolades and research grants; most notably, his doctoral dissertation was awarded the 2019 ABB Research Award in Honour of Hubertus von Gruenberg. He enjoys mentoring students, with many of his former students being admitted for doctoral studies at leading universities, including MIT.

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