High-frequency, low-power wireless device design wins Best Paper Award at top conference

Written by
Scott Lyon
April 27, 2023

A new approach to designing high-frequency, low-power wireless devices has won Princeton ECE researchers a Best Paper Award at the USENIX Symposium on Network System Design and Implementation (NSDI).

Second-year graduate student Atsutse Kludze and his adviser, Yasaman Ghasempour, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, presented their paper on April 17 in Boston. The conference featured 96 papers, selected from among nearly 600 submissions, and ranged in subjects from wireless networks to cloud computing to internet routing protocols.

The Kludze-Ghasempour paper won one of three Best Paper awards. It details a technique for sending large amounts of data over ultra-high-frequency signals without drawing any additional power from the mobile device. Using a specially designed reflector, the new approach allows data to piggyback on ambient signals, a method called backscattering. But other backscattering approaches lack the ability to direct a signal between specific devices. This approach is highly directional and can accommodate multiple users at a time. It also works across a wide range of frequencies, including the band of frequencies above 100 GHz, a key part of the spectrum for next-generation technologies.

Ghasempour said the award highlights the importance of low-power devices in realizing the promise of future wireless communications systems. She also pointed to the quality of Kludze’s work — especially remarkable considering the early stage of his career — in sorting out the complex details of the device’s design.

Over the past 20 years, NSDI papers have pioneered many of the underlying technologies that enable today’s highly connected digital world. The conference is held in spring each year. For 2023, the number of submitted papers grew by 40 percent over last year, leading to more than 2,000 reviews from peer researchers.

Kludze graduated from Cornell University in 2021 with a degree in electrical and computer engineering. He joined Princeton later that same year, and started working in Ghasempour’s lab in 2022. He is the recipient of a GEM Fellowship, a research scholar with the Semiconductor Research Corporation, known as SRC, and last summer interned with the IBM Watson Research Center.

Ghasempour joined Princeton in 2021 after completing her Ph.D. at Rice University. She is the recipient of the Paul Baran Young Scholar Award from the Marconi Society, an NSF CAREER Award, and last year was named one of 10 worldwide Stars in Computer Networking and Communications by N2Women, an influential research community within the field. She co-leads Princeton’s NextG Initiative, which seeks to leverage academic-industry partnerships and place Princeton at the leading edge in creating the intelligent networks of the future.

The paper, “LeakyScatter: A Frequency-Agile Directional Backscatter Network Above 100 GHz,” was funded in part by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Science Foundation.