NSF Announces $12M Funding Opportunity to Lower Latencies for Wireless Networks

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Feb. 212, 2024 — The U.S. National Science Foundation published a new funding opportunity designed to bring together innovators in wireless communications to develop and validate low-latency communications technologies that have the potential to transform how Americans live, work and interact with one another.

To learn more, read the Breaking Low funding opportunity and register for an introductory webinar on March 8, 2024, at 3 p.m. ET.

Breaking the Low Latency Barrier for Verticals in Next-G Wireless Networks (Breaking Low) is a $12 million, two-year initiative that seeks to identify and solve critical architectural, technical and technological issues that must be resolved in current fifth-generation (5G) and next-generation (Next-G) wireless networks to provide the low-latency performance necessary for the success of key emerging industries. Solutions emerging from Breaking Low are expected to impact real-world deployments within the next five years.

Most current public cellular and wireless local area network deployments are unable to consistently support end-to-end latencies below 10 milliseconds and can manage to do so only under specific conditions. Critical bottlenecks in the end-to-end network path and a lack of low-latency technology development present challenges to advancing communications technologies to meet the needs of many industries, such as advanced manufacturing, transportation and health care, and leveraging new modes of interaction, such as augmented/extended reality and remote-assisted autonomy.

“Breaking Low has the potential to catalyze creative solutions for innovative low-latency wireless communications,” said Erwin Gianchandani, assistant director for NSF’s Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP). “We anticipate transformative co-designed solutions to result from the Ideas Lab process, as well as robust partnerships through which the adoption of these resulting solutions can be implemented.”

The “CHIPS and Science Act of 2022” charged TIP with accelerating use-inspired and translational research and development to advance U.S. competitiveness in key technology focus areas. The Breaking Low initiative is one such investment that could contribute to U.S. leadership in wireless communications and other focus areas that stand to benefit from Next-G networks.

An Ideas Lab workshop is an interactive gathering of approximately 40 experts and stakeholders interested in collaboratively developing potential solutions and approaches to a specific problem or a grand challenge. The participants will be drawn from diverse backgrounds and sectors, including a broad range of relevant expertise area. Participation in the Ideas Lab requires acceptance of a preliminary proposal.