Update on pCell and Artemis

A couple weeks ago I wrote three pieces on privately-held Artemis and their pCell technology. (Parts One, Two and Three.) Artemis is proposing something really interesting, a new approach to wireless networking.

In those posts, I cautioned that while this is potentially very powerful, the company has so far not released much detail on how it really works, leaving open questions as to potential limitations. I got several very interesting comments on those posts from people who know radios far better than I do, speculating as to their approach.

I also got an update directly from the company when they reached out through the comments. As I suspected, they are very busy. They are working on providing more detailed information and a technical white paper, but also have to, you know, run a business. I believe they will have more detail soon.

They also answered what I consider the two most pressing technical questions.

First, how mobile is the system. I did not get the full technical run down, but they claim it is very mobile, and can work at high speeds. I have no reason to doubt them, so this is encouraging.

Second, how does the system handle ‘uplink’ traffic, that is traffic from the mobile device back to the access point. Here, the answer just made me even more fascinated by what they are proposing. I do not want to get into the technical details here, but essentially they just reverse the process of the ‘downlink’, in which all the transmitted signals interfere with each other and are then decoded based on the system’s knowledge of the signals. “Just reversing” something makes it sound simple. It is not simple, it looks very complicated, even harder math than the downlink problem, but very cool if it works.

I will update this subject as I learn more, but I thought the fact they responded to me very quickly and openly was worth mentioning.  I am looking forward to learning more.


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