Our research will facilitate seamless interoperation of heterogeneous hardware platforms by introducing programmability in the cross technology interfaces, while creating a framework for real time resource description and abstraction.

The programme, rather than taking the common approach of improving single technology domains, will focus on system level optimisation considering end-to-end infrastructure and services composition across heterogeneous technology domains and network layers.

A methodology is proposed to satisfy this approach and is organised as shown in Figure 2.  The figure illustrates the Technical Challenges (TCs) of this Programme.  The interrelationship of TCs is shown in terms of co-design drivers, validation and feedback strategies.


The main objectives of the project are as follows:

  1. Develop a radically new architecture that will take a technology agnostic approach targeting cross-technology application, programmable infrastructure & service composition driven by Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in e.g. capacity, connectivity, spectrum utilization, energy efficiency, fairness, Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE).
  2. Converge unrelated technology domains seamlessly: specifically, wireless access and optical access, high capacity optical metro/backbone networks, data centre networks and end devices
  3. Support very high bandwidth granularity range and capacity: from Pbps (e.g. Inter-Data-Centre transport) to kbps (e.g. Machine-to-Machine communications)
  4. Break traditional barriers between infrastructure, control and service layers: by making the network infrastructure and its control part of the end-to-end service delivery chain

Technical challenges

Challenge number Title Team leader Institution
TC0 Technology Agnostic Architecture Dimitra Simeonidou University of Bristol
TC1 Converged Infrastructure Layer Steve McLaughlin Heriot Watt University
TC2 Software Defined Network (SDN) solutions Mark Beach University of Bristol
TC3 End-to-end Service Provisioning David Hutchison Lancaster University
TC4 TOUCAN Lab Harald Haas University of Edinburgh