Wireless and Networking research group

Established: June 5, 2001

The Wireless and Networking group at Microsoft Research Asia engages in fundamental research on all aspects of computer networking.

The Wireless and Networking group at Microsoft Research Asia engages in fundamental research on all aspects of computer networking. Our group members’ research interests span cloud computing, datacenter networks, wireless, and mobile systems. We investigate new paradigms to build intelligent cloud infrastructure and networks. We emphasize both analytical and empirical approaches, and build running systems to validate theoretical results and refine system principles from experimental work.

Current Research

Data Center Networking — building efficient and intelligent fabrics for millions of servers

dcn Data center networking (DCN) is a crucial part to support efficient operations of online services in the cloud. We investigate paradigm-shifting technologies to build high availability, high reliability and high-performance network fabric for our data centers.

Current Projects:

  • Cloud-scale Network Function Virtualization
  • Programming Reconfigurable Hardware for Virtualized Network Functions (more)
    • Checkout our ClickNP paper in SIGCOMM 2016!
  • Multi-path transport protocols for data center networks (more)
    • Checkout our FUSO paper in ATC 2016!

Past Projects:

  • Multicast and low-latency routing: Datacast (CoNEXT’12), RDB (CoNEXT’13)
  • Congestion control: ICTCP (CoNEXT’10 – Best Paper), ECN* (CoNEXT’12)
  • Network management: Address Configuration (SIGCOMM’10)
  • Virtualization: SecondNet (CoNEXT’10), ServerSwitch (NSDI’11 – Awarded Best Paper)
  • Our pioneer work in DCN, on network architecture: DCell (SIGCOMM’08), BCube (SIGCOMM’09)

FPGA for the cloud — empowering the cloud with reconfigurable hardware

fpgaWe foresee that the re-configurability and high parallelism of FPGA will fundamentally change the way we are serving online services. We are investigating the cutting-edge technologies for better programming FPGAs and empowering our services in the cloud. We have demonstrated that using FPGA can significantly accelerate Deep Neural Networks in the cloud.

Current Projects:

  • Going Deeper with FPGA (more)
    • Checkout our FPGA ’16 paper on Angel-Eye!

Software radio — empowering wireless revolution with the magic of software

sora-logoWe foresee that the increasingly powerful multi-core architecture and parallel data processing will fundamentally change wireless communications. Software-based cognitive wireless systems will become much more powerful, flexible, and efficient compared with existing wireless technologies. The enabling technology is software radio (or software-defined radio, SDR). For the past several years, we have strike to build the best software radio in a very different way, and to develop programming models and tools that will greatly reduce the effort involved in implementing state-of-the-art wireless systems.

Wireless Networks — computational thinking in the traditional field

wirelessThe explosive increase in mobile usage demands constant revolutions in wireless technology. We have been engaged in a broad range of wireless research in PHY, MAC, cross-layer, MIMO, dynamic spectrum, whitespace, measurement, reliability, etc. Our approach has been one with “computational wireless” — applying computer science methodology in a very traditional field.

Current Projects:

  • MIMO Systems
    • Checkout SmartHub paper at HotNets 2015
    • BigStation at SIGCOMM 2013
  • Networking at 60GHz

Past Projects:

Mobile Systems — connecting people, devices, and information

mobileOur mobile systems research covers exploring new paradigms and system mechanisms, and bringing mobile devices and the Cloud together to further improve a user’s mobile experience, and to enable a spectrum of new mobile applications that harness the power of the Cloud.

Current Projects:

  • Smart and Secure Home Router.
    • Checkout our paper in APSys 2016

Past Projects:


  • Best Paper Award, NSDI’11 (ServerSwitch)
  • Best Paper Award, CoNEXT’10 (Incast)
  • Best Demo Award, SIGCOMM’10 (Sora/MPAP)
  • Best Paper Award, NSDI’09 (Sora)
  • Best Demo Award, NSDI’09 (Sora)
  • Best Demo Award, MobiSys’08 (P&C)
  • Best Demo Award, SenSys’07 (BeepBeep)
  • Best Demo Award, MobiSys’07 (Mobius)












Project ClickNP

Established: July 7, 2015

ClickNP is a programming model/language for modularized packet processing on FPGA-accelerated servers. ClickNP is designed with the following four goals: Flexibility. ClickNP fully programs using high-level languages. Developers program with high-level abstractions and familiar tools, and have similar programming experience as if programming on a multi-core processor. Modularized. ClickNP adopts a modular architecture for packet processing. Previous experiences on virtualized NFs have demonstrated that a right modular architecture can well capture many common functionalities in packet…

FUSO: A Fast Multi-path Transport Loss Recovery Scheme for Data Centers

Established: May 1, 2015

Packet loss in data centers, caused by both congestion and failures, greatly hurts the performance of the transport layer, leading to a long tail of flow completion time. FUSO is a fast multi-path transport loss recovery scheme for data centers, to help maintaining a consistent low flow completion time when facing packet losses. FUSO leverages the multi-path diversity in data centers to accelerate the loss recovery, attempting to be both "fast" and "cautious". Specifically, when a…

Project FDNN: FPGA-based Deep Neural Networks

Established: February 1, 2015

This project aims to accelerate the inference and training of Deep Neural Networks (DNN) using FPGAs for high energy efficiency and low latency in data centers.  We have been developing a CNN (Convolutional Neural Network) accelerator based on an embedded FPGA platform. A dynamic-precision data quantization method and a convolver design that is efficient for all layer types in CNN are proposed to improve the bandwidth and resource utilization. Results show that only 0.4% accuracy loss…

The Compound TCP for High-Speed and Long Distance Networks

Established: December 9, 2008

Introduction Many applications require fast data transfer over high speed and long distance networks. However, standard TCP fails to fully utilize the network capacity due to the limitation in its conservative congestion control (CC) algorithm. Many approaches have been proposed to improve the connection’s throughput by adopting more aggressive loss-based CC algorithms. These algorithms, although can effectively improve the link utilization, have the weakness of poor RTT fairness. Further, they may severely decrease the performance of…

Microsoft Research Software Radio (Sora)

Established: December 8, 2008

Software radio (or software-defined radio, SDR) is an engineering pursue in wireless communication technology field that one day all wireless signal processing functions, which are typically implemented in hardware today, will be done completely in software. Over the years, researchers and engineers have made remarkable progress and have been constantly pushing the hardware-software boundary. The Microsoft Research Software Radio (Sora) is one such recent success in advancing the state of the art in software radio technology.…

Microsoft Research blog

Sora high performance software radio is now open source

Posted by Jane Ma Microsoft researchers today announced that their high-performance software radio project is now open sourced through GitHub. The goal for Microsoft Research Software Radio (Sora) is to develop the most advanced software radio possible, capable of implementing the latest wireless communication technology easily and efficiently. “We believe that a fully open source Sora will better support the research community on more scientific innovation,” said Kun Tan, a senior research on the software…

July 2015

Microsoft Research Blog