Ziria: A DSL for Wireless Systems Programming

  • Gordon Stewart ,
  • Mahanth Gowda ,
  • Geoffrey Mainland ,
  • ,
  • Dimitrios Vytiniotis ,
  • Cristina Luengo Agulló


Published by ACM - Association for Computing Machinery


Software-defined radio (SDR) brings the flexibility of software to wireless protocol design, promising an ideal platform for innovation and rapid protocol deployment. However, implementing modern wireless protocols on existing SDR platforms often requires careful hand-tuning of low-level code, which can undermine the advantages of software.

Ziria is a new domain-specific language (DSL) that offers programming abstractions suitable for wireless physical (PHY) layer tasks while emphasizing the pipeline reconfiguration aspects of PHY programming. The Ziria compiler implements a rich set of specialized optimizations, such as lookup table generation and pipeline fusion. We also offer a novel – due to pipeline reconfiguration – algorithm to optimize the data widths of computations in Ziria pipelines. We demonstrate the programming flexibility of Ziria and the performance of the generated code through a detailed evaluation of a line-rate Ziria WiFi 802.11a/g implementation that is on par and in many cases outperforms a hand-tuned state-of-the-art C++ implementation on commodity CPUs.