The activities of this cluster will be primarily at the physical layer of the OSI model and include the chairs ICD, CAES and SRR. The combined knowledge in this multidisciplinary cluster will include (CMOS) dependable digital and RF circuit and system design, and the dynamic use of the EM spectrum, in which actual implementations are anticipated. The advantage of our combined approach is that realistic scenarios for physical problems will be encountered and industrial relevant solutions will be generated, while real-life complexity will encourage multidisciplinary cooperation. Physical problems can occur in the EM field (e.g. interference) but also in the operating environment (e.g. temperature).
The key challenge is to realize dependable radio communication networks, despite of harsh conditions like strong EM interference, strongly varying environmental conditions, components variability and component defects. Dependability can be maximized by smart use of the following four EM signal domains: the spatial, temporal, spectral and coding domain. The challenge is to design adaptable EM systems that exploit the spectrum to maximize dependability at acceptable power. Such systems require a dependable and power-efficient RF radio transceiver, typically realized via RF and mixed-signal CMOS circuits. Dependable digital hardware is the intelligent heart of such systems, which controls the use of different EM domains, and the radio transceiver system. As different scenarios ask for different signal processing, reconfigurable hardware architecture can be beneficial. Optimization of different subsystems via cost functions in terms of dependability and power is important.