Technology Commercialization

In order to serve the society, transferring technologies to industry and defining standards are also the targets of our research. Here, we list main representative achievements in technology commercialization.

1. High performance Network over Coax

Nowadays, with the rapid development of Internet, the customers are no longer satisfied by traditional service, such as voice telephony, broadcast television and radio. They are increasingly interested in multi-media services which demands more access capabilities, such as 4K/3D high definition multimedia television, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, big data, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Although Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) in China has got remarkable progress, it also costs the telecom operators with heavy CAPEX and OPEX. Due to its advantage in extensive coverage, no new line, forever connection and no RF electromagnetic pollution, coax cable network has been considered as the prefect alternative media for the Gigabit access.

Under the support of several major national scientific research projects since 2005, Peking University and its co-workers has developed a series of cable access communication standards with independent intellectual property rights, which is High performance Network over Coax (HINOC). The coax cable communication has several unique characteristics. The channel response is slowly-varying with high SNR and user’s modem is usually online for a long time. Therefore, HINOC has proposed the distributed channel equalization mechanism design for coax access system. It uses multiple frames for joint estimation, which increases the channel equalization accuracy while keeps the pilot cost low. The performance of channel equalization mechanism is crucial to transmission capability and protocol efficiency of a communication system. As the foundation of HINOC’s PHY layer, distributed channel equalization has been chosen as China's Patent Award. With the support of more fifty Chinese patents and hundreds of technical innovation, HINOC became the first cable access standards of the Next Generation Broadcasting (GY/T 265, GY/T 297). Since March 2014, HINOC has been accepted by ITU-T as a series international standards (J.195, J.196), which marks the first standard output from Chinese cable network industry.

Based on the long-term accumulation of experience in PHY layer technology, Peking University built up a joint coaxial broadband network engineering technology center with Academy of Broadcasting Science, SAPPRFT. The first gigabit access FPGA demo of HINOC was developed in 2014, which was acknowledged as the leading level within the international similar technologies. The technology gained Government guide funding and venture capital to spawn a startup, which developed the first commercial SoC chip HN1000 for gigabit access over coax in 2016. Several authoritative organizations, such as ABS/ABP of SAPPRFT, Jiangsu Cable, Wasu Cable, China Unicom, China Telecom, have evaluated and tested the HN1000 cable access communication equipment. They all agree that the HINOC solution over coax cable can provide the carrier-grade service both in access rate and operation maintenance.

So far, HINOC technology and its SoC HN1000 solutions have been adopted several telecom equipment vendors, such as KTCATV, Jiangsu Yitong. Planned orders of millions of HN1000 chips have been placed. The HINOC cable access equipment has been implemented in many provinces and cities at home and abroad. A whole chain of “technology innovation, patent competition, standardization, chips development and industry applications” has been established. In the future, HINOC technology will reactivate the existing billions of value of coaxial cable networks, and make it become an important part of the national information infrastructure.

2. Satellite Communications

Upholding the principle of independence, self-reliance and self-renovation, the research team of Peking University focuses on the advancement and application of satellite communications. Peking University is dedicated to the innovation, research and development in key technologies of satellite communication systems including the system construction design and signal processing algorithm, and is committed to participate in important national satellite communication network planning and construction. Peking University has established a complete satellite communication’s research, development and productization system. Its research and development achievements have played an important role in the national economic constructions in China.

The detailed research and development achievements of Peking University in satellite communications include:

1) Participated in the research and development of multi-generation satellite communication networks in China, providing from the core center stations to remote stations such as thousands of sets of equipment, which are now widely used in China.

2) In satellite communications, Peking University has finished the whole process from basic technology research to product application industrialization. Peking University has developed two generations of national-level satellite communication networks covering most of the territory in China. The direct economic output of the research and development is beyond 500 million yuan.

3) Won several national-level awards including the first prize for the National Scientific and Technological Progress, Collective and Individual Awards, and the special prize for the Scientific and Technological Progress of the National Defense Commission, Collective and Individual Awards, and so on.

3. 5G Communication System

With the rapid development of Internet, smart phone and Internet of Things, the growing need for data brings about great challenges to the wireless spectrum resources in future 5G cellular networks, which renders the bottleneck in improving the spectral efficiency and network capacity. Consequently, new solutions are urgently needed to revolutionize existing communication system in key technologies, system frameworks and application scenarios. Our team at Peking University focuses on full-duplex and cooperative D2D communications, both consisting of core 5G technologies. At the same time, we also for the first time studied and analyzed the channel modeling and system design problem in 5G vehicle networks based on existing results in conventional cellular networks. In the meantime, we for the first time studied and analyzed the integrated channel modeling and system design in 5G vehicular networks (VANETs). The research outcomes of our team in the aforementioned area are detailed as follows:

1) Theory and technology of cooperative D2D.

a)  We revealed the throughput enhancement brought by cooperative D2D. In order to deal with the high throughput requirement in high user-equipment density areas, we proposed to introduce cooperative D2D by increasing the degrees of freedom in cooperative D2D to solve the resource management and signal processing problem, so as to meet the growing data needs under limited spectrum resources.

b) We established the channel model for cooperative and D2Dcommunications. Compared with traditional communication systems, cooperative D2D experiences unique communication environment and channel characteristics. Considering the above characteristics as well as the concept of regional scatterers, we established for the first time the complete cooperative D2D channel model.

c)  We proposed the transmission and optimization method for cooperative D2D. The mobile terminal layer supports direct D2D communications while leading to more complicated interference problem at the same time. Therefore, in order to realize the effective relay transmission, we analyzed the propagation properties of in the network topology of cooperative D2D, and revealed the effects of the node mobility on the system performance, and proposed 1) a capacity-optimal relay selection algorithm with linear complexity, and 2) a physical layer network security coding scheme that approaches the secrecy capacity.

2) Co-frequency co-time full duplex technology.

a) Pioneering invention of the CCFD technology. In 2006, we pioneered the concept of CCFD and acquired a Chinese patent in 2010. In 2009, our research on CCFD was published at the IEEE VTC conference. In 2010, our team completed the first CCFD hardware system. The research team at Peking University is the pioneer and the first developing team of this technology.

b) Achieved the longest CCFD communication range outdoors. The capability of interference cancellation is the key to CCFD and its performance determines the system's communication quality, such as the communication range. The research team at Peking University achieved the 500 meters’ range outdoors using FD. This result is at the world's leading level. The operating bandwidth of the system is 12.5MHz, the carrier frequency is 1.9GHz, and the self-interference cancellation capability is about 120dB.

c) Developed the first full-duplex networking communication system. Our team at Peking University proposed a new type of cell structure for this problem and used beamforming to coordinate interference. In March 2016, our team developed a CCFD networking system composed of two cell areas in which the signal format used 802.11 physical layer protocol design and the system in 20 meters x20 meters environment successfully achieved two-way video stream.

3)  The study and design of 5G VANETs.

a) Channel measurement and modeling of high-speed mobile environment. Based on channel measurement and modeling, we innovatively proposed dynamic regular-shape geometry-based stochastic modeling, filling a gap in channel modeling theory. Tailoring for vehicular environments, we creatively integrated vehicle mobility flow to the modeling theory, and established the first geometry channel model, which can handle the impact of mobility flow density. This model has been adopted widely. The resultant outcomes include 3 ESI highly cited papers.

b) The design of physical layer scheme based on channel characteristics. We optimized the physical layer design by creatively utilizing the channel characteristics. Specifically, a novel channel-estimation scheme, a carrier-to-carrier interference (ICI) suppression scheme and an index modulation scheme have been proposed. For the index modulation scheme, the differential spatial modulation scheme was proposed for the first time, which solves a significant research challenge and fills the gap. Resultant outcomes include two ESI highly cited papers.

c) The MAC design based on channel prediction. Considering the regularity and predictability of vehicle movement in vehicular networks, the centralized MAC scheme based on channel prediction was proposed, which ensures improved system performance on the premise of a greatly decreased computational complexity. Simulations verify that our new method can increase the overall network throughput by about 30%, which provides a new way of thinking on the design of MAC layer in vehicular networks. Resultant outcomes include an ESI highly cited paper.

Academic impact and value: Based on the aforementioned research areas, we have published more than 100 high-quality journal and conference papers, with over 2000 SCI citations. 10 representative papers have more than 600 SCI citations, and 2000 Google Scholar citations. 10 representative papers were listed among the top 1% ESI highly cited papers in the disciplinary field over the past decade by the United States Web of Science. Two representative papers published within the past two years were listed among the top 0.1% ESI hot papers for the recent two months by the United States Web of Science. One representative paper received the best paper award (Leonard Abraham Award, the first time awarded to an Asian research institute as the first unit since recorded) of IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (a top international journal with the highest impact factor in the field of communications at present). In addition, we have received the best conference paper award at ICC and Globecom, both are flagship conferences in IEEE Communications Society, for 4 times (award rate <0.5%), one best paper award at ITSC, the flagship conference in IEEE Intelligent Transportation Society (award rate <0.5%), one best presentation award at ACM flagship conference Mobihoc (the first time in mainland), and the second prize of the higher education outstanding scientific research achievement award (science and technology) of the ministry of education in the field of natural science, 2015. 

Research outcome transition: At the International 3GPP RAN1 conference, five D2D international proposals (Peking University-Datang Telecom) were adopted by the mobile communication standard (CATT R1-141194, 142077, etc.), and the amount of the proposals submitted to 3GPP relating to a single technology was ranking first among the domestic universities, which provides a great technical support for the international development of the national next generation of mobile communications TD-LTE.

The research team at Peking University has been actively promoting the technology transition of the CCFD. Driven by Peking University and related units, CCFD has become a member of the 5G key technology group. Peking University has submitted eight standardized manuscripts to the technical group and participated in the preparation of technical white book. Up to date, Peking University has achieved 2 million RMB in the intellectual property patent transfer related to CCFD.

In the area of VANET, the channel characterizing and modeling part proposed by our team at Peking University has been adopted by international standards. Our team has also participated in the writing of the 5G white paper 5G Enabler: High Mobility Support as well as co-leaded the wiring of 5G VANET white book.

4. Novel Semiconductor Device and Characterization Methods

Key research achievements on novel semiconductor device and characterization methods in Institute of Microelectronics at Peking University have been transferred to SMIC, China's largest integrated circuit manufacturing company through technology licensing, supporting services and patent sharing. Research groups in the Institute of Microelectronics at Peking University and SMIC have worked jointly to develop intellectual property (IP) modules for the advanced integrated circuit power consumption and reliability for years. Research groups in the Institute of Microelectronics at Peking University have developed T-gate/multi-finger-gate Schottky barrier tunnel transistors, silicon nanowire transistors and other novel semiconductor devices, among which some key techniques have been transferred to SMIC for IP module development. In addition, research groups in the Institute of Microelectronics at Peking University cooperated with SMIC teams on device characterization and modeling and developed RF passive component model (including inductors, transformers and Balun, etc.) and MOS aging model of 65 LL process. All the models have been applied in the PDK in the advanced node in SMIC. Research groups in the Institute of Microelectronics at Peking University involved in the 28nm node technology development of SMIC from the very beginning and made considerable contributions especially in the core technology of high K gate dielectric material and its reliability, which improved the technology performance, optimized the process and shorten the development cycle. In 2015, SMIC also launched a cooperation project with Peking University to carry out research and development of 14 nm node technology.

In services for IC design industry, the Institute of Microelectronics at Peking University launched corresponding collaboration with Cadence (the world's leading company of IC design software and services) and Huawei Hisilicon (the largest integrated circuit design company in China) in 2014 and 2015, respectively, to develop FinFET reliability model and the circuit simulation software at 16nm and below nodes. FinFET technology is recognized as the key solution for integrated circuit at 16nm and below nodes, but it still faces bottleneck problems, such as reliability and accurate prediction model. The IC industry has yet not had well-accepted FinFET reliability model and circuit simulation software. Therefore, Cadence and Huawei Hisilicon entrusted with research groups in the Institute of Microelectronics at Peking University to develop the reliability and circuit models of FinFET. The research achievements have been applied to the Cadence RelXpert reliability simulators and Spectre circuit simulation platform, which was verified by Huawei Hisilicon in their circuit design.

5. Application Server and Cloud Management

As also summarized in the research achievement section, Peking University has proposed the concept “Internetware” and has leaded Internetware research in the past years. The research results around system software supporting Internetware, has been implemented as several systems, including PKUAS and YanCloud.

Peking University developed a product-level application server, called PKUAS. PKUAS has been transferred to the Top 4 JEE (Java Platform Enterprise Edition) products in China, occupying 1/3 China market. The open source version of PKUAS was merged with JOnAS, and has become the flagship project of OW2, one of the biggest open source communities on middleware. Their combination, called Jon2AS, became a Top 3 open-source JEE product that is now at the center of information exchanges between the national administration and the local governments of France, covering 36,000 cities, 100 counties and 26 provinces. This platform has been embedded in core products of various corporations, and applied in different domains, both in China and Europe but also in USA, Brazil, India, etc. It has registered more than 1,000,000 downloads worldwide. The RSA-based management style in PKUAS was adopted by IBM WebSphere and DB2.

The research results of runtime software architecture were transferred as a commercial cloud management product, namely YanCloud, which has been widely applied to manage industrial major virtual machines such as KVM and VMWare. The technology gained venture capital to spawn a startup, whose product has been OEMed as cloud management commodity of Lenovo ThinkCloud and Founder Cloud, and established the enterprise solutions that have been widely applied in more than 40 companies including China Southern Power Grid (one of the two national power grid infrastructure providers in China) and Hainan Airlines (the Top 4 airlines in China). The startup has been acquired with 16 million USD by Digital China, one of the largest software solution companies in China.

The research also leaded to multiple patents owned by Peking University, and these patents gained over 40 million USD Patent Post-Allowance fee from Digital China. The techniques have been widely applied to hundreds of industrial legacy Client/Server, Browser/Server, and App/Server systems covered by the national “Smart City” program in China.

6. Video Compression National Standard and Applications

Video coding standard is the common core technology of the digital video industry. At the turn of the century, China’s industry (mainly DVD and digital TV), encountered foreign patent containment due to using MPEG-2 standard. Because each MPEG-2 standard equipment needs to pay 2.5 US dollars royalties according to the MPEG patent policy. Thus, a large number of DVD companies faced collapse and digital TV industry in China got a heavy strike.

In 2002, China Audio and Video coding Standard (AVS) working group was founded under the leadership of Professor Wen Gao, which consists of more than one hundred members from research institutes and industries. After more than 10 years of efforts, a series of video coding standards with independent intellectual property rights have been published, and AVS has built up a whole chain of “technology innovation, patent competition, standardization, chips development and industry applications”. Hundreds of patents have been filed, which completely reversed the core standards subject to the passive situation. And AVS standards are also internationalized as IEEE standards. So far, AVS has been widely used in the field of digital television in China. CCTV and most of the provincial TV have been using AVS for high-definition television broadcast. As the only digital TV terminal video decoding standard, AVS has entered the tens of thousands of households, and extended to multiple countries. AVS can not only save tens of billions of royalties for China, but also drive China's digital video "from big to strong". It has been a major typical successful case for the implementation of China's intellectual property strategy and standard strategy.

In March 2012, the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) jointly set up "AVS Technology Application Promotion Group", and issued "AVS + technology application implementation guide" to promote the application of AVS+ standard in the satellite, cable, terrestrial digital TV and Internet TV and other fields. By the end of 2015, China Central Television (CCTV) 14 high-definition channels and the country more than 2/3 of the provincial TV has been broadcast with AVS+. In December 2014, the State Press and Publication Administration of Radio and Television and the Ministry of Finance jointly issued "on the implementation of the central radio and television program wireless digital coverage project notice", a total investment of nearly 5 billion to achieve the national 2562 wireless stations digitized, all using AVS coding standards.

In December 2016, after five years of development AVS2 was approved as a national standard for ultra-high-definition video coding. SARFT test shows that AVS2’s coding efficiency is higher than the latest international standard HEVC / H.265. Especially for surveillance video coding, AVS2 can achieve two times coding efficiency improvement over HEVC/H.265, which is very important for smart city applications.