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New CMMB-UW EE Center on Satellite Multimedia and Connected Vehicles launches

September 29, 2017

CMMB Vision Vice-Chairman and CTO Hui Liu, UW EE Professor and Chair Radha Poovendran, Dean Michael Bragg and CMMB Vision President and CEO Charles Wong

The CMMB Vision-UW EE Center on Satellite Multimedia and Connected Vehicles was created to foster the research to advance satellite networking, multimedia, smart connected vehicles and artificial intelligence/machine learning technologies. CMMB Vision (CMMB) awarded the UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering a $1.5 million gift to build the new research center. The partnership forges cutting-edge solutions that enable the delivery of information to people around the world at unprecedented speed, scale, and low cost, building the next-generation of smart cars and ubiquitous connectivity.

“We picked a vehicle, because it is simply a smart phone on wheels,” CMMB President and CEO Charles Wong said. “It is a mobile device in itself. It allows for the most mobility and ubiquity, which cannot be accommodated by the existing cellular network.”

As self-driving cars become more of a reality, CMMB focuses on delivering data to the vehicles with unprecedented speed, scale, low-cost and universal connectivity. The company uses next-generation satellite and broadcast technologies to deliver the broadband data, multimedia data and big data to vehicles and mobile devices. The company focuses on delivering this data with unprecedented speed, scale, low-cost and universal connectivity.

Professor Sumit Roy

“We’ve expanded satellite broadcasting from radio to video and Internet data,” Mr. Wong said. “Our technology is global. We have two satellites – one over Asia and one over the Middle East and Africa. From Asia to Africa, we cover 6 billion people and over 143 countries.”

Many developing nations do not have the infrastructure to support current broadcasting technologies. According to Mr. Wong, mobile devices can become that less expensive option to connect resource-poor communities.

“The whole world can eventually be quite well connected,” Mr. Wong said. “One of the most important factors that this technology supports in developing nations is education. It allows for students to have access to teaching resources.“

The center launches at a time when smart cities research is flourishing. In Fall 2015, UW EE signed a “Smart Cities” agreement with leaders from the School of Electrical Information and Electrical Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU). The agreement formalized the commitment of both universities to work together on smart cities research, teaching and collaboration. Within the past year, UW EE researchers have promoted the development of smart cities around the country through the development of smart posters and clothing, the redesign of spectrum wireless usage and the tackling of urban mobility challenges in the Cities of Seattle and Nashville.

Professor Jenq-Neng Hwang

“UW EE is dedicated to the advancement of smart cities,” UW EE Professor and Chair Radha Poovendran said. “This partnership with CMMB further advances this mission and will foster impact on a global level.”

Professor Sumit Roy serves as the Executive Director for the CMMB-UW EE Center and also leads the Satellite Networking thrust. A second thrust on Multimedia Vehicular Systems is also underway under the direction of Prof. Jenq-Neng Hwang. Dr. Guanbin Xing, a UW EE alum, has been appointed as a Research Scientist to support the centers R&D missions.