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Revolutionizing How We Keep Track of Time in Cyber-Physical Systems

A confusing clock.

A $4-million grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation will help five universities develop new clocking technologies.

Credit: Christian Loidl/My Shot

The U.S. National Science Foundation recently awarded a five-year, $4-million grant to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Carnegie Mellon University, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah for the Roseline project, which aims to develop new clocking technologies, synchronization protocols, operating system methods, and control and sensing algorithms.

The grant will help researchers improve the accuracy, efficiency, robustness, and security with which computers maintain knowledge of time and synchronize it with other networked devices in the Internet of Things.

"Through the Roseline project, we will drive cyber-physical systems research with a deeper understanding of time and its trade-offs and advance the state-of-the-art in clocking circuits and platform architectures," says UCLA professor Mani Srivastava, principal investigator on the project.

Most computing systems today have relatively simplistic time management capabilities, which leaves applications dependent on time vulnerable to complex and catastrophic disruptions. The Roseline project will address this problem by re-examining how the knowledge of time is handled across a computing system's hardware and software.

"Roseline will drive accurate timing information deep into the software system," says UCSD professor Rajesh Gupta, a co-principal investigator on the project. "It will enable robust distributed control of smart grids, precise localization of structural faults in bridges, and ultra-low-power wireless sensors."

From National Science Foundation
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