[Beowulf] Wireless Channel Bonding

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Fri Dec 19 14:17:42 EST 2003

At 10:03 AM 12/19/2003 -0700, sal10 at utah.edu wrote:
>I am working on a project to create a wireless network that uses several
>802.11 channels in an attempt to increase data throughput.  The network would
>link 2 computers and each computer would have 2 wireless cards.  Does anyone
>know if this can be done the same way as Ethernet channel bonding?   If 
>has any ideas, let me know. In addition, if anyone is aware of sources of
>information about wireless channel bonding, please let me know.

I've been looking into something quite similar, and, superficially at 
least, it should be possible, although clunky..

Here's one technique that will almost certainly work:

Two wired interfaces in the machine
Each interface is connected to a wireless bridge (something like the 
LinkSys WET11)
The two WETs are configured for different, non-overlapping, RF channels 
(1,6,11 for 802.11b)
As far as the machine is concerned, it's just like having two parallel wires.

Bear in mind that 802.11 is a half duplex medium!  Any one node can either 
be transmitting or receiving  but not both.  Think old style Coax Ethernet.

I see no philosophical reason why one couldn't, for instance, plug in 
multiple PCI based wireless cards. To the computer they just look like 
network interfaces.  The problem you might face is the lack of drivers for 
the high performance 802.11a or 802.11g PCI cards.

If someone can confirm that, for instance, the LinkSys WMP55AG works with 
Linux, particularly in connection with a VIA Mini-ITX motherboard, I'd be 
real happy to hear about it.

James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Telecommunications Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875

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