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Open-MAC is presented in this paper as an innovative reconfigurable platform which overcomes the limitations of state-of-the-art experimental tools to test Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols. The purpose of the Open-MAC platform is to simplify the prototyping process by enabling the implementation of MAC protocols designed in C++, relieving the protocol designer from the hardware and timing aspects, and thus avoiding the need to code optimized C/assembly or Hardware Description Language (HDL). Aiming to reduce the hardware design and implementation costs with respect to custom hardware solutions, the Open-MAC platform has been implemented on an inexpensive off-the-shelf reconfigurable Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)-based development board with a processor embedded in the FPGA.
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