Integrating QUIC into the Contiki OS

QUIC is a new UDP-based, connection-oriented, transport-layer protocol that was originally developed by Google in 2012 and was recently standardised by the IETF as RFC 9000. QUIC improves the performance of connection-oriented Web applications by establishing a number of multiplexed connections between two endpoints using UDP (i.e., it allows multiple streams of data to reach all the endpoints independently), and by providing reliable communication through mechanisms such as flow control, congestion control, and loss detection. QUIC is nearly equivalent to TCP, but with a much-reduced latency and connection overhead: this makes it the protocol of choice for HTTP/3.

Another interesting feature of QUIC is that it does not identify a connection with a 4-tuple as TCP does (i.e., Source IP, Source Port, Dest IP, Dest Port), but rather defines connection identifiers that are independent from IP addresses and port numbers. Thanks to this, QUIC can hold a connection when a client or a server changes IP address, supporting handover as explored in this work. Lars Eggert has recently evaluated the feasibility of deploying QUIC on resource-constrained IoT devices, summarizing his results in a paper and publishing the Quant QUIC stack open-source on GitHub. Quant supports the Particle and RIOT IoT stacks, and is therefore suitable for constrained embedded systems, which are also targeted by the popular Contiki and Contiki-NG operating systems. We aim to use Quant as a starting point and enable support for QUIC also in Contiki or Contiki-NG..

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Student Target Groups:

  • Students of ICE/Telematics;
  • Students of Computer Science;
  • Students of Electrical Engineering.

Thesis Type:

  • Master Project / Master Thesis

Goal and Tasks:

  • Within this context, you can explore several directions and perform different tasks, such as:
  • Getting familiar with the QUIC protocol, its features, and its implementations (especially the Quant stack);
  • Porting Quant to Contiki or Contiki-NG, and enable support for QUIC in resource-constrained IoT platforms such as the TI CC2650 or the Nordic Semiconductor nRF52;
  • Validating the functionality of the implementation and evaluating the memory footprint and performance in selected use cases.

Recommended Prior Knowledge:

  • Solid knowledge of networking fundamentals and embedded systems;
  • Excellent C programming skills;
  • Experience with embedded platforms and Linux systems is of great advantage;
  • Ideally, successful completion of the Embedded Internet (VU/LU) course.


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