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Startup rolls test gear for wireless LANS

Posted: 12 Nov 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:azimuth systems? test gear suite? wlan system? w-series?

Touting scalability, repeatability and analysis, Azimuth Systems Inc. will launch a test gear suite that it claims will fill the need for real-world test and validation of WLAN systems in a laboratory.

With patents related to RF isolation, analysis software and the general implementation scheme, the company also stresses the automated nature of those tests with a view toward reducing the overall setup and test time from days to minutes, while enabling more robust test.

"There's a huge hole out there when it comes to 802.11 test and validation equipment," said Graham Celine, VP of marketing at Azimuth. "The key is security for the enterprise, but testing for that is complex."

Celine acknowledged that many WLAN switch startups do implement test schemes already, though he added, "Those tools are purely analyzers; they test for good/bad installations. In the real world, you need to validate before you ship to the user."

But even those that attempt real-world Wi-Fi test in a laboratory before sending equipment to the user have it wrong, said Celine. "They do it in large screened rooms and, therefore, lack scalability. Or, they do it in empty office spaces over open air, where they lack repeatability." In extreme cases, he said, they try to perform test on moving carts to simulate mobility. There, he said, the test is neither scalable nor repeatable.

The answer, according to Celine, is the W-Series chassis-based test system with a central test manager. "The key lies in Layer 1 [physical layer] isolation of each network device," he said, "supported by advanced software and our virtual-positioning technology that allows us to simulate mobility."

Available now, pricing starts at $44,200 for a basic device test setup, rising to $113,300 for a small network testbench.

- Patrick Mannion

EE Times

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