NI announces test solution for 802.11ac WLAN

by K C Krishnadas, TechOnline India - January 30, 2012

The NI test platform now supports testing of 802.11ac Tx and Rx wireless local area network (WLAN) chipsets and devices, up to 4x4 MIMO and 256 QAM.

National Instruments has announced early access support for testing next-generation 802.11ac WLAN chipsets and devices. This announcement exemplifies how NI’s modular, software-defined wireless test platform continually expands to address the latest cellular and wireless connectivity standards including 802.11ac.

The IEEE 802.11ac WLAN standard promises more than 3X faster transfer speeds, more reliable coverage and up to 6X more power efficiency than equivalent 802.11n solutions. These benefits have increased the demand on today’s wireless test systems to provide better software flexibility, wider Tx and Rx bandwidth and higher performance signal processing.

NI’s 802.11ac WLAN test solution provides flexibility in testing 802.11ac devices in addition to testing 802.11a/b/g/n devices. It works with a wide range of signal bandwidths including 20, 40, 80 and 80+80 160 MHz for both Tx and Rx for up to 4x4 MIMO configurations.

"By supporting the latest WLAN standard, 802.11ac, we are demonstrating the power of NI’s software-defined, modular test systems. Our modular test platform delivers faster test times and lower total cost of ownership, and by combining it with LabVIEW, we help engineers address the latest emerging wireless standards," said Dr. James Truchard, president, CEO and cofounder of National Instruments

802.11ac Solution Features

• Modulation formats up to 256 QAM
• 4x4 MIMO for both Tx and Rx
• Signal bandwidths including 20, 40, 80 and advanced 80+80 160 MHz
• Optional MAC features such as LDPC, STBC and AMPDU
• Automated test system development using NI LabVIEW, C or Microsoft Visual Studio

NI said is working with several early access partners, including silicon suppliers, OEMs and electronic manufacturing services (EMS) providers to test the latest 802.11ac devices.

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