Get ready for 'application-aware' 802.11ac Wi-Fi

May 10, 2013
New 802.11ac chip simultaneously delivers "gigabit Wi-Fi" while running application identification software for security and core network offload in next-gen WLAN products.

At Interop Las Vegas 2013 (May 6-10), Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) demonstrated a device reference platform based on its new silicon for 802.11ac Wi-Fi enterprise access points. Based on Freescale's QorIQ communications processor, the company says its P1020 reference platform simultaneously delivers “gigabit Wi-Fi” performance while running application identification software required for security and core network offload in next-generation wireless local area network (WLAN) products.

“Freescale’s 802.11ac WLAN reference platform delivers the processing headroom to support real-world applications while driving impressive 802.11ac performance,” explains Tareq Bustami, vice president of product management for Freescale’s Digital Networking business.

The company says that its QorIQ communications processors have been selected to power products from eight of the top 10 manufacturers of enterprise wireless access point equipment. The platform runs on symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) Linux leveraging the multicore QorIQ P1020 communications processor, thereby lowering CPU utilization and providing optimal performance for differentiation within application-level software.

Related: What will 802.11ac mean for wireless testing?

Freescale's Bustami continues, “By offloading processing-intensive application identification tasks at the wireless network's edge, the platform helps dramatically reduce centralized 40-Gbps link bottlenecks, thereby enabling optimized and balanced network loading.”

Freescale notes that its QorIQ communications processors are ideal for SoHo, SMB and enterprise 802.11n and 802.11ac applications. The QorIQ P1 processor family, which includes the P1010, P1020, P1022 and P1023 devices, offers extensive integration coupled with power-over-Ethernet-friendly performance per watt for a wide variety of WLAN applications. The chip family offers dual-and single-core versions based on Power Architecture technology for the 400 MHz to 1.2 GHz performance range. The QorIQ P1 family is well-suited for next-generation WLAN access points, offering a wide variety of core, frequency, price and interface options to support the multiple WLAN configurations and differentiated services.

Infonetics Research projects the wireless access space to grow at 12 percent CAGR through 2017. A key WLAN growth driver is the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon, which requires enterprise and service provider networks to manage known users, as well as network guests who may not have the same privileges to access sensitive content. Freescale says the new WLAN reference platform comprehends and addresses these challenges by combining highly advanced 802.11ac radios with Freescale’s new VortiQa application identification software (AIS) and the exceptional processing performance of QorIQ P1020 communications processors. VortiQa AIS detects more than 1,200 applications and is equipped with comprehensive signature distribution infrastructure.

See: Why 802.11ac Wi-Fi throughput may still be insufficient

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