Wi-Fi Alliance now certifying TDLS devices

Aug. 27, 2012
Certified devices form higher-performance links to support video and other demanding applications.

The Wi-Fi Alliance announced that it has officially launched the Wi-Fi Certified TDLS [Tunneled Direct Link Setup] program. TDLS devices are able to automatically create a secure, direct link between them after accessing the Wi-Fi network, removing the need to transmit data through the access point.

Wi-Fi Alliance contends that, in today’s Wi-Fi networks, faced with increased traffic and more demanding applications, TDLS links between devices stand to improve overall network performance, reduce latency caused by heavy AP traffic, and avoid interference, thereby improving the user experience. According to a press release, the new certification program will provide networks and users with the following benefits:

-- Increased performance: TDLS links optimize the performance of applications running over Wi-Fi networks by avoiding delays caused by queuing and congestion through an AP.

-- Ease of use: TDLS links are formed automatically, with no user action required to set them up.

-- Optimized communication: TDLS-linked devices are able to communicate using the highest-performance technology common to them, even if the network’s AP only supports a lower-bandwidth form of Wi-Fi.

-- Highest available security: TDLS links are protected by the highest level of security supported by both devices, even if the network’s AP does not support that level of security.

-- Power saving mechanisms: When battery-operated devices participate in a TDLS link, they can take advantage of advanced mechanisms to save power.

"The new TDLS certification program will improve the user experience with advanced applications such as media streaming, without requiring user intervention," comments Kelly Davis-Felner, marketing director of the Wi-Fi Alliance. "Wi-Fi Certified TDLS is another example of how Wi-Fi technology keeps pace with the evolving demands of the marketplace.”

The certification is only for client devices, such as tablets, handsets, notebooks, and consumer electronics. TDLS-certified devices can operate over Wi-Fi Certified n technology, as well as previous versions of Wi-Fi. It is not necessary to upgrade to a new AP in order to benefit from TDLS features. TDLS-certified devices are suitable for use in both enterprise and consumer networks.

Notably, although TDLS forms a direct link between two client devices, TDLS is not the same as, nor does it replace, Wi-Fi Certified Wi-Fi Direct, says the Alliance. TDLS operates in the background of a Wi-Fi network to optimize performance, while Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices can quickly connect to one another while on the go, even when a Wi-Fi network is unavailable. Many devices will be certified for both solutions and use them in different situations.

The first products to be designated Wi-Fi Certified TDLS, and which form the test suite for the certification program, are as follows: Broadcom's Dual-Band 11n Half MiniPCI; Marvell's Avastar 88W8787 Wireless Chipset; Ralink's 802.11 a/b/g/n Dual Band Station; and Realtek's 2X2 a/b/g/n miniCard Reference Design. More information is available at www.wi-fi.org.

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