802.11ax on the new 6GHz spectrum or Wi-Fi 6E comes alongside the latest 802.11ax standard and means devices can now operate on 6GHz band in addition to the existing 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Spirent TestCenter WLAN C50 High Radio Count (HRC) Wi-Fi 6E Appliance is a compact 3U appliance with a server-grade high performance process engine and rich interfaces. It combines Spirent’s IEEE 802.11ax tri-band 2.4GHz/5GHz/6GHz HRC interface cards (NICs) with Spirent’s 4-port IEEE 802.3bz BASE-T 100Mbps/1Gbps/2.5Gbps/5Gbps/10Gbps Ethernet cards on a copper interface. There are twenty (20) 802.11ax tri-band 2.4GHz/5GHz/6GHz client radios integrated with the appliance. This test instrument has the industry’s highest integration in terms of radio counts within a single small appliance to realistically emulate multiple 802.11ax clients for Wi-Fi 6/6E support. This enables a new era of testing solutions for 802.11ax features and performance with Spirent’s protocols, testing methodologies, automation capability, intelligent data mining, and testing results and report generation.
Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing Access (OFDMA) introduced in 802.11ax is a large step beyond OFDM, which is used by previous generation 802.11 standards. Testing tools and testing methodologies must be developed to offer the industry comprehensive testing strategies to cover the increased test cases due to new features in 802.11ax, without a significant increase in investment and test time. This development strategy must include a wide range of testing scenarios for the new 802.11ax features, such as OFDMA and Multi-User (MU) Multi-Input and Multi-Output (MIMO) in scale and performance. This requires emulating multiple 802.11ax clients, each with independent transmitters (TX) and receivers (RX) for testing. Each radio interface in the C50 appliance is operated independently with a dedicated process engine for control and data plane operation. Utilizing both the Ethernet and multiple WLAN cards installed in the appliance, users can emulate many realistic 802.11ax clients with traffic generation and analysis for both functional and performance testing.