Littleton, MA, December 6, 2016 – octoScope introduces Pal-2 device to test the latest wave 2 Wi-Fi products. Pal-2 functions as a client or access point (AP) partner device for tests such as throughput, forwarding rate, roaming, mesh/IoT, band steering and other tests. It can also emulate up to 32 virtual clients to test a router’s capacity and forwarding rate.
With support for 4x4 MIMO (multiple input multiple output) and 160 MHz channels, Pal-2 achieves over 1 Gbps of MIMO-OTA (MIMO over the air) throughput and can measure MU-MIMO (multi-user MIMO) and beamforming performance.
Pal-2 is the latest octoScope addition to its octoBox wireless testbed being used by the Wi-Fi, LTE and IoT (internet of things) industries. Pal-2 complements octoScope’s Pal-1, a dual-band wave 1 test partner supporting 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with up to 3x3 MIMO and 80 MHz channels. Pal-2 supports 802.11 standards in the 5 GHz band with up to 4x4 MIMO and 160 MHz channels. Pal-1 and Pal-2 can be purchased as a set.
For MIMO OTA throughput measurements, the Pal comes configured with traffic endpoints, including iperf2, iperf3, IxChariot and AT4-Agent. It also runs octoScope’s multiPerf™ to measure aggregate throughput of multiple devices, including MU-MIMO throughput.
For testing a router’s forwarding rate, association capacity and multi-station throughput, the Pal supports emulation of up to 32 virtual stations, vSTA™. Each vSTA can run its own TCP/UDP/IP session, for example iperf.
The Pal can replay captured traffic, similarly to octoScope’s iGen interference generator, thereby creating controlled real-life conditions that emulate many Wi-Fi stations and neighboring networks, keeping the wireless testbed compact and affordable.
“While the ideal MIMO environment of the octoBox can demonstrate peak throughput of over 1 Gbps, in the real world maintaining adequate performance and excellent customer experience can be challenging. The Pal’s test results will assure service providers and consumer electronics vendors that their service and devices will work in densely populated neighborhoods and office buildings,” states Chris Albano, Vice President of Business Development for octoScope. Albano adds: “A Wi-Fi network and end user’s devices can be in-range of 30 or more neighboring Wi-Fi networks interfering with one another. This creates a need for Wi-Fi networks to automatically select a channel with the least harmful interference or to optimize band-steering. The Pal is an easy-to-use and highly accurate tool for verifying that the latest Wi-Fi products can deliver robust performance even in today’s congested operating environments.”
The Pal can function as a real-time monitor to help engineers optimize adaptation behavior of modern Wi-Fi systems, for example data rate, channel or MIMO mode adaptation and band-steering.
“Band steering is a powerful adaptation technique used by modern Wi-Fi infrastructure devices to optimize throughput in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands,” said Craig Mathias, a Principal with the wireless and mobile advisory firm Farpoint Group. “octoScope’s Pal and iGen test instruments feature the ability to generate both traffic and interference in both Wi-Fi bands while analyzing resulting device behavior, enabling operators deploying Wi-Fi services to create complex test scenarios that validate and optimize throughput, MU-MIMO and beamforming. The required measurements must be performed across a broad range of simulated real-world impairments – exactly where octoScope’s Pal products truly shine,” he adds.
To test band steering, the Pal can emulate slow legacy devices and can be made to slow down or speed up its data rate under software control. For example, the Pal can function as a typical 2x2 MIMO smartphone or as a legacy 802.11a/b/g/n device.
Based on the popular 802.11ac chipsets, but with fine controls at the silicon firmware level, typically unavailable to equipment vendors or service providers, the Pal can function as a real device or as a precision test instrument.
To test receiver sensitivity, it can operate at a fixed modulation coding scheme (MCS).
To test device operation in the presence various types of interference, it can generate traffic at any standard WMM (wireless multi-media) priority and can even disable the CSMA-CA back-off mechanism to test operation in the presence of aggressive broadband interference.
“With fast-proliferating wireless services, including unlicensed LTE and IoT, engineers must ensure that maximum throughput is achieved under all airlink conditions,” states Fanny Mlinarsky, President of octoScope. “Pal-2 added to the octoBox testbed enables engineers to test the entire range of throughput performance including the highest throughput under ideal conditions and real-world throughput in the presence of impairments such as interference, path loss, multipath and motion,” she adds.
octoBox is being used by wireless operators, device manufacturers and chipset vendors to test Wi-Fi, LTE, ZigBee, Bluetooth and other wireless technologies. octoBox is an accurate and automated testbed for validating wireless devices and systems. With its complete isolation and consistent controllable test environment in labs around the world, the octoBox solution is highly-praised by its diverse users.
octoScope is the market leader in accurate and repeatable automated wireless testbeds. Our patented technology redefines the accuracy, stability, economics and value of over-the-air wireless testing.