NI offers early access support for 802.11ac WLAN testing

26 January 2012

National Instruments Corporation (UK) Ltdvisit website


National Instruments is announcing early access support for testing next-generation 802.11ac WLAN chipsets and devices, reflecting how NI's modular, software-defined wireless test platform continually expands to address cellular and wireless connectivity standards including 802.11ac.

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. The NI 802.11ac test system integrates with NI LabVIEW design software to increase test throughput while decreasing system cost.

The IEEE 802.11ac WLAN standard promises more than three times faster transfer speeds, more reliable coverage and up to six times more power efficiency than equivalent 802.11n systems. 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 system 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 160MHz for both Tx and Rx for up to 4x4 MIMO configurations.

Dr James Truchard, President, CEO and Cofounder of National Instruments, says: "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."

Features include:

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

NI is working with several early access partners, including silicon suppliers, OEMs and electronic manufacturing services (EMS) providers, to test the 802.11ac devices. To learn more about NI's 802.11ac test solution, go to

National Instruments Corporation (UK) Ltdvisit website
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