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Press Release

 Azimuth systems First to provide Platform For 802.11n
Functional Testing

Solution Enables Wi-Fi Manufacturers to Test Interoperability,
Performanceand Backward Compatibility

ACTON, MA – May 31, 2006 – Azimuth Systems Inc., the leading provider of Wi-Fi® engineering test equipment, today announced a solution that enables Wi-Fi vendors to test their draft 802.11n-based products for interoperability, performance, conformance and backward compatibility. The Azimuth MIMO Functional Test solution is the industry’s first functional test equipment for the draft-802.11n specification and is built on Azimuth’s existing W-Series platform.

802.11n, the industry’s next mainstream Wi-Fi technology standard, enables new bandwidth-intensive applications at greater distances with improved reliability. 802.11n products will also expand the capabilities of Wi-Fi platforms and applications already in widespread use. While the specification is still in the draft phase, vendors are currently testing and, in some cases, introducing products based on the early 802.11n specification.

“802.11n technology will eventually push the industry past a billion Wi-Fi nodes,” said Jeff Abramowitz, vice president of marketing at Azimuth Systems. “Maximizing the performance of this next generation of products will require new testing methodologies. The new MIMO Functional Test solution and the existing Azimuth ACE™ channel emulator enable vendors to bring interoperable, high performance products to market more quickly.”

Azimuth’s MIMO Functional Test solution addresses three key areas: interoperability between and among Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) products; performance, including maximum throughput; and backward compatibility to PCs, phones, access points and other legacy devices already in use.

The Azimuth MIMO Functional Test solution enables vendors to test:

Maximum MIMO Throughput Performance: the maximum throughput rate of a client and access point. This provides a benchmark for interoperability and backward compatibility tests. MIMO Interoperability: the ability of a client or access point to work with other MIMO-based products, providing an understanding of the functional and performance differences between single-vendor and mixed-vendor configurations. Backward Compatibility: the ability of a new product to operate with legacy IEEE 802.11 a/b/g devices and to assess the performance impact in Wi-Fi installed base environments.

The MIMO Functional Test solution runs on Azimuth’s flexible W-Series platform, which allows customers to test the performance, interoperability, certification and conformance of wireless devices. The W-Series leverages Azimuth’s patented SmartMotion™ technology to emulate devices in motion, testMAC™ technology to emulate golden client or infrastructure devices, and Real2Real™ architecture that incorporates system testing of actual products.

The W-Series platform also enables vendors with 802.11n-based products to perform the following important legacy tests in an automated fashion:

Wi-Fi Alliance Pre-Certification: a suite of scripts that implement the latest Wi-Fi Alliance tests for interoperability certification for a/b/g devices. These automated tests help vendors reduce pre-certification test time from days to hours with complete repeatability. Legacy Compliance: the ability of the device to strictly comply with existing IEEE 802.11 a/b/g standards.

Wi-Fi Industry Technology Leaders Test MIMO with Azimuth

In the wireless LAN industry, the Wi-Fi Alliance defines interoperability tests based on IEEE 802.11 specifications and grants the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ logo to products that pass their tests. As part of the design process, leading vendors of 802.11n-based products must rigorously test not just performance but also the interoperability and backward compatibility of their products toward eventual Wi-Fi Alliance certification.

“It’s not enough for Atheros XSPAN™ solutions to provide great performance with the emerging 802.11n standard,” said Bill McFarland, Chief Technology Office of Atheros Communications. “To assure our customers’ market success, our technology also interoperates with competing draft 11n solutions and supports legacy WLAN devices. We applaud the availability of Azimuth’s new MIMO testing solutions to accurately assess interoperation across vendors and products.”

“IEEE 802.11n technology opens the door for interoperable products that have advanced Wi-Fi capabilities, such as the delivery of video over Wi-Fi,” said Bill Bunch, Director of Product Management, Broadcom Corporation. “Equipment such as Azimuth’s MIMO Functional Test solution plays an important role in ensuring that our Intensi-fi™ products meet stringent performance and interoperability requirements.”

Additional Azimuth MIMO Product Offerings

Azimuth’s ACE 400NB is the industry’s first MIMO channel emulator for testing next-generation Wi-Fi products. The ACE emulates multipath and executes the TGn models which enables vendors to evaluate product performance across a large number of emulated “real world” environments. Azimuth’s RadioProof™ enclosures are used with both the W-Series and the ACE platforms to provide complete radio frequency (RF) isolation and enable repeatable testing of MIMO or SISO products. In addition, Azimuth’s software architecture is common across all of Azimuth testing platforms, and the STUDIO™ software database manager is particularly useful for sharing Azimuth test data across functional groups, geographies or between suppliers and vendors.


Some existing customers are already using their W-Series platforms to run the MIMO Functional Test solution. New customers may purchase a W-Series bundle specific to running these tests and availability of the bundle is immediate. Fully automated versions of the basic functional test plans will ship in Q3.

About Azimuth Systems

Azimuth Systems is a leading provider of wireless data communications test solutions. Azimuth’s products are used by more than 80 of the world’s leading wireless semiconductor, system vendors and service providers to speed time-to-market and improve wireless product quality. Azimuth’s standardized test solutions enable research, development, QA and marketing engineers to test the performance, conformance and certification of wireless devices and networks supporting data, voice and video applications. The company is based in Acton, Massachusetts and is backed by prestigious investors including Kodiak Venture Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners. Azimuth may be contacted at (978) 263-6610 or at www.azimuthsystems.com.

Azimuth® is a registered trademark of Azimuth Systems and SmartMotion™, RadioProof™ , TestMAC™, STUDIO™, Real2Real™ and ACE™ are trademarks of Azimuth Systems. Wi-Fi® and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ are trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 

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