New Signal Analysis Package Speeds Designers' Work On Emerging 802.11a WLAN Products

8/27/2002 - Tektronix, an innovator of test, measurement and monitoring solutions for mobile equipment manufacturers and operators, announced a new test capability to speed the design and development of wireless local area network (WLAN) products complying with the emerging IEEE 802.11a standard.

The 802.11a WLAN standard will support higher data bandwidth and better interference rejection than its predecessor, 802.11b. Products based on the new standard are expected to dramatically accelerate the demand for WLAN installations in businesses, homes and public access "hot spots," such as airports and hotels. Equipment makers are racing to bring 802.11a-compliant products to market, and the need for efficient design and troubleshooting tools is urgent. Tektronix' new WCA11A Signal Analysis Software package brings unique faultfinding features and test automation to the Tektronix WCA380 Wireless Communications Analyzer, forming an efficient, optimized solution for 802.11a development.

"Tektronix is committed to enabling new, emerging wireless technologies such as 802.11a, which are poised to make a tremendous impact on the market," said Mark Kulper, General Manager, Wireless Product Line, Tektronix, Inc. "The new WCA11A package allows designers to solve tough troubleshooting and characterization problems rapidly, minimizing both time-to-market and development cost of new 802.11a-compliant products."

WCA11A Provides Key Features for Speeding 802.11a Development
The WCA380/WCA11A combination is the only available 802.11a solution that has frequency-mask triggering capability. This feature helps designers quickly find and characterize transient signals, a key step in evaluating new 802.11a WLAN elements. Frequency-mask triggering permits the user to set multiple frequency-dependent trigger thresholds, admitting chosen frequency bands while "masking" others. This causes the WCA380 to distinguish (and capture) transient events, such as turn-on spikes or interference from nearby transmitters, when they cross pre-defined amplitude threshold. The frequency mask trigger is a timesaver because it detects individual aberrant events and provides a time-stamped record, instead of a mass of uncollated data for the engineer to sort out manually.

The WCA11A software suite of measurements includes the industry's only fully automated Frequency Spectrum Mask test. The software controls the WCA380 as it acquires the 802.11a transmission. It then evaluates this stored data, automatically checking the signal for conformance with 802.11a frequency mask standards. Using this same process, the software can also run a fully automated search for spurious frequencies up to 8 GHz-a requirement for products aimed at certain international markets. These and the other pre-compliance tests give designers confidence that their new products will pass final compliance tests.

Innovative Analysis Software Teams With Signal Analyzer to Speed Troubleshooting
The new WCA11A Signal Analysis Software package is a companion to Tektronix' proven WCA380 Communications Signal Analyzer. The application resides on an external PC connected to the instrument's built-in Ethernet port. This pairing of measurement hardware and software provides complete analysis of 802.11a transmissions in the time, frequency and modulation domains. The software configures the analyzer, controls the measurement and stores the results on a local hard disk for analysis. The package carries out almost 20 different modulation and power measurements automatically, freeing designers from the chore of learning complex measurement procedures.

About Tektronix (
Tektronix, Inc. is a test, measurement, and monitoring company providing measurement solutions to the communications, computer, and semiconductor industries worldwide. With more than 55 years of experience, Tektronix enables its customers to design, build, deploy, and manage next-generation global communications networks and advanced technologies. Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Tektronix has operations in more than 20 countries worldwide.

Tektronix is a registered trademark of Tektronix, Inc.

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