octoScope’s new superPal instrument for testing performance of Wi-Fi 6 (11ax) and Bluetooth 5/BLE

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The superPal™ test instrument adds IEEE 802.11ax and Bluetooth 5/BLE (Bluetooth low energy) test capabilities to octoScope’s octoBox personal testbed; integrates interference and DFS testing.

superPal instrument for testing Wi-Fi 6 (11ax) and Bluetooth

As part of the octoBox wireless personal testbed, the superPal enables the testing of 8x8 MIMO OTA, OFDMA, mesh, roaming, Wi-Fi/BT coexistence and more. It also incorporates interference generation, including radar interference for DFS testing.

octoScope®, the leader in accurate, repeatable and automated wireless personal testbeds, today announced the new superPal instrument for testing the latest generation of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices and systems.

Wi-Fi 6 is based on the emerging IEEE 802.11ax standard that uses OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access) to maximize the efficiency of Wi-Fi networks. OFDMA enables simultaneous communications of multiple stations (e.g. phones, PCs) with a single Access Point radio thereby multiplying the efficiency of the Wi-Fi channel. Wireless operators, network equipment manufacturers and chipset vendors require a new generation of wireless testbeds to validate Wi-Fi 6 (11ax) devices and networks.

octoScope’s superPal can be used to test the functionality and efficiency of Wi-Fi 6 technology. As part of the octoBox personal testbed, the superPal enables the testing of 8x8 MIMO OTA (over the air), OFDMA, mesh, roaming, Wi-Fi/BT coexistence and more. It also incorporates interference generation, including radar interference for DFS (dynamic frequency selection) testing.

The superPal’s Bluetooth test capabilities cover applications such as BT audio, IoT, sensors (medical, home, security) and HID (human interface device) applications.

The superPal incorporates 2 Wi-Fi radios, 2.4 and 5 GHz, that support all the Wi-Fi protocols: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax and 2 BT radios that support BT 5/BLE/EDR/AFH (enhanced data rate/adaptive frequency hopping).

The superPal is based on one of the most advanced Wi-Fi 6 chipsets on the market. With the access to the chipset’s driver and firmware, you can configure the superPal as a real device or as a powerful test instrument. As a real device, the superPal runs the standard STA (station) and AP (access point) drivers and hence supports the full protocol stack, including PHY, MAC, IP and application layers. As an instrument, the superPal can emulate virtual stations for testing APs under heavy traffic load from multiple stations, perform expert monitoring and analysis, replay captured traffic or operate as a sniffer.

Any of the Wi-Fi or BT radios can operate as sniffers and as octoScope’s synchroSniffer™ probes. The synchroSniffer aggregates captures from multiple Pal or superPal radios synchronized to the octoBox server using Precision Time Protocol (PTP, IEEE 1588v2). The packets captured by each Pal or superPal radio are streamed for viewing in real time while being merged into one PCAP file viewable by Wireshark and other common sniffers. Wi-Fi and BT packets are aggregated by the synchroSniffer in one merged PCAP file. A common timebase on all the synchroSniffer packets ensures that the captures are shown in the correct order for ease of analysis.

The two BT radios in the superPal support testing of key profiles, including A2DP (advanced audio distribution profile), OPP (object push profile), HFP (hands free profile) and HID (human interface device) in Master or Slave modes.

“The superPal is the latest and most powerful test subsystem for our octoBox wireless personal testbed,” said Leigh Chinitz, Ph.D., octoScope’s CTO. “With 4 built in radios, the superPal can function as multiple Wi-Fi stations, APs, BT partner devices, expert monitors or sniffers. The superPal enables hundreds of automated test cases for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi/BT coexistence,” Chinitz added.

About the octoBox personal wireless testbed

Stackable and configurable octoBox personal testbeds are completely isolated from external interference and can be used at an engineer’s office or lab bench.

Each octoBox testbed is controlled by a dedicated Node.js web server accessible via a browser UI for manual control or via REST API for test automation. The server controls the built-in instruments, traffic, test flow and DUT configuration and serves as the PTP and NTP time base for the testbed. Test results are saved in a Mongo.DB database, enabling multiple teams to easily collaborate by sharing test results and test automation scripts.

About octoScope

octoScope is the market leader in isolated, repeatable and automated wireless personal testbeds. Our patented technology redefines the accuracy, stability, economics and value of over-the-air wireless testing. The octoBox testbed is configurable for automated regression test sequences with a range of airlink conditions and interference scenarios. The octoBox testbeds are scalable to support a single DUT or multi-node mesh systems under test. The testbeds feature powerful technologies, such as test traffic generation, motion emulation, interference generation and client emulation, essentially all the elements required to evaluate the behavior and performance of a broad range of wireless devices and systems. octoScope is headquartered in Littleton, Massachusetts.

See what our customers say about the octoBox.

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Kimberly Boschi
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