Technology from Trapeze gets a new life at Juniper

By Sean Michael Kerner

November 22, 2011

Juniper Networks expands its WLAN portfolio with the new WLA532 access point.

The WLA532 is a three-stream 802.11n WLAN access point that is targeted at high-density environments that handle time-sensitive media application flows.

"We see this as the premium access point in our indoor portfolio," said Steve Troyer, vice president, wireless product management at Juniper Networks.

The WLAN 532 is an expansion of a portfolio of wireless solutions that had originally been developed by Trapeze Networks. Juniper jumped into the WLAN market a year ago with the acquisition of Wi-Fi vendor Trapeze for $152 million.

Troyer explained to InternetNews.com that the WLAN532 is a 3x3 MIMO access point. He noted that there are three spatial streams with each stream delivering 150 megabits per second maximum throughput. On a per-radio basis, a three-stream AP offers 450 Mbps, and the WLAN532 is a two-radio AP, providing 900 Mbps of throughput.

Juniper is leveraging silicon from Wi-Fi chip vendor Atheros as part of the solution. Atheros was recently acquired by Qualcomm for $3.1 billion. Other vendors include HP, which also has an Atheros chipset based 900 Mbps WLAN access point.

Going beyond just the Atheros chipset, Troyer noted that Juniper has spectrum-planning capabilities in its solution. He explained that in conjunction with Juniper's management application, an enterprise can use the WLAN532's spectrum sensing capabilities to identify areas of possible interference to plan an implementation design.

In terms of how the Trapeze product line has evolved under Juniper, Troyer explained that new resources have been added on the hardware design side. With the WLAN 532 there has been some RF optimization around the antenna design that delivers better performance.

"In a three-stream radio you typically see better performance in 2.4 Ghz than in 5 Ghz," Troyer said. "Through some of the antenna optimizations, we've been able to increase the 5 Ghz performance and provide greater overall throughput as a result."

The physical hardware box has also been optimized under Juniper's direction.

"Aesthetically, it's also a compact form factor," Troyer said. "Not only does it provide better performance, we can also pack in more performance for the dollar."

Troyer said that the company plans to continue to innovate with things like 802.11ac, which will provide Gigabit capability at the access point level.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.



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