PacketHop Introduces 802.11s Mesh Networking AP

— May 02, 2008

New Standard in Wireless Mesh Networking Technology Enables Innovative Applications for Industrial, Enterprise, and Consumer Products

- PacketHop, Inc., an SRI International company and an innovator in instant broadband mesh networking communications systems, today announced the commercial availability of its IEEE Draft 802.11s mesh product. PacketHop's implementation of the upcoming IEEE 802.11s industry standard enables the creation of meshed peer-to-peer communications structures -- as a standalone network or in conjunction with existing access points -- and opens new and strategic market opportunities for OEMs.

802.11s mesh enables a new class of applications for enterprise, consumer, gaming, medical device, telecommunications, robotics, manufacturing, warehousing, outdoor metro, public safety, and embedded deployments. The product is available today as a fully integrated industry standard 802.11 Access Point, or as a component that can be included in application-specific devices and systems that communicate within a standalone peer-to-peer mesh network -- with or without Access Point availability.

"The IEEE 802.11s standard is an important step forward in bringing mesh capability to a vast array of wireless applications," said Craig Mathias, a noted wireless analyst and founder of the advisory firm Farpoint Group. "802.11 Wi-Fi-based mesh technology offers the range, security, flexibility, and throughput that will make it the solution of choice in venues ranging from in-building to first-responder to hotspot and metro-scale deployments."

PacketHop is bringing 802.11s technology to market in advance of the formal standard (expected in 2009) to address today's market needs. PacketHop's current full compliance with the existing IEEE Draft, and its ongoing support for its features, assure customers of future compatibility and eventual easy migration to the completed standard when it becomes available. The product implements wireless meshing with the currently available commercial 802.11 hardware chipsets for the 2.4, 5.2-5.8, 5.9, and 4.9 GHz bands. Legacy interoperability with standard 802.11 access points and stations, along with concurrent multi-band and multi-radio operation, is also supported. These capabilities will enable a variety of new commercial and consumer applications.

"One of the many potential key market opportunities for 802.11s is its ability to create a standards-based wireless 'multimedia intranet' for in-home consumer devices that shares and routes multimedia data without burdening the home router," said Roberta Wiggins, research fellow at The Yankee Group. "While this intranet connects to the main home router for broader connectivity, the router is more effectively focused on performing other high-bandwidth tasks such as online gaming or video downloads. And, since many consumer devices already have built-in WiFi, the 802.11s software enables a quicker product transition path."

Product Details

PacketHop's 802.11s mesh functionality is implemented in a hardware-independent form that is capable of supporting a variety of standard WLAN chipsets (a/b/g as well as n). In addition to the standard mesh point, mesh access points, and mesh portal functionality, the implementation takes advantage of PacketHop's patent-pending ability to support simultaneous connectivity within the mesh and to standard 802.11 Access Points as a standard 802.11 station (STA) using a single network radio interface. The mesh support is designed with a small footprint which makes it suitable for handheld and consumer electronics devices, as well as throughput and scalability needed by enterprise and metro systems. Mesh security functionality supports enterprise-grade AAA server integration with 802.1x EAP and RADIUS.

The access point functionality is provided through integration with both commercial and open source platforms. This enables the OEM customer to select the best support, pricing, and performance level suitable for their target market. This approach results in a highly modular and scalable architecture which supports thin and thick access points, as well as advanced features such as high quality of service (QoS), advanced security, multiple-SSID, WPA2, and WMM. The modular architecture has been designed to ease enhancements for supporting Layer 2 mobility.

"Our 802.11s product capitalizes on PacketHop's heritage as a leader in developing mesh-based WiFi communications systems and technology," said David Gurevich, PacketHop's vice president of engineering. "We have already seen strong interest across a variety of industries."

About PacketHop

PacketHop is the leader in innovative broadband mesh network communications systems and an SRI International company. PacketHop's products deliver the ability to create and implement industry-standard and compliant mesh networks that securely operate with or without access points. PacketHop's technology and products are covered by more than 20 issued and pending patent applications. For more information on PacketHop, please visit: www.packethop.com.

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