Symbol Technologies announced Nov. 1 at the Mobile Business Expo in Chicago a new switch that, based on its Wi-NG (Wireless Next Generation) architecture, enables users to centrally and simultaneously manage RFID readers along with a Wi-Fi network infrastructure.
Symbols new RFS7000 Radio Frequency Switch in a sense bridges the gap between Wi-Fi, RFID and other radio frequency-based technologies like 802.11n, mesh, voice over wireless LAN and WiMAX, by enabling users to manage wireless voice, data and infrastructure devices all in the same place.
By leveraging Symbols Wi-NG-based architecture that runs on a Linux operating system, the switch provides a layer of separation between the infrastructure, services, application and management tiers.
The RFS700 RF Switch is also designed to evolve as both RFID hardware and Wi-Fi requirements themselves continue to mature. It is 802.11n-ready (in other words, ready for the latest IEEE Wi-Fi standard), and can support up to 256 802.11 a/b/g access ports.
It enables a new switch clustering concept, officials said, that provides redundancy and scalability for more than 2,000 access points.
At the same time, the switch enables Layer 3 roaming without the need for more servers or applications—which in the end means users can roam a pretty fair distance without service interruption.
The switch is integrated with Symbols namesake RF Management software for monitoring and management of wireless devices and an associated wireless network. The RF Management suite comes with a location engine and Wireless Intrusion Protection System so users can deploy applications and track assets, officials said.
"Business needs are driving the convergence of voice, video and data, effectively pushing the new mobile edge from the wired to the wireless touch point, requiring the network to adapt to the changing needs of new mobile devices and applications," said Anthony Bartolo, vice president and general manager of Symbols Wireless Infrastructure and RFID Divisions, in Holtsville, N.Y.
"The RF Switch will provide the platform to integrate and manage current and future mobile devices and wireless technologies."
The RFS7000 RF Switch will be available in the first quarter of 2007.