A Boston-area startup has developed a WLAN chip set that increases the capacity of access points by allowing them to operate on multiple channels simultaneously.
Engim Inc. this week will introduce the EN-3000, a chip set that differs from the competition by mitigating radio interference in 802.11b, 802.11a and 802.11g wireless LANs.
These networks support multiple channels: 802.11b and 802.11g each run on three channels in the 2.5GHz band, and 802.11a gets 14 channels in the 5GHz band. But most chip sets on the market today are limited to operating on a single channel at a time because of interference problems inherent in operating in adjacent channels.
Engim solved this problem by using Wideband Spectral Processing, said officials at the Acton, Mass., company. Access points that use the technology wont have to be placed 300 feet apart like other APs, officials said.
The chip set stays aware of the activity on all channels, and it detects and filters noise on each channel band so that the AP can support operation on multiple channels.
Analysts say the company is on target.
"Right now, weve got three 300-foot radius circles that we can cover with 11b access points without getting co-channel interference," said Russ Craig, an analyst at Aberdeen Group, in Boston.
The chip set comes in various configurations, ranging from three to nine chips. The simplest chip set supports data transfer rates up to 162M bps in a single frequency band. The most complex supports up to 486M bps of total bandwidth and runs across 802.11a, 802.11b and the draft standard of 802.11g.
Volume production is expected next month. The company charges $100,000 for a developers kit. Company officials declined to name licensees but said there are three so far. APs that use the chip set wont likely appear before next year, officials said.