New Product/Technology Roundup

Not everyone can make it to shows like Networld+Interop and Comdex 2002 in
Atlanta or the Intel Developer’s Conference in San Jose. If you’re curious what
WLAN technology has been announced there, here’s some of the week’s news in
brief.

Security

Fortress Technologies has released
the $6495 AF6500 wireless security gateway, part of the company’s AirFortress
family of products for device and user authentication. The product implements
security at OSI Layer 2, decreasing hacking opportunities, and uses wireless
Link Layer Security (wLLS) and AES encryption. Secure client software is available
for various flavors of Windows (even CE and PocketPC) plus DOS and Palm OS.

ReefEdge Connect System 3.0 is the latest
security/management solution from the company of the same name. It now supports
NetLink Wireless Telephones from SpectraLink using the ReefEdge Mobile Domain
architecture to mange wireless telephony as well as the rest of the wireless
data network. It uses "Mobile Masquerading" so the phones work with
any access point, even those on a different subnet.

ReefEdge has also announced the formation of a WLAN Security Interoperability
Program to certify third party identification, authentication, IPsec encryption
and other products for integration with ReefEdge systems. RSA Security, Interlink
Networks, Funk Software, Certicom, and SSH Communications Security have all
signed on so far.

Site Surveys

Anyone looking to analyze a wireless network based on 802.11a now has some
help — WildPackets has
released upgrades to AiroPeek ($1495) and AiroPeek NX ($3495) to support 11a,
as well as VoIP, 152-bit WEP, and packet decoding options such as EAP.

Finisar Corporation’s Surveyor Wireless
Version 1.1 may be what you need to track down rogue access points and MAC stations
before (or after) you launch an office WLAN. The tool works on a Windows 2000/XP
system on networks from Cisco, Symbol, ORiNOCO, 3Com, and others, analyzing
packets and traffic from the radio frequency signal (PHY) layer to the application
layer. It features multi-channel analysis and real-time monitoring alarms so
you’ll know when the rogue goes live.

Chip Sets

Intel has released new information about
its upcoming mobile PC platform, codenamed Banias, that will incorporate 802.11a/b
dual-band wireless in the microarchitecture. The chip is geared toward low energy,
light weight and, obviously, wireless connectivity. The wireless throughput
speed it will support is 54Mbps and 11Mbps — no turbo modes. A software utility
called PROSet will let users plug into a high-speed wired network and maintain
the connection they had while wireless, without needing to restart. Banias will
also include technology from Silicon Wave to improve simultaneous use of 802.11b
and Bluetooth 1.1, since they both share the 2.4GHz band. Products running on
Banias will not ship until 2003.

Broadcom announced that its AirForce
BCM4702 Network Processor integrated circuit (IC) will support 802.11a, 802.11b
and a/b combos, as well as 802.11g when available. The chip’s reference design
(BCM94702AP) for access points uses Broadcom’s AirForce OneDriver software to
support the multiple standards on one driver (thus the name).

ParkerVision’s Direct2Data Division announced
802.11a/b/g-based PV-2000 basband/MAC chips that will bring dual-band/dual-mode
support. They’ll work along with D2D’s existing PV-1000 line of transmitter/receivers.
The PV-2000 won’t be available until the second half of 2003, however, but customer
sampling should begin in a few months.

Maxim Integrated Products introduced
what is says is the industry’s smallest Silicon Germanium (SiGe)-based power
amplifier (PA) chip designed for 802.11b. The MAX2247 PA is only 1.5mm x 2mm
in size, making it just right for use in client cards for miniPCI, Compact Flash,
or SD cards. It operates over a 2.7V to 4.2V supply range and has an on-chip
shutdown feature to reduce current as needed. A full reference design evaluation
kit is available to potential customers.

Products

Symbol wants to turn enterprise WLAN installs
around by taking away access points and replacing them with stripped down access
"ports" that would be centrally managed by another piece of switching
hardware. The line of products, called Mobius Axon, should be available in November.
You can read more details
about them here
.

If you want to surf wirelessly on your next flight, you may be in luck: Miltope
Group
has released the Wireless Access Service Point (WASP) for installation
in aircraft. It can be an access point for the cabin or provide a ground link,
and a 300 foot range of 802.11b connectivity for passengers and crew. It also
has two 10/100 Ethernet ports, which can be used to daisy chain multiple WASPs
to increase coverage if needed. The built in VPN server gives each client a
secure connection, plus it supports WEP, SSL, and authentication via IPSec,
PPTP, or L2TP.

D-Link has new firmware and software available
for the networkable DCS-1000 Internet Camera and the D-LinkAir
DCS-1000W Wireless Internet Camera
. The firmware upgrade adds support for
FTP of still images, and the software (IPView Software Version 2.0) will now
record one or more video streams from cameras as AVI files. The upgrades are
free and can be found at the company’s support Web site.

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