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AP-635 inferior to AP-535/AP-515?

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  • 1.  AP-635 inferior to AP-535/AP-515?

    Posted May 29, 2021 03:39 AM
    Hello,

    so AP-635 has arrived lately: https://www.arubanetworks.com/products/wireless/access-points/indoor-access-points/630-series/

    I must admit that I don´t like what I see:

    1, Why did Aruba choose a glossy surface? This might blend and therefor bother everyone sitting around in certain lightning environments.

    2. Shouldn´t be a "AP-635" the successor of a "AP-535"? Let´s compare AP-635 with AP-535 and AP-515: https://www.arubanetworks.com/products/wireless/access-points/compare/#132904,150581,298786

    - AP-635 supports 2x2:2 for each band, only. As Aruba wants it to run in a kind of limited mode with 802.3af, this might be ok. But shouldn´t therefore be a kind of smaller ~AP-615?

    - AP-635 support SU-MIMO, only? No DL-MU-MIMO, no UL-MU-MIMO? Even 802.11ac (Wave 2) supports DL-MU-MIMO. So, is this a typo?

    - Regarding "Max number of Resource Units (OFDMA)": AP-635 supports (up to) 8 RUs, AP-535 supports (up to) 37 RUs, AP-515 supports (up to) 16 RUs.

    What is one of the biggest features of 802.11ax one is us telling about for years? => Yes, it´s OFDMA. Now with AP-635 being a 3rd generation 802.11ax access point, it supports less RUs than the 2nd generation (AP-535/AP-555) and even less than the first generation* (AP-515)?

    (* I myself call AP-515 a first generation/Wave 1 802.11ax access points as its chipset is not capable of UL-MU-MIMO.)

    If I remember correctly, AP-515 uses a Broadcom (BCM43694?) chipset, AP-535/AP-555 uses a Qualcomm (Networking Pro 1200) chipset for wireless. As Qualcomm´s current Wi-Fi 6E chipsets (Networking Pro 610, Networking Pro 810, Networking Pro 1210, Networking Pro 1610) support up to 37 RUs, may I ask which chipset vendor and which chipset is being used for the AP-635 access point? (Hopefully not Mediatek MT79xx which supports 2x2:2 for 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz radio, aswell)


  • 2.  RE: AP-635 inferior to AP-535/AP-515?

    Posted Jun 01, 2021 02:21 PM
    1. We're indeed going back to glossy. Several reasons for that, including how easily the textured surface of the AP-5xx models gets stained
    2. Despite the numbering, AP-635 is not a replacement for or 6E equivalent model of the AP-535. First of all, 6E is not a typical "next Wi-Fi generation", but is adding a complete new spectrum layer (6GHz), which introduces new highs in terms of (realistically achievable) peak datarates (160MHz may finally be actually usable), adds a complete additional radio, and more than doubles the total capacity of the platform. The AP-635 has 2x2 MIMO radios, and while MU-MIMO may theoretically be possible with 1SS client devices, the value is very limited if there at all. Most 11ax (5GHz and 6GHz) client devices in the market now are 2SS. To really take advantage of MU-MIMO, you'll need 4x4 at least.
    Without the 6GHz radio (and ignoring the dual Ethernet and Smart Rate capabilities), the AP-635 is actually more comparable with the AP-505 (2x2 radios, 8 RUs), but with a far more powerful architecture (CPU, memory, etc.) to deal with the incremental performance of the 6GHz radio.
    AP-635 is not replacing anything, but adding an additional AP option for customers that want to take advantage of the improved performance and incremental capacity available in the 6GHz band. It is positioned as a mid-range 6E platform, but is built to support performance levels that compare well with a high-end AP-5xx device.
    Hope that helps a bit.
    /Onno

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    Onno Harms
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  • 3.  RE: AP-635 inferior to AP-535/AP-515?

    Posted Jun 18, 2021 01:00 AM
    Thank you very much for clarification. So that means AP-635 will not be Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 / Wi-Fi 6 CERTIFIED because of some missing mandatory requirements, correct?


  • 4.  RE: AP-635 inferior to AP-535/AP-515?

    Posted Jun 18, 2021 04:30 PM
    Wrong. The AP-635 will be Wi-Fi 6 certified, and supports all mandatory features for that (and some optional ones as well). MU-MIMO support (if that's what you're referring to) is not required for certification on a 2x2 radio (probably since the WFA agrees that it does not add any value with that radio config).
    Aruba feels strongly about the need and value of WFA certification.

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    Onno Harms
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  • 5.  RE: AP-635 inferior to AP-535/AP-515?

    Posted Jun 19, 2021 03:06 AM
    Indeed, I´m refering to MU-MIMO support. I haven´t found any useful Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 / Wi-Fi 6 CERTIFIED specification sheet saying that MU-MIMO won´t be required any longer.

    https://www.wi-fi.org/discover-wi-fi/wi-fi-certified-6 and https://www.wi-fi.org/download.php?file=/sites/default/files/private/Wi-Fi_6E_Highlights_202101.pdf currently mention it: "Multi-user multiple input, multiple output (multi-user MIMO) allows more downlink data to be transferred at one time, enabling access points (APs) to concurrently handle more devices" Could you please provide a link for that agreement from WFA?


  • 6.  RE: AP-635 inferior to AP-535/AP-515?

    Posted Jun 19, 2021 08:14 PM
    For Wi-Fi 6 certification, a radio needs to be 2x2 at least, and needs to support (downlink) MU-MIMO and TxBF only if it supports four or more spatial streams. Most 2x2 Wi-Fi 6 radios do not support MU-MIMO and/or do not obtain certification.
    As an example, I've attached the WFA certs for AP-535 and AP-505. Both are Wi-Fi 6 certified, but only AP-535 (4x4) supports MU-MIMO.
    To obtain certification requirements from WFA, you may need to be a member. We cannot simply share that stuff.

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    Onno Harms
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    Attachment(s)

    pdf
    Certificate_WFA83577.pdf   32 KB 1 version
    pdf
    Certificate_WFA99698.pdf   32 KB 1 version


  • 7.  RE: AP-635 inferior to AP-535/AP-515?

    Posted Jun 21, 2021 01:20 AM
    Thanks. I think I have to rethink about the terms "Wi-Fi 6 certified" and "802.11ax", i.e. "Wi-Fi 6 certified" doesn´t mean automatically that a device supports all features 802.11ax is usually associated with. Unfortunately neither "WFA requirements from WFA" nor "IEEE 802.11ax-2021" is available for free.

    Btw,
    • Regarding the AP-504/AP-505, the datasheet (https://www.arubanetworks.com/assets/ds/DS_AP500Series.pdf) talks about "Features include [...] multi-user MIMO" and "The 500 Series AP support downlink MU-MIMO to maximize the use of its MIMO radio capabilities by simultaneously exchanging data with multiple single stream client devices.". So references to MU-MIMO should be all removed if those access points don´t support it.
    • Regarding the AP-630, the datasheet (https://www.arubanetworks.com/assets/ds/DS_AP630Series.pdf) also talks about "Features include [...]  multi-user MIMO". So this should also be removed aswell if those access points don´t support it.
    • According to your given WFA certificate for the AP-504, for "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ ac" "Tx DL MU-MIMO" is mentioned while for "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6™" it is not. So, MU-MIMO works when 802.11ac MU-MIMO capable clients connect to the AP-504, but it doesn´t when 802.11ax MU-MIMO clients connect to the AP-504 when they use 802.11ax? Is this correct?


  • 8.  RE: AP-635 inferior to AP-535/AP-515?

    Posted Jun 21, 2021 10:39 AM
    Thanks, that's good feedback. I'll verify our documentation for MU-MIMO claims on 2x2 platforms and will make sure any errors get corrected.
    Note that there may be cases where we support it but did not bother to get certified.
    And yes, the WFA defines a subset of 802.11 requirements for their  certification programs. Some features are mandatory, others are optional, many are out of scope.

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    Onno Harms
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