ROM-AP  -  IEEE 802.11 Software

 The Neesus Datacom Access Point Software, ROM-AP, provides the foundation for three OEM object license versions addressing different applications:

  • 802.11 Access Point
  • 802.11 Bridge
  • 802.11 Home Gateway

Porting of ROM-AP to the OEMs specific hardware is done by Neesus, usually with no NRE given a minimum license commitment.  Current versions support an 'x86 processor architecture, however ROM-AP code can be easily ported to other target processors (e.g. ARM).

Common ROM-AP Features:

  • Fully 802.11 compliant
  • Full Support for 802.11 Open and Shared key Authentication

  • 64 and 128 bit WEP

  • Support for up to 256 Wireless Stations  

  • Support for Power Saving Wireless Stations  

  • Has been ported to AMD SC400 and SC520 based platforms

  • Includes Nucleus Plus embedded OS and Nucleus Net stack

  • Interfaces with any Intersil PRISM II MAC based radio card

  • IP Address assignment via DHCP or through Windows Utility  

  • AP Management through any standard WEB browser

  • Firmware and Web Page image updates to Flash via FTP

  • Support for NE2000 or PCnet-ISA Ethernet controllers

ROM-AP Management:

It is extremely important to offer the end user a simple and straight forward method of setting up and configuring the Access Point.  ROM-AP contains a Web Server which allows the AP to be configured via a standard Web Browser.   ROM-AP must be assigned an IP Address (either a static IP Address or a Dynamic IP Address using DHCP if a DHCP server exists on the network) before a Browser can access it.  In either case Neesus Provides a Windows utility which facilitates locating the AP and connecting to it by launching the PC's default Web Browser.  When multiple AP's are installed on the network, each AP can be configured with it's own name which allows them to be uniquely identified via the Windows utility.

Another important feature for such a product is the ability to easily update the AP with new firmware.  The provided Windows utility facilitates this update by simply selecting the AP from the displayed list, and clicking the update button.  The utility then uses FTP to transfer the new firmware image file to the AP, which automatically saves the file into it's non-volatile storage.  The AP always keeps a "factory default" code image, which is used to recover if the save fails due to power being removed from the AP while it is saving the image. 

OEM Customization Options:

ROM-AP is designed to be easily customizable by the OEM giving the AP a unique "look" from the end users perspective.   This is achieved by allowing OEMs to design their own Web pages for the AP's Web Server.  Neesus provides the OEM with the necessary tools to take the .html, .jpg, .bmp, etc, files created by the OEM and produce an image file that can be flashed into the ROM-AP's non-volatile storage.  The Web page image file can be independently updated from ROM-APs firmware image file.

When creating Web pages, the OEM has the ability to display the content of any of the many internal ROM-AP parameters and MIBs by inserting a coded escape sequence into the html text.  Sample web pages are provided that demonstrate most of the controls, and parameter displays. 

Neesus provides a resource dll for the Windows AP utility, which allows the OEM to change the content of the About dialog box.  Also provided is the Windows Help project for the utility which can be edited and or expanded by the OEM.

Support and customization of ROM-AP by Neesus Datacom, to meet OEM requirements can be arranged. 

ROM-AP Overview:

ROM-AP is designed in a modular fashion, allowing for the easy addition of new interfaces and modules.  ROM-AP Software's radio interface layer supports any PRISM II MAC based Client card, either PCMCIA or MiniPCI.  ROM-AP uses a run-time configurable mode of the client card (Host-AP mode) to achieve fully compliant AP operation.  Depending on the target application, features and modules can be removed or added to tailor the software to the applications requirements.

ROM-AP Block Diagram

Since ROM-AP is written mostly in 'C', it can be readily ported to work with any processor, and Operating System.  Current ROM-AP object licenses come with the Nucleus OS operating System and Nucleus Net TCP/IP Stack.  This combination offers a stable and versatile platform on which the Management and Gateway modules were built. 

802.11 Access Point:

 

This version of ROM-AP offers a basic 802.11 Access Point function, in which wireless Client packet traffic is bridged to an Ethernet network.  A basic 802.11 AP is typically required when adding wireless functionality to an existing Ethernet network with existing resources (Servers, printers, gateways etc.).

 

 

A basic Access Point is also all that is required when installing a wireless infrastructure over a large area, where multiple Access Points are needed to achieve full coverage.  In this scenario, the included Windows utility is invaluable in being able to find, connect and manage specific Access Points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wireless Bridge:

This version of ROM-AP offers a point to multipoint Ethernet Bridge, where remote Ethernet segments can be bridged to each other and to the central Ethernet network.  The ROM-AP bridge software can be configured to be either a Master Bridge or a Slave Bridge, where the Master Bridge is analogous to an Access Point through which remote client nodes communicate.

The range over which a Master-Slave can communicate will depend on the radio card characteristics and the type of Antenna that is used. ROM-AP supports bridged networks with up to 1000 devices.

Home Gateway:

 

This version of ROM-AP  includes the necessary application and gateway modules which provide Internet Gateway capability.  The Home Gateway allows any wireless or wired PC to simultaneously access the Home Gateway AP's Internet connection.  

  • Internet Sharing using NAPT

  • DHCP Server

  • Support for UDP, TCP, FTP, DNS, ICMP, VPN

  • v.90 Support via RS-232 (PPP)

  • Single or Dual (LAN & WAN) Ethernet interface

  • DSL Modem Support (external via PPPoE)

  • Cable Modem Support (external)