Mini PCs have become a mature industry, limiting substantial growth prospects in the consumer electronics market in recent years. However, with AIoT on the rise, mini computers still have growth potential.
The figure below shows that the small design of a mini computer poses a challenge for antenna design and system integration. This is because the physical design of the antenna can affect its performance. Good system integration ensures that the noise produced by the system does not interfere with the antenna. However, the compact design of these products usually places the antenna very close to the hard drive, CPU, and memory units. This makes it fairly easy for interference to affect the antenna.
Modern products emphasize wireless network performance. To provide a better user experience, avoiding bad wireless performance has become a major challenge for mini computer manufacturers and brands
Potential Issues and Examples of Bad Wireless Performance of Mini Computers
When brands hire ODMs to develop products, they will usually require the products to conform to international standards and regulations. As a result, many manufacturers tend to ignore the importance of performance during product development. Allion has been partnering with major PC brands and ODM manufacturers for decades and is well aware of the potential issues regarding wireless performance with mini computers. Here, we’ll share a test case of ours with a client.
Background: This specific mini computer has acquired a large number of negative reviews because of its low throughput performance. The client hopes to improve this issue as soon as possible and has come to our professional consulting team for assistance with a tight deadline. Allion came to their aid by providing technical support such as problem analysis and debugging, ultimately helping them improve their product and solve their problems.
Description: First, we measure the baseline data of the DUT as a reference for future modifications (shown in the table below)
From the preliminary test results and the specifications provided by the client, it can be seen that the RX of the 2.4GHz band was where they failed the test (marked in yellow). The data marked in red also failed by 42.3Mbps at 20m and 31.8Mbps at 100m.
Tackling Poor Wireless Performance: The Importance of Clarifying the Issue
When there is poor performance in your products, it’s necessary to clarify the issues step by step, such as software/firmware of the DUT, driver, antenna performance, noise, and more. The best way to proceed with testing is to try the simple and faster methods first, then move on to more complex methods.
Based on the professional experience of the Allion consulting team, we will initially verify the correctness of basic software, firmware, and OS or identifying known issues for assessment. Once we confirm that there is no issue with the software or driver, the next step to check is the antenna. The antenna is a critical hardware element that influences high-frequency performance, and modifying it can significantly impact the development timeline as it requires coordination with antenna manufacturers or relevant engineers. In connection with this issue,, we use the network analyzer to quickly check basic antenna performance to help reduce product development and debugging schedules.
Faster, Easier, Better: The Most Trusted Product Wireless Performance Testing Service
After the results came out, it was found that even without interference, the manufacturer’s original throughput design did not meet the expectations of most users. If this product was placed in a scenario where lots of wireless devices are around it, the wireless performance would be affected more severely.
In addition to aiding clients in improving and optimizing throughput, Allion’s consulting team can also integrate various wireless products based on real-world scenarios and tailor wireless application environments for different scenarios according to the practical application of different wireless protocols. This helps our clients save time and costs during the entire product development process. Through comprehensive intelligent testing suggestions and analysis, Allion can bring clients with a full range of testing solutions, assisting them to achieve strict product quality control, and provide a faster, easier and better integrated consulting services and solutions.
With expertise in both RF and wireless testing, Allion has collaborated with numerous leading brands on projects involving wireless performance and RF interference testing. We are capable of helping clients identify potential issues during product launch, speeding up the product development and debugging cycles.
- Quickly assist clients in identifying and resolving issues with low wireless performance.
- Swiftly establish a wireless interference scenario ecosystem.
- Quickly design development verification strategies
- Rapidly obtain certification planning
By implementing AI and automation solutions, Allion ensures that every test is “qualitative, quantitative, and reproducible”, helping our clients to improve product performance in a more efficient manner.
- Less labor-intensive testing methods
- Time-saving and cost-effective testing solutions
- More accurate test results
With more than 30 years of expertise, specialized technical team, and comprehensive testing environments and equipment, Allion is committed to providing clients with more improved quality of service based on extensive experience of User Scenario Testing.
- Provides more complete user scenario testing solutions
- Provides more complete verification testing plans
- Professional issue isolation and debugging support
If you have any further needs for testing, verification, or consulting services related to the server ecosystem, please feel free to explore the following services online or contact us through the inquiry form.