AirMagnet's Engim Engine

Wireless LAN security startup AirMagnet Inc. is laying the groundwork for an eventual departure from the 802.11 hardware market through a partnership with upstart chip designer Engim Inc..

The pair will bundle AirMagnet's Enterprise 5.0 wireless intrusion prevention system and Engim’s All Services Access Point (ASAP) reference design, so that equipment OEMs can offer intrusion detection as part of a multichannel 802.11 access point. That is, of course, if OEMs start to use Engim's chipset to power their access points.

AirMagnet is currently using a dedicated monitor that sits alongside APs to watch over a WLAN network. But, because -- in crude terms -- the Engim chipset operates something like three APs bolted together, users should be able to use the AP to continously monitor a wireless network while running WLAN services on the box at the same time (see Engim Drives Multi Chipsets).

Scott Lindsay, VP of marketing at Engim, says he expects the first OEM partners to introduce products based on the chipset in early 2005. Major AP manufacturer Accton Technology Corp. has signed on to use Engim chipsets in some of its products but it's not yet clear when those will be out (see Accton Fires Up Engim). Naturally, AirMagnet does not plan to phase out its own monitors straight away but the company is keen that deals like these will eventually allow it to stop manufacturing hardware altogether and concentrate on its security software.

"We like to think of it as AirMagnet inside," quips the firm's VP of marketing, Rich Mironov.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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