Wireless Connectivity

Ruckus ZoneFlex 7762 Wireless Access Point Teardown

17 May 2012
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

IHS Insight Perspective

As data traffic on wireless access networks continues to grow at exponential rates, carriers are looking to public Wi-Fi hotspots to offload data traffic from their cellular networks. The Wi-Fi access point from Ruckus is deisgned to be a ruggedized device that can exists in harsh external environment and supports high data rates with 802.11n 3x3 MIMO implenetations.

Ruckus is a US based tier one vendor in the enterprise and carrier grade Wi-Fi access market. We define the top tier players in the space as Cisco, Motorola, Aruba Networks and Ruckus Wireless and collectively represent roughly 80% of this market.'

Ruckus ZoneFlex 7762 Wireless Access Point Main ImageRuckus ZoneFlex 7762 Wireless Access Point Main Image
Overall Significance

The Ruckus ZoneFlex 7762 is an enterprise grade mesh supported outdoor concurrent dual-band (2.4/5GHz) 802.11n 3x3 MIMO wireless access point. According to the company, the device is capable to achieve '150-200Mbps (300Mbps bursts) sustainable throughput for a 5000 sq. foot area for each radio' with up to 20 concurrent voice calls, 100 simultaneous data users or 600Mbps capacity per access point. This device is also equipped with 2 auto MDX, auto sensing 10/100/1000 Mbps RJ-45 ports with 802.3at PoE (Power over Ethernet) compliant input and 802.3af PoE compliant output.

Feature Significance

This device is embedded with a so-called Beamflex smart antenna. According to the company, 'BeamFlex is MIMO smart antenna technology ... it combines a compact internal antenna array with expert system control software...constantly reconfiguring itself in real-time as interference is encountered... steers RF signals around interference to eliminate Wi-Fi dead spots while increasing the range and performance of the Wi-Fi network.'

Ruckus ZoneFlex 7762 Wireless Access Point - Main PCB TopRuckus ZoneFlex 7762 Wireless Access Point - Main PCB Top
Design Significance

This device is designed for harsh outdoor conditions with IP-67 rated dust and water proof enclosure and embeded heater for the network processor to operate under extreme cold weather conditions. This device is advertised to be able to operate at -40C to 65C.

Target Market

Wireless Carriers / Enterprise

This device is targeted to enterprise users that want to extend their wireless network outdoors or wireless service providers that want to expand their multimedia hotspots.

Ruckus ZoneFlex 7762 Wireless Access Point - Main PCB BottomRuckus ZoneFlex 7762 Wireless Access Point - Main PCB Bottom


Unable to find release date at time of analysis.

Pricing and Availability

$1999 USD MSRP

The lowest e-tailer price found at the time of this analysis was $1515.

Ruckus ZoneFlex 7762 Wireless Access Point - Disassembly View 1Ruckus ZoneFlex 7762 Wireless Access Point - Disassembly View 1

This device is believed to be available worldwide

Volume Estimations

10,000 Annual # of Units
2 Total Years

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed an Annual Production Volume of 10000 units and a Product Lifetime Volume of 2 year(s).

Teardown volume and production assumptions are primarily used for our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially). Unless assumed volumes are different by an order of magnitude, minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis because of this.

Market Performance

Per IHS's IMS Research forecast, 802.11n will remain the dominant technology in 2012 to 2016. Despite shipments of 802.11n increasing over the forecast period, the overall market share of 802.11n is predicted to be eroded by the launch of 802.11ac in 2012.

Ruckus ZoneFlex 7762 Wireless Access Point Cost AnalysisRuckus ZoneFlex 7762 Wireless Access Point Cost Analysis
Cost Notes

At the kind of volumes Ruckus is building at (10K units per year for two years), and given their 'niche' that is relatively low volume, they are probably either a) working through distributors (such as Avnet and Arrow), or b) working directly with some OEMs that are 'price protecting' their distribution partners (charging a price that makes it of equal interest for the client to actually use the distributors). Our analysis accounts for low volumes in pricing, however, keep in mind that in low volumes, pricing disparities from one customer to the next, for the same parts, can be huge, and make the job of estimating such purchases prices much harder,

Total BOM: $201.89
Top Cost Drivers below: $105.09
% of Total BOM 52%

Main Cost Drivers below

Enclosure, Main, Bottom - Die-Cast Aluminum, Painted- (Qty: 1)
Eiso Enterprise 10-Layer - FR4, Lead-Free- (Qty: 1)
Antenna Assembly - MIMO, BeamFlex Technology- (Qty: 1)
NPE-5818 Power over Ethernet Injector Module - 48V, 1.25A- (Qty: 1)
Qualcomm Atheros AR9160-BC1A Baseband/MAC Processor - 802.11n- (Qty: 2)
Powertron Electronics PA1060-480T1A125 AC Adaptor - Input 100-240V, 1.8A, Output 48V, 1.25A, 5ft, w/ Label & Cable Tie- (Qty: 1)
Qualcomm Atheros AR7161-BC1A Wireless Network Processor - 32-Bit MIPS 24K Processor Core, 680MHz, Dual Gigabit Ethernet MACs, Dual USB 2.0 MAC/PHY, DDR & SPI Serial Flash Interface- (Qty: 1)
Antenna Cable - Coaxial Wire, w/ 1 Female N-Type Connector, 1 Gold Plated IPX Plug, Ferrite Core, Heat Shrink Tubing, Integral Washer & Hex Nut- (Qty: 2)
Static Mounting Bracket - Stamped / Formed Stainless Steel- (Qty: 1)
Littelfuse SEP0720Q38CB Thyristor - PoE Protect, 72V, 100A- (Qty: 6)

Not Included in Analysis

The total materials and manufacturing costs reported in this analysis reflect ONLY the direct materials cost (from component vendors and assorted EMS providers), AND manufacturing with basic test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the material manufacture of the core device itself - cost of intellectual property, royalties and licensing fees (those not already included into the per component price), software, software loading and test, shipping, logistics marketing and other channel costs including not only EMS provider and the OEM's margin, but that of other resellers. Our cost analysis is meant to focus on those costs incurred in the manufacture of the core device and exceptionally in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.

Manufacturing Notes

As with most electronic hardware, this equipment may be built for Ruckus by an outside contract manufacturer, but may also be built in-house, as is often the case for OEM/ODM type companies which are common in Taiwan. For the purposes of our analysis, our cost structures in manufacturing represent the cost to the manufacturer, without markup. If an EMS is involved, one would have to add a fair margin for the EMS provider, on top of our cost assessment, in order to provide a 'fair price' to the manufacturer. EMS providers often operate in the low single digits on margins, but tend to make up for such low margins when working with low volume products such as this.

Country of Origin

For the purposes of this analysis, we are assuming the following country(ies) of origin for each level of assembly, based on a combination of 'Made In' markings, and/or assumptions based on our knowledge of such equipment.

Antenna Assembly - Taiwan
Box Contents - Taiwan
Main PCB - Taiwan
Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly - Taiwan
PoE Injector Module - Taiwan

Labor rates are applied directly only to hand inserted components and systems in our bill of materials, and although regional assumptions do, these new rates do not have a direct effect on our modeled calculations of placement costs for automated SMD assembly lines. ?Auto" inserted components (such as SMT components) placement costs are calculated by an iSuppli algorithm which allocates a cost per component based on the size and pincount of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Design Complexity

Component counts by assembly and the number of assembly are indicators of design complexity and efficeincy.

Component Qty: 1342 - Main PCB
Component Qty: 65 - Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly
Component Qty: 76 - Box Contents
Component Qty: 471 - Antenna Assembly
Component Qty: 27 - PoE Injector Module
Component Qty: 1981 - Grand Total

Component counts have a direct bearing on the overall manufacturing cycle times and costs, and also can increase or decrease overall yields and re-work. Our calculations of manufacturing costs factor counts and more qualitative complexities in the design.

Note that manual labor has a much smaller effect on auto-insertion assembly lines (for the Main PCB, for example), where manufacturing costs are much more capital equipment intensive and driven by these investment costs.

Design Notes

At its core - the Ruckus ZoneFlex 7762 access point is essentially two sets of Qualcomm Atheros Baseband (AR9160) + RF IC (AR9103 & AR9106, respectively for 2.4 & 5GHz band) tied together by a core processor. The processor is a Qualcomm Atheros (AR7161-BC1A) - Wireless Network Processor - 32-Bit MIPS 24K Processor Core, 680MHz, Dual Gigabit Ethernet MACs, Dual USB 2.0 MAC/PHY, DDR & SPI Serial Flash Interface.

This chip represents the bulk of functionality of the device and requires little else to perform its functions, though the device does also have an Altera (EPM240M100I5N) Complex Programmable Logic Device, which is probably added for the smart antenna functionality, along with a number of discrete I/O components such as 2 Marvell (88E1118-NNC1) ethernet transceivers, and a ST Microelectronics (LIS302DL) MEMS accelerometer.

This device also features 2 Nanya DDR SDRAM (256Mb each) and Micron serial NOR Flash (128Mb).

Ruckus ZoneFlex 7762 Wireless Access Point - Box ContentsRuckus ZoneFlex 7762 Wireless Access Point - Box Contents

Powered by CR4, the Engineering Community

Discussion – 0 comments

By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and Terms of Use.
Engineering Newsletter Signup
Get the GlobalSpec
Stay up to date on:
Features the top stories, latest news, charts, insights and more on the end-to-end electronics value chain.
Weekly Newsletter
Get news, research, and analysis
on the Electronics industry in your
inbox every week - for FREE
Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter
Find Free Electronics Datasheets