Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Wireless Research Center (WRC)?
The Wireless Research Center of North Carolina (WRCNC) is a non-profit organization that offers engineering services and testing for wireless communications, and facilitates entrepreneurial development for wireless-enabled technologies.
Why a nonprofit?
The Founders and the community created the WRC to encourage economic development in the region. A nonprofit structure ensures neutrality, specifically when it came to reviewing an inventor’s patents and or Intellectual Property.
Why Wake Forest?
The Town of Wake Forest and Gerry Hayes, the founder of the WRC and a 20 year resident of Wake Forest, had a common vision: to capture and assist the wireless development talent that remained in the region after companies like Sony Ericson, HTC and others left the Triangle. The Town agreed that the WRC would be an excellent platform for economic development and would protect these human resources.
When was it opened?
The organization was founded in 2010, began operations in 2011, and opened the major testing facilities in 2012.
How was it funded?
It was funded initially by the generosity of the Town of Wake Forest Futures Fund and by a grant from the Golden Leaf Foundation for state-of-the-art measurement equipment. The Center is currently self-funded for day to day operations. The Center received a second Golden Leaf grant in August 2013 to develop additional measurement capabilities.
What is the Golden Leaf Foundation?
The Golden Leaf Foundation is a nonprofit corporation based in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. It was created in 1999 to receive half of the funds coming to North Carolina from the master settlement agreement with the tobacco industry. The Foundation advances the economic well-being of North Carolinians and helps transform its economy. It works in partnership with local governments, educational institutions, economic development organizations and other public agencies, as well as nonprofits to achieve this goal.
What are the services offered by the WRC?
• Engineering and business services support the industrialization and commercialization of wireless products from initial concept through high-volume production.
• Testing: The Center is an ISO 17025 accredited facility and a certified CTIA Test Lab for over-the-air (OTA) testing of cellular devices.
• Intellectual Property Reviews, Technical Product Reviews, Design Simulations, Production Qualification and Readiness. In addition, as an independent research organization, we engage in a diverse set of corporate, academic, and regulatory research projects.
• Guidance for regulatory requirements (FCC, CE, etc.) and industry standards (CTIA, IEC, and IEEE).
• Business development support through incubation, commercialization, and strategic partnering.
• Beginning in 2014, we will provide portable test capabilities that facilitate the implementation of regional wireless networks (rural broadband expansion, air-to-ground systems, emergency networks, telemedicine and smart-grid technologies).
What type of equipment does the WRC have?
The center provides access to a broad range of specialized measurement equipment:
• An accredited, state-of-the-art Satimo SG-64 anechoic chamber that can test active and passive wireless devices from 400MHz to 18GHz.
• A single-axis anechoic chamber that can support the investigation and troubleshooting of intentional and unintentional radiated emissions.
• An electrostatic discharge (ESD) test station.
• A small (bench-top) environmental test chamber offering hot and cold cycling.
• Bench-top acoustic chambers.
In 2014, the Center will expand its equipment to include:
• A suite of portable, programmable software-defined transceivers that can support commercial and proprietary waveforms. The versatility of these radios allows for a wide range of applications from the in-site measurement and assessment of existing and planned wireless networks to highly-specialized analysis of radio interference and mitigation.
• Portable 100 ft. towers and generators for the rapid deployment of temporary wireless systems. These towers will enable the evaluation of wireless networks (air-to-ground, point-to-point, or point-to-multipoint) prior to permanent installations.
What else does the WRC offer?
WRC provides in-house access to network analyzers, engineering software, and other engineering tools for visitors. Individual offices ensure that visiting engineers can work in private.
How does the Center spur economic development?
WRC works with local, national and global companies’ original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in assisting them in their wireless development. This often requires local wireless experts to support these projects’ original design manufacturers (ODMs). The Center works with universities that are doing directed research, as well as evaluating research for its IP and commercial merit. Several DOD projects are underway supporting wireless projects for the military.
What market sectors does the Center serve?
• Commercial cellular, including handsets and M2M (machine to machine) modems
• Connected Home
What Radios does the Center support?
The Center can support cellular (GSM, CDMA), satellite, air to ground, Zigbee, WiFi, Zwave, proprietary, near field radios/antennas, and most radio systems.
How will the Center work with Inventors, Startups, and Entrepreneurs?
WRC will offer complete incubation services for this group, both on-site as well as virtual. The facility in Wake Forest has significant space to house individuals or teams. The Center specifically will review IPs and commercialization challenges or opportunities and assist with creating teams and finding capital when appropriate.
Town of Wake Forest verses Wake Forest University?
Wake Forest University is located in Winston Salem, NC approximately 2½ hours west of Wake Forest, NC. The Wireless Center is located just north of Raleigh, NC.
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