Wi-Fi: Throughput

The Throughput sample provides a framework for users to measure the achievable IP networking throughput of applications using Nordic Semiconductor’s Wi-Fi® chipsets.

Requirements

The sample supports the following development kit:

Hardware platforms

PCA

Board name

Build target

nRF7002 DK

PCA10143

nrf7002dk_nrf5340

nrf7002dk_nrf5340_cpuapp

Overview

The sample demonstrates how to measure the network throughput of a Nordic Wi-Fi-enabled platform using the zperf sample application under the different Wi-Fi stack configuration profiles. The sample requires additional software, such as the Wi-Fi iperf application. When the sample runs Wi-Fi UDP/TCP throughput in client mode, a peer device runs UDP/TCP throughput in server mode. When the sample runs Wi-Fi UDP/TCP throughput in server mode, a peer device runs UDP/TCP throughput in client mode.

See the Host device considerations page for different Wi-Fi stack configuration profiles. See Network Traffic Generator for instructions on how to use zperf and iperf applications.

Test setup

The following figure shows a reference test setup.

Wi-Fi Throughput sample test setup

Wi-Fi Throughput sample test setup

The reference test setup shows the connections between the following devices:

  • The nRF7002 DK on which the throughput sample runs the zperf application.

  • Wi-Fi peer device that runs the iperf application.

Building and running

This sample can be found under samples/wifi/throughput in the nRF Connect SDK folder structure.

When built as firmware image for the _ns build target, the sample has Cortex-M Security Extensions (CMSE) enabled and separates the firmware between Non-Secure Processing Environment (NSPE) and Secure Processing Environment (SPE). Because of this, it automatically includes the Trusted Firmware-M (TF-M). To read more about CMSE, see Processing environments.

To build the sample with Visual Studio Code, follow the steps listed on the How to build an application page in the nRF Connect for VS Code extension documentation. See Configuring and building an application for other building scenarios, Programming an application for programming steps, and Testing for general information about testing and debugging in the nRF Connect SDK.

Note

The sample is supported on the nRF7002 DK with QSPI as the interface between the nRF5340 host and the nRF7002 device.

To build for the nRF7002 DK, use the nrf7002dk_nrf5340_cpuapp build target. The following is an example of the CLI command:

west build -b nrf7002dk_nrf5340_cpuapp

To build for the nRF7002 DK with different profiles for Station mode, use the following CLI commands:

To build for the nRF7002 DK, with the IoT device profile for Station mode, use the iot-devices overlay configuration.

west build -p -b nrf7002dk_nrf5340_cpuapp -- -DOVERLAY_CONFIG=overlay-iot-devices.conf

Supported CLI commands

zperf is the command line tool and supports the following UART CLI subcommands:

zperf shell subcommands

Subcommands

Description

connectap

Connect to AP

setip

Set IP address
<my ip> <prefix len>
Example - setip 2001:db8::2 64
Example - setip 192.0.2.2

tcp

Upload/Download TCP data

udp

Upload/Download UDP data

version

zperf version

The following is an example of the zperf command:

zperf <udp/tcp> <upload/download> <dest ip> [<dest port> <duration> <packet size>[K] <baud rate>[K|M]]

Testing

After programming the sample to your development kit, complete the following steps to test it:

  1. Connect the kit to the computer using a USB cable. The kit is assigned a COM port (Windows) or ttyACM device (Linux), which is visible in the Device Manager.

  2. Connect to the kit with a terminal emulator (for example, nRF Connect Serial Terminal). See Testing and optimization for the required settings and steps.

  3. Scan for the Wi-Fi networks in range using the following command:

    wifi scan
    

    The output should be similar to the following:

    Scan requested
    
    Num  | SSID                             (len) | Chan (Band)   | RSSI | Security        | BSSID             | MFP
    1    | abcd                             8     | 11   (2.4GHz) | -18  | WPA2-PSK        | xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx | Disable
    2    | efgh                             7     | 40   (5GHz  ) | -21  | OPEN            | xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx | Disable
    3    | mnopq                            8     | 6    (2.4GHz) | -29  | OPEN            | xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx | Disable
    6    | stuvwx                           24    | 11   (2.4GHz) | -47  | WPA3-SAE        | xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx | Required
    
  4. Connect to your preferred network using the following command:

    wifi connect <SSID> <passphrase>
    

    <SSID> is the SSID of the network you want to connect to, and <passphrase> is its passphrase.

  5. Check the connection status after 30 seconds, using the following command:

    wifi status
    

    If the connection is established, you should see an output similar to the following:

    Status: successful
    ==================
    State: COMPLETED
    Interface Mode: STATION
    Link Mode: WIFI 4 (802.11n/HT)
    SSID: xxxxx
    BSSID: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
    Band: 2.4GHz
    Channel: 11
    Security: WPA2-PSK
    MFP: Optional
    RSSI: -28
    Beacon Interval: 100
    DTIM: 1
    TWT: Not supported
    
  6. Initiate a ping and verify data connectivity using the following commands:

    net ping <resolved hostname>
    

    See the following example:

    net ping 192.168.1.1
    PING 192.168.1.1
    28 bytes from 192.168.1.1 to 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0 ms
    28 bytes from 192.168.1.1 to 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0 ms
    28 bytes from 192.168.1.1 to 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0 ms
    
  7. Run the iperf commands (TX) on the peer device and the zperf commands (RX) on the sample as shown in the following table.

    Traffic type

    TX (Peer device)

    RX (Sample)

    UDP

    iperf -s -i 1 -u

    zperf udp upload <dest ip> <dest port> <duration> <packet size> <baud rate>

    TCP

    iperf -s -i 1

    zperf tcp upload <dest ip> <dest port> <duration> <packet size> <baud rate>

    The sample shows the following output (zperf TX):

    $ zperf udp upload 192.168.1.253 5001 10 1K 50M
    Remote port is 5001
    Invalid IPv6 address 192.168.1.253
    Connecting to 192.168.1.253
    Duration:       10.00 s
    Packet size:    1024 bytes
    Rate:           51200 kbps
    Starting...
    Rate:           50.00 Mbps
    Packet duration 156 us
    -
    Upload completed!
    LAST PACKET NOT RECEIVED!!!
    Statistics:             server  (client)
    Duration:               29.45 m (10.00 s)
    Num packets:            0       (37440)
    Num packets out order:  25711
    Num packets lost:       4657
    Jitter:                 51.33 m
    Rate:                   0 Kbps  (29.24 Mbps)
    
  8. Run the iperf commands (RX) on the peer device and the zperf commands (TX) on the sample as shown in the following table.

    Traffic type

    TX (Sample)

    RX (Peer device)

    UDP

    zperf udp download <dest port>

    iperf -c <ipaddress> -i 1 -t <duration> -u -b <baud rate>

    TCP

    zperf tcp download <dest port>

    iperf -c <ipaddress> -i 1 -t <duration> -b <baud rate>

    The sample shows the following output:

    $ zperf udp download 5001
    UDP server started on port 5001
    <inf> net_zperf: Binding to 192.168.1.13
    <inf> net_zperf: Binding to ::
    <inf> net_zperf: Listening on port 5001
    New session started.
    End of session!
    duration:              10.02 s
    received packets:      10694
    nb packets lost:       33884
    nb packets outorder:   0
    jitter:                        5.20 ms
    rate:                  11.96 Mbps
    
  9. Stop the zperf UDP/TCP download using the following command:

    zperf <udp/tcp> download stop
    

    The sample shows the following output:

    $ zperf udp download stop
    UDP server stopped
    

Results

The following table collects a summary of results obtained when throughput tests are run for different profiles.

Profile

UDP TX

UDP RX

TCP TX

TCP RX

IoT devices

5.08 Mbps

5.43 Mbps

5.25 Mbps

3.35 Mbps

Memory-optimized

5.1 Mbps

113 Kbps

644 Kbps

1.86 Mbps

High performance

26.2 Mbps

13.08 Mbps

14.1 Mbps

7.76 Mbps

TX prioritized

26.3 Mbps

12.20 Mbps

10.5 Mbps

4.5 Mbps

RX prioritized

9.34 Mbps

13.46 Mbps

5.48 Mbps

7.92 Mbps

Note

As shown in the table above, the measured throughputs are based on tests conducted using the nRF7002 DK. The results represent the best throughput, averaged over three iterations, and were obtained with a good RSSI signal in a clean environment(RF Chamber).

Dependencies

This sample uses the following library:

This sample also uses modules found in the following locations in the nRF Connect SDK folder structure:

  • modules/lib/hostap

  • modules/mbedtls