Test & Measurement

EuMW 2019: Wi-Fi 6 PA components get 6GHz test coverage

1st October 2019
Mick Elliott

European Microwave Week in Paris provided the platform for NI to announce a Wi-Fi 6 Front-End test reference architecture for comprehensive, accurate and fast testing of the latest Wi-Fi 6 power amplifiers (PAs) and front-end modules (FEMs) operating in new frequency bands above 6GHz.

Meeting the need for Wi-Fi test coverage in recently approved bands from 6 to 7.125GHz, the Wi-Fi 6 Front-End test reference architecture extends the high bandwidth, accuracy and fast measurement speed of the vector signal transceiver, that combines an RF signal generator and signal analyser with 1GHz of instantaneous bandwidth—up to 12GHz.

This solution provides engineers performing PA/FEM characterisation and validation excellent linearity, low noise and high dynamic range for thoroughly validating Wi-Fi 6 1024-QAM performance. The reference architecture also simplifies dynamic EVM measurements while accelerating test speeds with FPGA-based power levelling. 

Chipmakers are racing to commercialise the latest Wi-Fi 6 products, so engineers face the daunting task of accelerating product schedules while addressing more test requirements in higher frequency bands. The instrumentation and measurement IP of the Wi-Fi 6 Front-End test reference architecture can be used in both the validation lab and in production test, giving engineers a streamlined path to production with less time lost to correlation and test system development. 

“The VST’s extensive frequency coverage and large instantaneous bandwidth is key for engineers who need to deliver comprehensive and reliable data across Wi-Fi frequency bands in a short time,” said Stefanie Breyer, vice president of product planning at NI. “Choosing a tester built on NI’s software-defined platform helps engineers keep up with the latest developments of wireless standards.” 

The release of the VST-based, Wi-Fi 6 Front-End test reference architecture is part of NI’s continued efforts to expand test coverage while helping customers shorten the time to market of PA/FEM devices. This solution complements NI’s modular instrumentation portfolio and measurement software for characterisation and validation of the latest Wi-Fi 6 RFIC devices in all frequency bands, from 2.4 to 7GHz and beyond.

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