Test & Measurement

Keysight's new method to accelerate power amplifier digital pre-distortion testing

10th March 2023
Harry Fowle

Keysight introduces the new Iterative Learning Control (ILC) test method that significantly shortens Digital Pre-Distortion (DPD) test times for power amplifiers.

Power amplifiers (PA) are a core component of wireless communication devices. Characterisation of these components is a critical but time-consuming task that can take hours or even days during the R&D phase. By shortening the time it takes to complete the design and validation process, power amplifier manufacturers are able to accelerate their time-to-market.

Keysight meets this need by introducing the innovative ILC DPD test method that shortens DPD test time to minutes and accelerates R&D time from test validation to product design and optimisation. As a part of Keysight's comprehensive High-Frequency Measurement Solution portfolio, the ILC test method runs on the N9055EM0E Power Amplifier Measurement Application and uses the VXG Vector Signal Generator and PXA Signal Analyser to provide significant test performance for signal generation and analysis.

The ILC DPD test method offers the following benefits:

  • Faster Test Speeds – Optimises the N9055EM0E software to reduce the characterisation of power amplifiers to minutes
  • Integrated User Interface – Shows both pre-DPD and post-DPD measurement results in one screen for easier operation and integration when characterising a power amplifier with multiple test instruments
  • Measurement Accuracy and Performance – Provides industry-leading performance when characterising power amplifiers by removing the limitations of the signal analyser and generator and determining the real-world performance of power amplifier designs

Hexawave is the first to deploy the ILC test method to characterise its new HWA1330 5G gallium arsenide (GaAs) PA up to 4W in the 3.3-3.8GHz frequency range. The ILC test method was critical in validating that the HWA1330 can meet design targets including more than 30% power added efficiency (PAE), 35.5dB power gain, and below -50dBc adjacent channel leakage ratio (ACLR) at 100MHz bandwidth and 8.5dB peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR) with DPD.

Peng Cao, Vice President and General Manager of Keysight's Wireless Devices and Solutions Group, said: "Keysight is pleased to strengthen our technical leadership in power amplifier characterisation by introducing the new ILC DPD test method. It's a great example of how our experts keep finding innovative solutions to meet our customers' testing challenges."

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