New mmWave Test Solution To Accelerate The 5G Commercialization

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The new mmWave Vector Signal Transceiver reduces the cost and risk of testing 5G NR devices

NI, the provider of a software-defined platform that helps accelerate the development and performance of automated test and measurement systems, has announced the mmWave Vector Signal Transceiver (VST) to address the test challenges of 5G mmWave RFIC transceivers and power amplifiers. This product demonstrates wafer-level test and validation test configurations using over-the-air measurements.

With chipmakers racing to commercialize 5G mmWave technology, engineers face the daunting challenge of accelerating product schedules combined with new and often unsolved technical requirements. NI’s mmWave test solutions address these challenges in both the R&D lab and the high-volume manufacturing environment. They deliver:

  • Measurement quality to meet rigorous technical requirements
  • An architecture designed to scale to the specific needs of production test for mmWave chips
  • A unified software experience that simplifies measurement and automation
  • Identical instrumentation in validation and production to simplify correlation efforts and reduce development time
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NI’s solutions use the mmWave VST, which combines an RF signal generator, an RF signal analyzer and integrated switching with 1 GHz of instantaneous bandwidth at frequencies up to 44 GHz. In addition to existing PXI-based characterization systems in the lab, this instrument natively integrates into the NI Semiconductor Test System (STS) for deployment in high-volume manufacturing applications. 5G mmWave STS configurations support up to eight mmWave VST instruments, with integrated IF capabilities, and up to 72 mmWave ports in a tester configuration that is optimized for EVM performance. Choosing a tester built on the modular PXI platform helps engineers adopting STS to quickly integrate new measurement capabilities like 5G into their test cells more cost-effectively and with less risk of delaying time to market.

The new calibrated integrated switching for up to 32 channels enables improved accuracy of beamforming and phased array measurements without additional infrastructure. The modular head design delivers accurate and cost-effective measurements while preserving forward compatibility with future 5G bands. With these innovations, engineers can simultaneously perform measurements at both 5-21 GHz and 23-44 GHz.

NI’s release of the mmWave VST is part of NI’s continued commitment to help customers lower the cost and shorten the time to market of RFIC devices.

Read here for 5G NR for wireless communication

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