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Software suite tests WiMAX devices

Posted: 29 May 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RF measurement  base stations  fixed WiMAX  software-defined 

NI Measurement Suite for Fixed WiMAX

National Instruments has introduced the NI Measurement Suite for Fixed WiMAX (IEEE 802.16-2004), a software suite that can be used to configure software-defined PXI RF measurement systems.

With this suite, engineers can test WiMAX base stations and mobile subscriber stations as well as components such as transceivers, power amplifiers and other RFICs. Engineers can purchase the software suite alone or with preconfigured hardware bundles. Because the system builds on the NI PXI instrumentation platform, engineers who have PXI RF instruments can quickly add WiMAX capabilities to their test systems.

Additionally, by selecting specific tools from the Measurement Suite for Fixed WiMAX, engineers can work with the same equipment they use for testing WiMAX devices to test hardware that complies with other standards such as wireless local area network (WLAN), GPS, GSM/EDGE/WCDMA and many others.

The suite's software includes the NI Signal Analysis Toolkit for Fixed WiMAX, which works with RF vector signal analysers (VSAs), and the NI Signal Generation Toolkit for Fixed WiMAX, which works with RF vector signal generators (VSGs). Combined with high-performance multi-core processors, PXI Express-based measurement systems for WiMAX which are built on this software package can help engineers complete error vector magnitude (EVM) and spectral mask measurements two to three times faster than leading traditional box instruments.

For automated test applications, the suite offers programming APIs for signal generation and analysis in programming environments such as the NI LabVIEW graphical system design platform and LabWindows/CVI ANSI C development environment as well as ANSI C. While signal generation and measurements are compliant with IEEE 802.16-2004 (also referred to as IEEE 802.16d) specifications, engineers can use the software-based approach to customise measurements. Because the Signal Analysis Toolkit for Fixed WiMAX provides access to both the raw I/Q data and the measurement result, engineers also can use it with RF VSAs, high-speed digitisers and digital waveform analysers.

In addition to its software toolkits, the Measurement Suite for Fixed WiMAX offers multiple software-defined hardware options to meet different application needs. A standard NI test bundle for WiMAX includes an NI PXIe-5663 6.6 GHz VSA, PXIe-5673 6.6 GHz VSG, PXIe-1075 18-slot high-bandwidth chassis and PXIe-8106 dual-core controller. With this system, engineers can perform accurate RF characterisation with residual Fixed WiMAX EVM results of -45 dB at 3.5 GHz in loopback mode. The 6.6 GHz RF instrumentation suite, including the NI PXIe-5663 and PXIe-5673, can perform a variety of RF measurements significantly faster than traditional box instruments. For example, WLAN EVM and spectral mask measurements can be performed up to 10 times faster than traditional box instruments. Additionally, the same system can achieve WCDMA EVM and ACLR measurements five to 10 times faster than traditional boxes.

The new NI Measurement Suite for Fixed WiMAX is priced at Rs.3.04 lakh ($5,999).

For more on software tools, visit Embedded Design India.

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