Multi-channel, multi-standard signals to 6 GHz from R&S vector generator

Multi-channel, multi-standard signals to 6 GHz from R&S vector generator

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By eeNews Europe

The R&S SMW200A high-end vector signal generator complex, digitally modulated signals of high quality. Thanks to versatile configuration options, its range of applications extends from single-path vector signal generator to multichannel MIMO receiver tester. It combines a baseband generator, RF generator and MIMO fading simulator in a single instrument. The vector signal generator covers the frequency range from 100 kHz to 3 GHz or 6 GHz and features an I/Q modulation bandwidth of 160 MHz with internal baseband. Its modulation and RF characteristics suit it to developing high-end components, modules and complete products for wideband communications systems such as LTE-Advanced and WLAN IEEE 802.11ac, and meets the needs of verification of 3G and 4G base stations as well as aerospace and defence applications.

The R&S SMW200A can be equipped with an optional second RF path for frequencies up to 6 GHz and with a maximum of two baseband and four fading simulator modules, giving two full-featured vector signal generators in a single unit. Fading scenarios such as 2×2 MIMO, 8×2 MIMO for TD-LTE and 2×2 MIMO for LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation can be simulated easily. Until now, this has required complex setups consisting of multiple instruments.

More than two RF sources are required for applications such as 3×3 MIMO for WLAN or 4×4 MIMO for LTE-FDD. In addition to the two internal RF paths provided, highly compact R&S SGS100A signal generator modules can be connected as additional RF sources and remotely controlled by the R&S SMW200A. This solution takes up only five height units for 4×4 MIMO receiver tests and provides correctly encoded baseband signals, realtime channel simulation, AWGN generation and, if required, phase-locked coupling of multiple RF paths.

Options for every important digital communications standard are available from the start: LTE, LTE-Advanced, 3GPP FDD/HSPA/HSPA+, GSM/EDGE/EDGE Evolution, TD-SCDMA, CDMA2000/1xEV-DO and WLAN IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. The standards run directly on the R&S SMW200A ‒ without having to connect an external PC, making it possible to vary signals or specific parameters quickly and easily. This simplifies troubleshooting on the DUT and also saves time. Because the R&S SMW200A is multichannel-compatible, developers can create scenarios using different signals with minimal effort, for example, in order to test multistandard radio base stations.

High accuracy in spectral and modulation measurements comes from SSB phase noise of –139 dBc (typ.) at 1 GHz (20 kHz offset). In terms of modulation quality EVM is –49 dB (meas.) for WLAN IEEE 802.11ac signals as well as a 0.05 dB (meas.) I/Q modulation frequency response over 160 MHz bandwidth.

A touchscreen allows users to control the instrument intuitively with the Rohde & Schwarz block diagram as key operating element to visualise the signal flow. Touching any parameter opens a keypad to set a value: dragging a connection between two functional blocks (for instance, to apply modulation) creates the connection and sets all relevant parameters. Help functions are provided at all points: presets are provided for all important digital standards and fading scenarios. LTE and UMTS test case wizards simplify complex base station conformance testing in line with the 3GPP specification.

R&S comments that one of the achievements of the instrument is to provide in a single box, all of the complex signals, with fading, that previously required a stack of units; similarly, a complete measurement setup can be saved and recalled in a single action.

Rohde & Schwarz,

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