Modular DigRF V4 tester ready for MIMO expansion - Embedded.com

Modular DigRF V4 tester ready for MIMO expansion

LONDON — A Digital Radio Frequency (DigRF) V4 test solution from Agilent Technologies Inc. enables comprehensive stimulus and analysis for developers of radio-frequency integrated circuits (RF-IC) and baseband ICs (BB-IC) as well as integrators of wireless handsets.

It is suitable for development of LTE and WiMAX wireless devices and has a modular structure designed to accommodate future MIMO designs.

DigRF V4, driven by the MIPI (Mobile Industry Processor Interface) Alliance, is a high-speed digital serial bus between mobile baseband and RF chips that is a key enabling technology for LTE and WiMAX.

'Cross-domain' test, such as DigRF V4, offers new insights that reach from individual digital bits all the way through to IQ-modulated RF signals. Agilent’s test solution allows engineers to work in the domain (digital or RF) and abstraction level (physical or protocol layers) of their choice to characterize RF-ICs and rapidly solve cross-domain integration problems.

The Agilent digital wireless test solution integrates DigRF V4 stimulus and protocol analysis tools into Agilent’s portfolio of digital, RF and wireless instruments. The Agilent RDX (Radio Digital Cross-Domain) tester consists of two new modules, the Agilent N5343A exerciser module and the N5344A analysis module, which are housed in small, modular Agilent N2X mainframes.

The Agilent E5345A and E5346A active probing solutions with capacitive loading of less than 0.15 pF and high sensitivity provide system insight with minimum disturbance at the gigabit speeds used in DigRF V4 testing. Design engineers can choose between Agilent’s new N5345A Midbus Probe with Soft Touch technology for fast probing on prototype boards, and B5346A flying leads probing solutions, which enable effortless monitoring of DigRF V4 links in space-constrained designs.

This solution also protects investment by supporting both DigRF V4 and V3 specifications. The test software environment includes protocol generation and analysis, and interoperates with industry-leading Agilent Signal Studio software and 89600 vector signal analysis software. RF engineers save time by using familiar vector signal generation and analysis software, which supports the DigRF exerciser and analysis modules, as well as signal analyzers and signal sources.

The multigigabit DigRF V4 specification is emerging as the next-generation serial interface between mobile BB-ICs and RF-ICs because it removes the inter-chip communication bottleneck. This approach supports high-bandwidth mobile systems incorporating air-interface standards such as LTE and WiMAX.

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