National Instruments launches mmWave test solution to accelerate 5G commercialization
- 2020-06-24-

NI (National Instruments, referred to as NI), is a software-centric platform provider dedicated to helping users accelerate the development and performance of automated test and automated measurement systems. The company today announced the launch of millimeters Wave Vector Signal Transceiver (VST) to solve the test challenges brought by 5G millimeter wave RFIC transceiver and power amplifier.

As chip manufacturers race to commercialize 5G millimeter wave technology, engineers are facing more severe challenges. While accelerating product progress, they also need to deal with unresolved new technical requirements. NI's millimeter wave test solutions can solve these challenges in R&D laboratories and high-volume production environments. The solution can provide:

· Measure quality to meet the strict technical requirements of the laboratory

· An architecture designed to meet the specific needs of millimeter wave chip production testing

· A unified software experience simplifies measurement and automation

NI's solution uses millimeter wave VST, which combines an RF signal generator, RF signal analyzer, and integrated switch, with a frequency of up to 44 GHz and a 1 GHz instantaneous bandwidth. In addition to the existing PXI-based characterization system in the laboratory, the instrument itself can be integrated into the NI Semiconductor Test System (STS) for deployment in high-volume manufacturing applications. Choosing a tester based on the modular PXI platform can help engineers adopting STS to quickly integrate new measurement functions (such as 5G) into the test unit, thereby improving cost efficiency and reducing the risk of delaying time to market.

Eric Starkloff, President and COO of NI, said, “In the competition to bring 5G technology to the market, traditional RF semiconductor test methods are striving to achieve the flexibility and cost expectations of 5G equipment. Millimeter wave VST is what NI can bring to our industry. The leading platform is combined with the insights of customers to realize another example of customer disruptive innovation."

The product has a number of innovations to meet the test requirements of 5G millimeter wave devices. The new calibration integrated switch can support up to 32 channels, and can improve the accuracy of beamforming and phased array measurements without additional infrastructure. The modular front-end design enables accurate and cost-effective measurement while maintaining forward compatibility with future 5G frequency bands. Through these innovations, engineers can simultaneously perform measurements at 5-21 GHz and 26-44 GHz.

The millimeter wave VST released by NI is an epitome of NI's continuous efforts to help customers reduce costs and shorten the time to market for RFIC equipment. The millimeter wave VST complements NI’s modular instrument product portfolio, which covers more than 600 PXI products, from DC to millimeter wave, and NI measurements for 2G, 3G, LTE Advanced Pro, Wi-Fi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5, etc. The software supports multiple languages ​​including LabVIEW and C#.NET.