RF Module Supports MIMO Testing Capabilities

Aeroflex has introduced the PXI 3061 multiport radio-frequency (RF) combiner to support the multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) testing capabilities of its PXI 3000 Series manufacturing test system. The initial target application for the new module is WLAN IEEE 802.11n device testing. The WLAN Measurement Suite software (3030 RF digitiser software, option 103) has been updated to take advantage of the MIMO capabilities offered by the 3061 RF combiner.

This latest release of the WLAN Measurement Suite supports the testing of WLAN devices implementing up to 2 x 2 MIMO communications. Support for 4 x 4 MIMO device testing is expected later in the year. Tim Carey, product manager for the PXI 3000 Series, said: 'The flexibility of the PXI 3000 Series of RF modular instruments and application software enables WLAN and cellular testing with a single test system. 'Because the PXI 3000 Series is a flexible, software-based platform, Aeroflex can support WLAN and other complementary non-cellular technologies such as Wimax and Bluetooth.

'Test engineers can use the same tried-and-tested platform that serves the cellular industry,' he added. The addition of a MIMO capability for the testing of power, modulation and spectrum parameters will aid RF engineers responsible for production test, quality assurance and research and development, according to the company. WLAN Measurement Suite performs spectral masks without stitching. The software (3030 RF digitiser software, option 103) now supports IEEE 802.11n MCS 8-15 and MIMO test.

Power modulation and spectrum measurement results for each transmit stream can be viewed independently using the PXI Studio application software, as well as supporting the composite measurement of error vector magnitude (EVM) for multiple antenna configurations. WLAN Measurement Suite is designed for use in conjunction with the new 3061 RF combiner/RF switch module, which provides three RF in/out interfaces to a single vector signal analyser/vector generator analyser (VSA/VGA) resource.

During MIMO measurements, WLAN Measurement Suite sequences switch selection between each antenna automatically and at high speed. With instantaneous measurement bandwidths up to 90MHz available, the PXI 3000 Series is equipped to perform WLAN spectral emission mask measurements in a single step. Not only does this single-step approach lead to faster measurement times, it eliminates the need for an external trigger to ensure synchronous measurement.


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