Putting the Less in Wireless Testing
“Wireless testing” is defined as the actions necessary to assess a device's capability to first, properly and securely connect with other devices and networks, and second, complete the desired operational tasks expected of the connected device successfully. A wireless handover test simulation, for instance, has to perfectly reflect real-world scenarios in which actual handovers will take place. In certain situations, a sequence of wireless tests may also be necessary to verify regulatory compliance and the interoperability of the device, its performance, and the safety of anyone who uses it.
As wireless radio technology and Wi-Fi technology evolve at exponential rates, the expectations and burdens put upon a company's testing and verification team grow at a similar, if not faster, pace. Balancing costs, while maintaining time to market and ensuring high levels of quality and safety all have to be considered. In this blog we'll talk about lessoning 3 things: cost, time to market, and footprint of your wireless test stands using portable and programmable devices vs. pre-programmed instruments. New technology presents major testing challenges. Testing for new products often must be completed on multiple networks such as 3G, 4G LTE, 5G wireless, 802.11ax Wi-Fi and more using the same test devices. These new networks have made testing more complex and have presented a challenge to test market vendors to develop equipment that is affordable, effective and reliable. This involves testing for handset manufacturers, semiconductor suppliers, chips, and phones on multiple networks including 5G. New wireless communications are being introduced, including IEEE 802.11ax, which uses multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) and multi-user multiple-input and multiple-out (MU-MIMO) technology.
The demand is for test equipment to be portable and easily programmable to deliver the ability to conduct “over the air” tests in the field and be able to handle a greater range of scenarios right out of the box AND deliver faster test results.
Jason White, Director of RF and Wireless Testing at National Instruments summarizes the key challenges for 5G and other networks as:
- Multi-standard coverage
- Ultra-wide bandwidths, multiple carriers/beams
- Total cost of test
- Channel scaling for MIMO/CA
- Port mobility
- OTA calibration and control
- Calibrated air interfaces and chambers
As a result, new testing approaches must include:
- Modularity— add performance as future requirements emerge
- Frequency and channel agility—flexible mmWave configurations for multi-DUT, multi-frequency and beamforming tests and tight timing and synchronization for MIMO configurations
- Software-defined signal processing
MCS Test are the approved UK partner for Vaunix
Content Source: Putting the Less in Wireless Testing (vaunix.com)