NI and Spirent Communications has announced their collaboration to develop test systems for 5G New Radio (NR) devices.
The collaboration will allow 5G chipset and device manufacturers to validate the performance of 5G NR smartphones and IoT devices in the lab without requiring access to expensive and complex 5G base stations (gNodeBs).
Spirent Communications has adopted NI’s flexible software defined radio (SDR) products in the development of its 5G performance solution. Spirent’s solution will employ NI’s USRP (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) devices and mmWave Transceiver System and will include 5G NR test scenarios for mobile location, video, data, audio, and calling performance. Key architectural details of the solution include the use of LabVIEW FPGA to emulate layer 1 through layer 3 of the 5G NR protocol stack.
Rob VanBrunt, general manager of Spirent’s Connected Devices business unit said, “5G test engineers already recognize NI’s off-the-shelf platform as the industry’s most flexible and powerful hardware available. Integrating their advanced signal processing capabilities into our 8100 platform enables an attractive upgrade path for our existing customers.”
The new 5G performance test solution will include support for both sub-6 GHz and millimeter-wave radio bands and will integrate seamlessly into Spirent’s existing network emulation platform. The system will also feature up to 2 GHz of bandwidth.
James Kimery, director of wireless research at NI said, “Being able to assess the accuracy of cellular location in 5G environments and measuring the performance of video and data delivery are critical needs as 5G devices come on line starting in 2019.”
NI has also announced two series of new millimeter wave (mmWave) radio heads for the mmWave Transceiver System. The new radio heads, which cover spectrum from 24.5 GHz to 33.4 GHz and 37 GHz to 43.5 GHz, are targeted at wireless researchers prototyping 5G New Radio (NR) systems.
NI has continued to release new mmWave radio heads to provide additional frequency coverage in line with the 3GPP. The new radio heads are completely compatible with the mmWave Transceiver System, including the baseband subsystem and software. They are also interchangeable with the previously released radio mmWave heads, which means the existing software can be reused with minimal changes.
The new 24.5-33.4 GHz radio heads include the mmRH-3642, mmRH-3652 and mmRH-3602. The new 37-43.5 GHz radio heads include the mmRH-3643, mmRH-3653 and mmRH-3603.