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Leading 4x4 MIMO RF Test System for R+D and Production Testing of Next Generation RF Communications Devices

Published on October 19, 2007 at 12:03 PM

Keithley Instruments, Inc., a leader in solutions for emerging measurement needs, has released the industry's leading 4X4 MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) RF test system for R&D and production testing of next generation RF communications equipment and devices. Keithley's MIMO RF test system consists of its new Model 2920 Vector Signal Generator (VSG) and Model 2820 Vector Signal Analyzer (VSA), Model 2895 MIMO Synchronization Unit, and powerful MIMO Signal Analysis Software.

No other MIMO test system in the industry offers:

  • support for 4X4 MIMO applications
  • support for a multitude of commercial standards, including cellular, WiMAX, and WLAN
  • ±1 nanosecond signal sampler synchronization
  • less then 1 nanosecond peak-to-peak signal sampler jitter
  • less than 1 degree of peak-to-peak RF-carrier phase jitter.

By allowing for tight multi-unit synchronization with these high performance measurement specifications, the new Keithley system can support MIMO measurements on demanding signals such as 802.11n 40MHz WLAN MIMO and 802.16e Wave 2 Mobile WiMAX.

MIMO is a growing technology that uses multiple radios for both transmitting and receiving data. In RF communication devices, it increases data throughput rates without the need for additional bandwidth. Keithley's 4X4 MIMO test capability provides the most advanced, high performance MIMO testing platform available for future product development with the ability to test the most complex signal structures, including WiMAX Wave 2 and 4G LTE (long term evolution) and UMB (ultra mobile broadband), with a simple software upgrade.

Highly Accurate and Repeatable Measurements up to 6GHz

Forming the core of Keithley's MIMO RF test solution is a new RF signal generator and an RF signal analyzer that support expanded frequency ranges to 6GHz. The latest addition to Keithley's growing RF product line is the Model 2920 Vector Signal Generator. The Model 2920 is available in two configurations with maximum frequencies of 4GHz or 6GHz and can generate signals as low as 10MHz. An optional 80MHz arbitrary waveform generator bandwidth with 100MSamples of waveform memory gives users the capability of testing a vast array of commercial communications signals, including GSM, EDGE, W-CDMA, cdma2000, SISO WLAN, and the industry's most demanding 802.11n 40MHz WLAN MIMO signal.

Keithley's new Model 2820 Vector Signal Analyzer comes with 40MHz of bandwidth as standard in either a 4GHz or 6GHz configuration. The Model 2820 is highly versatile and can test a range of signals, including GSM, EDGE, W-CDMA (uplink/downlink), and cdma2000, along with a multitude of WLAN signals, including the 802.11n 40MHz WLAN MIMO signal in both MIMO and SISO configurations.

The tight synchronization of signals and low sampler and RF carrier phase jitter featured in Keithley's MIMO RF test solution allow for highly accurate and repeatable measurements that ensure high product quality and high production yields. In addition, the Model 2820 and Model 2920 can be set up in 2-, 3-, or 4-channel configurations. These dual-purpose instruments can be used either as standalone instruments or as part of a 4X4 MIMO test system, so users don't need to dedicate individual signal analyzer or signal generator units to a task.

MIMO Synchronization Unit Provides Precise and Stable Alignment

The Model 2895 MIMO Synchronization Unit provides highly synchronized signals to the system instruments, which allows for up to 4X4 MIMO test synchronization. This gives the system a highly precise and stable alignment between up to four signal analyzers and generators. The Model 2895 distributes common signals such as a local oscillator and common clock and precise trigger to all the instruments connected to the system and allows accurate and repeatable measurements of OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) MIMO signals.

Industry Leading Software Analysis Tools

Also new is Keithley's Model 280111 WLAN 802.11n MIMO Signal Analysis Software. It is the industry's leading PC-based analysis tool for either single-channel or multi-channel analysis of 802.11x signals. This fast and powerful software tool features an extensive measurement suite for analyzing all 802.11x signals and is also capable of supporting 4X4 MIMO channel configurations. The software user interface is easy to set up and comes with a SCPI command set to quickly and easily interface with test systems.

Keithley's 4X4 MIMO RF test systems are ideal for research and development engineers and scientists at WLAN and WiMAX design centers and research and development centers. In addition, test engineers involved with 3GPP cell phone production and RF power amplifier manufacturing, as well as W-CDMA base stations and other wireless connectivity solutions in defense and aerospace applications, can also take advantage of the speed, accuracy, and flexibility that these powerful test systems offer.

Keithley's next-generation RF test instruments are designed to meet the challenges faced by designers and manufacturers of today's wireless technologies and are suitable for most future technologies. Keithley's RF test instruments are built on a next-generation instrument platform that uses state-of-the-art RF and high-speed DSP technology to reduce the cost of test and shorten time to market. They provide the measurement accuracy needed to ensure high product quality and production yields and high test speed and low equipment cost needed to reduce the cost of test.

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