Agilent Technologies Inc. introduced a real-time 2G/3G fading solution that features a direct digital connection between the N5106A PXB baseband generator and channel emulator and E5515C 8960 wireless communications test set. This is the most cost-effective cellular fading solution available for R&D engineers who need to validate the receiver sensitivity of wireless devices under real-world signal conditions.

The new PXB capability supports real-time fading for W-CDMA/HSPA, GSM/GPRS/EGPRS, cdma2000® and 1xEV-DO technologies on the E5515C (8960) wireless communications test set. The direct digital connection between the PXB and 8960 provides a more cost-effective fading solution by reducing setup and test time relative to other commercially available solutions. The direct digital connection also eliminates unnecessary signal conversions and maintains the 8960’s RF signal quality with automated power calibration that takes just seconds to complete. In addition, the ability to use general-purpose test equipment reduces equipment cost and improves utilization across the R&D life cycle. Engineers can now more cost effectively validate receiver performance by testing many radio formats and test configurations.

With the new real-time fading capability and the direct digital connection, the PXB and 8960 support:

• single-channel fading;

• single channel with custom interferer;

• dual channel for soft handover test; and

• 1x2 receive diversity

The PXB and 8960 can also be combined with the N7609B Signal Studio for Global Navigation Satellite Systems software for testing Assisted GPS (A-GPS) functionality in mobile devices. These products are integrated with test software in the GS-9000 A-GPS Design Verification Test Systems for conducting A-GPS functional and pre-conformance testing.

Agilent’s N5106A PXB is the only instrument to combine multi-format baseband generation, real-time fading and signal capture in a single box. This makes the PXB an ideal solution for comprehensive diagnostics of receiver signal processing components and devices. The PXB minimizes design uncertainty and has the most flexibility to test beyond standard requirements. The PXB provides up to six baseband generators, up to eight faders and more than 20 calibrated configurations up to 4x2 MIMO, which can be reconfigured in seconds.

The Agilent 8960 can be used for wireless device development, manufacturing and repair of all major 2G/3G wireless technologies. The 8960 provides test solutions for mobile devices across the entire life cycle on a single platform. Using a consistent test engine across the design process reduces development time by streamlining test programs, instrument support, training and problem resolution.

“Engineers generally employ RF faders to comprehensively predict the performance of their receiver signal processing components and devices in response to real-world conditions,” said Guy Séné, Vice President and General Manager of Agilent’s Microwave & Communications Division. “The new direct digital connection offers engineers the performance of expensive RF faders, but at a much lower price point and with reduced setup and test time.”