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Agilent Announces 3GPP LTE Signal-creation Software

Agilent Technologies Inc. announced the availability of its Signal Studio for 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) software.

August 11, 2011
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Agilent Technologies Inc. announced the availability of its Signal Studio for 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) software.

Designed to work with Agilent’s N5182A MXG and E4438C ESG vector signal generators, Signal Studio software helps wireless R&D and manufacturing engineers create Agilent-validated and performance-optimized signals to design and test evolving 3GPP LTE products for the next generation of mobile communications. The 3GPP LTE standard is intended to provide a framework for the evolution of 3G toward a high-data-rate, low latency and packet-optimized radio-access technology, thereby enabling significant new opportunities in mobile TV and video.

Agilent’s Signal Studio is powerful, PC-based software for creating standards-based LTE signals. An easy-to-use user interface simplifies signal creation via familiar tree-style navigation of the signal structure. Before releasing its software, Agilent validates the signals generated by the software with industry experts to ensure they are correct, even in situations where the standards are not yet clearly defined. Used with Agilent’s vector signal generators, these signals help engineers better characterize, evaluate and fine-tune their designs under parametric and functional test conditions.

Signal Studio provides spectrally correct signals tailored for testing and evaluating components such as power amplifiers used in LTE mobile handsets and base transceiver stations. Because the signals are spectrally correct, they emulate real-world signals (for example, having the proper bandwidth, peak-to-average ratio and spectral shape, etc.). The software also supports importing a user file with data that has been pre-coded to simulate transport layer coding, enabling early receiver design and test.

The new software features the ability to adjust LTE parameters to fine-tune signal characteristics for specific applications. Some of the key parameters that can be adjusted include bandwidth (1.25, 2.5, 5, 10, 15 or 20 MHz), modulation type (QPSK, 16QAM or 64QAM), number of channels, type of channels (data or control, for example), channel power level, payload data and resource block allocation, among others.

With this flexibility, the engineer can test and optimize component performance over a wide range of operating conditions, including situations with few users or many users transferring data at different rates. Signals can even be configured to simulate worst-case scenarios, revealing component deficiencies before they are deployed. A graphical user interface simplifies signal configuration while the .NET API enables integration into a test executive.

“As a leader in the measurement industry, Agilent is fully committed to providing today’s engineers with the resources they need to efficiently and effectively create the next generation of mobile communication based on 3GPP LTE,” said Gregg Peters, vice president of Agilent’s Signal Sources Division. “Our new Signal Studio software, with its ability to create industry-validated, spectrally correct signals, is a prime example of that leadership. As the 3GPP LTE standard matures and LTE infrastructure is deployed, that commitment will continue with enhancements for the Signal Studio 3GPP LTE solution to keep our customers at the forefront of this technology.”

Signal Studio for 3GPP LTE software is specifically designed to work with Agilent’s MXG and ESG vector signal generators. The Agilent N5182A MXG offers industry-best adjacent channel power ratio (ACPR) performance and switching speeds, coupled with simplified self-maintenance to maximize uptime. It is ideal for design and manufacturing teams producing components for communications systems, including high performance, base station MCPAs (multi-carrier power amplifiers).

The E4438C ESG provides lower phase noise, higher output power and excellent level accuracy. It features advanced baseband capabilities including digital inputs/outputs and fading, making it better suited for early LTE receiver evaluation.


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