As readers will discover in detail exclusively in print in the May issue* of Microwave Journal, Rohde & Schwarz has launched the R&S SMW200A high-end vector signal generator that combines maximum flexibility, outstanding performance and intuitive operation, making it the ideal tool for generating complex, digitally modulated signals of high quality. Thanks to versatile configuration options, its range of applications extends from single-path vector signal generator to multichannel MIMO receiver tester.

Offering a perspective of the significance of the wireless communications market and this new product to Rohde & Schwarz, the company’s president and COO, Christian Leicher commented: “In recent years the biggest driver for growth for Rohde & Schwarz has been without doubt the wireless communications market. We serve the entire ecosystem, whether it is chipset companies all over the world, handset manufacturers, infrastructure companies or mobile operators. And, of course being an electronic test and measurement company with a full portfolio almost any electronics lab in the world is a potential customer for Rohde & Schwarz.”

The R&S SMW200A combines a baseband generator, RF generator and MIMO fading simulator in a single instrument. The vector signal generator covers the frequency range from 100 kHz to 3 or 6 GHz and features an I/Q modulation bandwidth of 160 MHz with internal baseband. Exceptional modulation and RF characteristics make it suitable for developing high-end components, modules and complete products for wideband communications systems such as LTE-Advanced and WLAN IEEE 802.11ac. The generator performs especially well when it comes to the verification of 3G and 4G base stations as well as aerospace and defence applications.

The R&S SMW200A can be equipped with an optional second RF path for frequencies up to 6 GHz and with a maximum of two baseband and four fading simulator modules, giving users two full-featured vector signal generators in a single unit. Fading scenarios such as 2x2 MIMO, 8x2 MIMO for TD-LTE and 2x2 MIMO for LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation can be simulated.

In addition to the two internal RF paths provided, highly compact R&S SGS100A signal generator modules can be connected as additional RF sources and remotely controlled by the R&S SMW200A. This solution provides correctly encoded baseband signals, realtime channel simulation, AWGN generation and, if required, phase-locked coupling of multiple RF paths.

Options for every important digital communications standard are available from the start: LTE, LTE-Advanced, 3GPP FDD/HSPA/HSPA+, GSM/EDGE/EDGE Evolution, TD-SCDMA, CDMA2000®/1xEV-DO and WLAN IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. The standards run directly on the R&S SMW200A, without having to connect an external PC. Because the R&S SMW200A is multichannel-compatible, developers can even create scenarios using different signals with minimal effort, for example, in order to test multistandard radio base stations.

Wolfgang Kernchen, director of the Signal Generators, Audio Analyzers and Power Meters Subdivision at Rohde & Schwarz said, "We want our new flagship product to give customers an instrument that makes their work easier thanks to its outstanding performance and intelligent operating assistance features. At the same time, our unique, compact solution is highly scalable and future-ready. This gives developers the ideal framework to ensure their products comply with today's sophisticated communications standards and those of the future, so that their products can be made ready for the market as quickly as possible."

At the product launch Simon Ache, product manager, Signal Generators, Rohde & Schwarz, offered a live demonstration of the instrument’s capabilities and ease of use. He demonstrated how the R&S SMW200A comes with a cleverly devised operating concept. The new touch screen allows users to control the instrument even more intuitively with the tried and tested Rohde & Schwarz block diagram as a key operating element to visualize the signal flow. Help functions are provided to quickly achieve success. Presets are provided for all important digital standards and fading scenarios. LTE and UMTS test case wizards simplify complex base station conformance testing in line with the 3GPP specification.

Ache concluded, “We have put great emphasis on making the life of the R&D engineer very easy and straightforward, especially as test scenarios are getting more and more complex. What we wanted to achieve is for our customers to be able to speed up their capability to bring products to the market and the R&S SMW200A is a very powerful tool for this purpose.”

*Look out for the May issue of Microwave Journal, which showcases a two page Product Feature on the new R&S SMW200A, offering detailed information on its key features, operation and performance. It also includes a QR Code so that readers can view a demonstration video and see the R&S SMW200A in operation.