NI announced updates to the Wireless Test System (WTS), NI’s solution for multisite automated testing of wireless devices. The latest release 1.3 of the WTS includes support for eight by eight multichannel configurations and custom 802.11ax test steps with device under test (DUT) control for efficient parallel test of new connectivity devices based on the IEEE 802.11ax draft standard (Draft 1.1). Additionally, release 1.3 of the WTS improves parallel test of Bluetooth 5 and low-power Internet of Things (IoT) standards, such as ZigBee and Z-Wave.

The new 802.11ax draft standard includes significant changes to the physical layer (PHY) to deliver higher average data throughput per user in crowded environments. These changes introduce more complexity to characterization, design validation and production test efforts, but engineers can take advantage of the WTS to automate their 802.11ax measurement solutions for accurate and extensive test coverage of their new designs. The WTS instrument software and NI’s vector signal transceivers (VSTs) power large multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) setups up to eight by eight, dual-band simultaneous test and accurate error vector magnitude EVM measurements. The new software also addresses the difficult task of creating a variety of trigger-based multiuser scenarios in which each simulated user has unique waveform settings and impairments. To shorten development time in the presence of these new test challenges, the WTS provides built-in support for DUT control tools from leading chipset vendors.

Furthermore, release 1.3 of the WTS also includes updates to the TestStand Wireless Test Module (WTM). As an extension of NI’s TestStand software, the industry-leading test executive for parallel test, the TestStand WTM simplifies the creation of complex wireless test sequences for the lab and the factory. The WTM helps engineers achieve fast test times and high throughput by automatically scheduling the execution of multisite test plans for wireless connectivity devices.

“The rapid pace of change in modern wireless standards combined with constant market pressure to lower test cost demands smarter test systems,” said Charles Schroeder, vice president of RF marketing at NI. “A test solution–like the WTS–that is optimized for rapid, multi-DUT execution based on flexible software and modular hardware, helps provide significant cost, yield and future-proof advantages.”

The WTS presents an efficient and robust platform for multisite test of the latest 802.11ax, Bluetooth Low Energy and low-power IoT devices. This approach systematically scales with the evolving RF requirements of wireless standards to lower the cost of test, increase production output and future proof testers for tomorrow’s challenges. To learn more about the WTS, visit