Keysight Technologies, Inc. announced today a collaboration with Ball Aerospace and Anokiwave to validate the first commercial 5G NR active array antenna product designs in the 26 GHz band. The Keysight 5G NR-ready measurement testbed offers the precision that base station and component designers require to extensively explore the performance edges of a new class of active antenna systems in the “European Pioneer Band.” 

The use of phased arrays at mmWave frequencies requires over-the-air (OTA) testing as well as spatial beam measurements. Keysight metrology-grade test equipment offers the sensitivity that base station designers need to overcome these challenges and to go beyond simple RF parametric performance. New spatial measurement requirements include sidelobe levels, dynamic beam characteristics, and spatial variations of EVM and ACPR.   

As the first mmWave testbed with 5G-ready source and analyser inside a PXI chassis, the Keysight solution is scalable across the product lifecycle, from research and development through manufacturing, using modular hardware and software. The 5G NR-ready testbed enables multi-format testing in a single chassis for space-efficient and flexible design validation, even at mmWave.

“As our network equipment manufacturing customers are racing to be first to market, they expect to acquire velocity through their development cycle by leveraging their test solutions at each stage, from R&D to design verification to manufacturing,” said Giampaolo Tardioli, vice president of the Network Infrastructure Unit, Keysight Technologies. “Keysight modular hardware and software solutions seamlessly combine metrology-grade mmWave hardware and format-specific software measurements. These customers can now scale from today’s 4G evolved designs (under 6 GHz) into the new mmWave bands, and accelerate a faster transition into production, with minimum cost.”

The Ball Aerospace-built 256-element array uses Anokiwave integrated circuits, and was designed to deliver 5G modulation in GHz-wide bandwidths in either a single-beam mode or in MIMO applications for up to 4 concurrent beams with up to +60 dBm EIRP.

“Keysight has enabled us to validate the breakthrough data throughput performance of our Ball-built arrays at 26 GHz and gain visibility into our performance edges, using standard-compliant 5G NR waveforms and processing” stated Bob Donahue, chief executive officer, Anokiwave.

Visit Keysight at Mobile World Congress 2018, stand 6G30, Hall 6, to see a demonstration of the 5G Testbed for Design Validation making over-the-air (OTA) measurements of the new Ball Aerospace phased array antennas for 26 GHz and 28 GHz.