Rohde & Schwarz has introduced the new R&S PVT360A performance vector tester to address high speed, high-throughput testing of all forms of 5G frequency range 1 (FR1) base stations, along with RF component characterization and production testing. The compact single-box instrument provides excellent signal generation performance and analysis capabilities in a small footprint. The R&S PVT360A supports demanding test requirements where minimal error vector magnitude (EVM) is required while accommodating high test throughput. The optional second generator and analyzer support multiport tests, true MIMO testing or simply double the test capacity.
VSG/VSA SINGLE-BOX TESTER
The R&S PVT360A performance vector tester meets the increasingly demanding requirements for 5G New Radio (NR) FR1 base station and small cell tests, which have resulted from the evolution of the original 3GPP Release 15 specification to Releases 16 and 17. Figure 1 shows an analysis of a 5G NR signal using the R&S VSE signal analysis software. The instrument’s 400 MHz to 8 GHz frequency range covers all 5G FR1 requirements, along with unlicensed frequency bands up to 7.125 GHz in the U.S. The 500 MHz maximum signal bandwidth far exceeds the 5G FR1 maximum of 100 MHz, supporting out-of-band and adjacent channel leakage ratio measurements.
For maximum test throughput, two independent signal generators and analyzers enable fast parallel measurements, with each channel supporting eight parallel full-duplex test ports. For each channel, the output test signal can be broadcast to all eight ports. Input ports are switched in less than 10 microseconds for sequential analysis of either parallel or multiport devices. Transmitter and receiver tests can be carried out in parallel and the R&S PVT360A optimizes test sequences to minimize idle time between result processing. With the second channel installed, users can run true MIMO 2×2 tests with the signal paths tested in parallel, not sequentially. The optional smart channel mode divides the R&S PVT360A into a maximum of eight separate virtual instruments. Each of these virtual instruments has an independent VISA address and a separate tab in the GUI, allowing different measurements on each channel. The generator and analyzer are shared across the virtual instruments, with optimized resource scheduling for all calculations and processing.
BASE STATION AND SMALL CELL TEST
For most production test requirements, standard-compliant waveforms for 5G NR release 15, 16 and 17 support all typical base station transmitter and receiver tests such as EVM, output power or frequency error. The R&S PVT360A achieves EVM results as shown in Figure 2. The measurements can be operated fully in parallel for up to two transmitter tests. If a higher number of devices under test or ports are connected, the tests run in quasi-parallel with automated scheduling of resources. Multi-component carriers can be tested and the optional two pairs of vector signal generators and analyzers enable real MIMO measurements. The graphical representation of the measurement results gives a comprehensive overview of the signal characteristics. The second signal generator benefits users performing receiver tests. Wanted and interfering signals for in-band blocking and in-channel selectivity tests can be generated, as required, in one box.
COMPONENT TEST AND IN-DEPTH CHARACTERIZATION
For active component testing as shown in Figure 3, the R&S PVT360A provides signal generation and analysis capabilities for both cellular and WLAN standards. When testing components with modulated signals, their characteristics can be validated under realistic conditions. Good EVM performance of the R&S PVT360A signal generator provides high precision test signals that create minimal measurement uncertainty in component characterization applications, providing developers with the highest possible performance. If additional signals are required, customized waveforms may be created using WinIQSIM2, a PC-based waveform creation program. For additional analysis, the R&S VSE vector signal explorer PC-based signal analyzer software can be utilized.
Measurements performed during the characterization phase can be stripped down and carried out on the box for fast production testing of key parameters. The results can then be correlated with more extensive tests performed during the characterization phase. The hardware-accelerated list mode provides outstanding measurement speed and automation options in production.
ENHANCED TESTING IN PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENTS
Designed for remote operation, the R&S PVT360A performance vector tester offers automated capabilities for easy integration into testbeds. Preconfigured test routines consistent with 3GPP requirements simplify the test process. The intuitive web user interface gives an overview of all signal generation and measurement parameters and capabilities for manual configuration.
To cover the full range of requirements in the extremely price-sensitive production test market with a single instrument, the R&S PVT360A option concept uses a single generator and analyzer to support eight test ports with frequencies ranging from 400 MHz to 6 GHz and a bandwidth of 250 MHz. In the complete twin-channel configuration, each port has a frequency range of 400 MHz to 8 GHz with a 500 MHz bandwidth. As illustrated in Figure 4, all extensions are by keycode and they can be installed instantly. The new R&S PVT360A performance vector tester is now available from Rohde & Schwarz.
Rohde & Schwarz