Microwave Journal

Azimuth launches ACE RNX radio network emulator


December 9, 2014

Azimuth Systems, Inc., a leading provider of comprehensive real-world wireless test solutions for LTE-Advanced and beyond, announced general availability of the ACE™ RNX radio network emulation platform. ACE RNX has been purpose-built to support advanced testing configurations for small cells, HetNets, carrier aggregation, MU-MIMO, full dimension MIMO, 3D beamforming and advanced antenna systems. With superior ease of use as a central design tenet, the platform enables users to design complex wireless networks consisting of multiple cells with dynamic mobility paths, in a very easy-to-use drag and drop GUI, and then easily implement and execute complex multi-link test cases. It is a future-proofed platform designed to meet the testing challenges faced by the mobile ecosystem during the development, qualification, and deployment of next generation wireless technologies such as LTE-Advanced.

Azimuth recognized that modern test labs would require tools and solutions for current challenges that also anticipated future needs and understood that the existing channel emulation tools on the market did not adequately address those requirements. For example, testbeds updated to support carrier aggregation may require 2 or 3x as many links as previously. This directly impacts required test resources and test cycle time for performance testing. RNX has been purpose built to simplify test set and execution for these multi-link test cases and may achieve 50 percent reductions in test time. With the ACE RNX, Azimuth now provides a platform that delivers on the performance and channel density the marketplace needs for accurate real-world wireless testing, while meeting the increasingly demanding requirements of modern test labs with a future-proofed design.

The new ACE RNX is enabled by Azimuth’s Director 3™ software for test management and automation. Director 3 provides critical testing information for re-creation, visualization, troubleshooting and automation, making it the most robust and intuitive testing software suite of its kind in the industry. Engineered to support the emerging mobile wireless networks being developed and deployed around the globe, Azimuth’s Director 3 Test Executive provides innovative new tools including “Scenario Builder” and “Link Builder” for more effective multi-link testing. Existing solutions are limited in their ability to flexibly create, emulate, and manage complex network topologies where multiple radio links and devices are present. As an example, OEMs and test labs testing Carrier Aggregation are experiencing the impact of these limitations, with lengthy setup and calibration times and with inadequate repeatability in test results. Conversely, Director 3’s Scenario Builder is a visually intuitive, drag and drop GUI that enables the creation of complex multi-link test scenarios, while Link Builder provides the intelligent coordinated control required of multiple individual links.

Azimuth is also introducing an innovative cloud based interface with SOAP automation in Director 3 that directly addresses the need for greater flexibility in managing testbeds and provides unmatched capabilities for remote access and control. Furthermore, the ACE RNX platform delivers market leading RF fidelity required for testing LTE-Advanced along with features such as built-in real time fading. The platform supports industry standard models or user defined custom models that allow users to easily recreate a variety of typical MIMO scenarios for accurate performance and interoperability testing, with 128+ digital channels available through multiple scalable configurations. “As deployments of LTE-Advanced networks, including carrier aggregation and HetNet with small cells, continue to ramp, the interaction between the device and the network increasingly impacts end user experience. The growing network scale and LTE-A features inexorably create more complex testing challenges. Beta product evaluations at key customers and partners confirmed that our focus on ease-of-use is exactly what will enable our customers to scale to meet their evolving needs while reducing total cost of ownership, ” said Erik Org, director of product management of Azimuth Systems. “With its easy-to-use interface and future-proofed architecture, the ACE RNX demonstrates why Azimuth is again able to provide the industry’s leading channel emulation platform for real-world testing of existing and emerging MIMO RF systems.”

The ACE RNX is part of Azimuth’s growing portfolio of innovative products and solutions for performance testing, benchmarking, and analysis of devices and networks. Leveraging a thorough systems-level understanding of complex radio scenarios, and through close collaboration with our customers, Azimuth is able to provide the market with a suite of scalable, easy-to-use, and futureproofed wireless test solutions which enable the mobile ecosystem to predict, analyze, and improve performance, and ultimately help optimize end user experience.