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Test and Measurement: Rohde & Schwarz supports D-Band antenna testing for ‘6G’, automotive systems

Rohde & Schwarz’s test solutions are supporting D-Band testing in partnership with Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics (IHP), looking at the potential for the airwaves’ use in future mobile communications standards and automotive radar applications.

The D-Band ranges from 110-170 GHz, and R&S said that the two companies have performed the industry’s first full 2D/3D antenna characterization of transceiver modules which operate in that range. R&S said that D-Band systems share some common challenges with millimeter-wave systems: A wide frequency range, greater number of antenna elements and a lack of the usual external radio frequency connectors, meaning that over-the-air testing is key.

IHP provided four different devices under test, all of which were based on the same D-Band radar transceiver chipset but had different antenna structures. R&S said that included on-chip single and stacked patches with air trenches and an on-chip antenna array. The testing found that wider bandwidth was provided by the stacked patches than by the single patch.

 The D-Band test setup consisted of a Rohde & Schwarz shielded antenna test chamber, plus one of its vector network analyzers and its antenna measurement software. The system also uses extensions from Radiometer Physics, which is part of Rohde & Schwarz, for frequency conversion at the probe to cover the D-Band frequencies (both transmit and receive). R&S said that no mechanical modifications or additional radio frequency cabling was necessary. Rohde said that the test setup enables measurement of the amplitude and phase-coherent response of a device under test, and that it can also rapidly produce 3D-pattern measurements and post-processing because of its software’s options for near-field to far-field transformation.

Rohde used two different set-ups to characterize the devices’ performance, and the test company said that it was able to reduce total test times for a DUT from 70 minutes to 12 minutes.

“Sub-terahertz frequency systems are getting more and more attention in research and many fields of application,” said Prof. Gerhard Kahmen, who is managing director of IHP, in a statement. He praised the efficiency and precision of the test system and said that the resulting measurements “are valuable to understand the physics of the antenna structures and to further improve their performance. The very successful cooperation with an industrial partner leading in the field of wireless and mmWave communication shows the benefit of close interaction between research and application.”

Alexander Pabst, VP of systems and projects at Rohde & Schwarz, added that the joint effort “will help researchers and key industry players to test and characterize antenna systems and transceiver modules for future automotive radar applications and wireless communication standard[s], that we [will] eventually call 6G.”

In other test news:

Tektronix recently released new data collection software, TekDrive, which it describes as the first native oscilloscope-to-cloud software solution that facilitates global data collaboration directly on an oscilloscope, PC, phone or tablet. The company said that TekDrive “provides engineers the ability to instantaneously share and recall data directly on an oscilloscope, eliminating the need for cumbersome data-sharing practices” and allows data to “automatically become accessible, usable and shareable across teams and partners.”

TekDrive is the first general purpose test and measurement file system with scope-like data visualizations, Tektronix added.

This technology is a game changer for teams,” said Tami Newcombe, president of Tektronix, in a statement. “Clients tell us about insecure data-sharing practices that are awkward and unreliable, and now with TekDrive, data sharing is secure and lightning fast. Launching TekDrive … marks a major expansion of our Tektronix vision to focus on relevant and cutting-edge software solutions that directly correspond to the latest industry needs.”

NetScout has extended its monitoring relationship with Vodafone, with an exclusive, multi-year agreement in which Vodafone will use NetScout’s InfiniStreamNG platform for real-time, end-to-end visibility across Vodafone’s hybrid environment. Mario Volonterio, head of OSS and virtual infrastructure engineering at Vodafone Group, said in a statement that the InfiniStreamNG platform “helps us intelligently and efficiently analyze packet and flow data for seamless view and control of our services, networks, and applications across 13 countries.”

Keysight Technologies has racked up a number of recent customer wins: ArrayComm will use its test solutions for validating Open RAN radio and distributed units, while AltioStar is leaning on Keysight products for help with testing interoperability and O-RAN standards conformance for virtualized RAN infrastructure. In addition, certification services company MRT will use its conformance test offerings for regulatory testing of 5G devices. Keysight has also launched 800G test solutions for validating electrical and optical interfaces in next-generation data center technologies, including what it says is the first 100Gb/s transmitter and receiver pre-conformance test solution.

-Both EXFO and Viavi Solutions announced this week that they have joined ServiceNow’s technology partner program. For Viavi, this means that the test company will integrate its monitoring and assurance capabilities into ServiceNow’s management solutions for CSPs and enterprises across 5G, broadband and cloud, Viavi said. For EXFO, the integration centers around its topology modeling solution, Nova Context, which will be accessible from ServiceNow’s marketplace and able to provide “uniform, seamless visibility and data integrity across multi-domain, multi-technology, multi-vendor networks and systems.”

Viavi also recently announced a licensing agreement with Viko (Dongguan) Optics Technical Co.; the Chinese company will use some of Viavi’s patented low angle shift (LAS) optical filters used in three-dimensional (3D) sensing.

Anritsu said that Cynergy U.S., which specializes in testing, repair and refurbishment for wireless devices, will use its Radio Communication Test Station MT8000A 5G platform and its Radio Communications Analyzer MT8821C 4G platform for 5G device testing.


Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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