5G Wideband Signal Generation and Analysis

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Worldwide demand for wireless connected devices has been explosive, driving wireless providers to seek higher data rates. Substantially higher bandwidth modes are one of the technology components discussed in 5G New Radio (NR) to achieve higher data rates. Two key features in 5G NR are especially important for the realization of higher data rates: the use of millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies up to 100 GHz, and support for significantly higher signal bandwidths. 5G NR supports signal bandwidths up to 100 MHz for carrier frequencies below 6 GHz, and up to 400 MHz for frequencies in the mmWave range.

3GPP has initially defined a frequency range of 24.25 GHz to 52.6 GHz for 5G NR cmWave and mmWave operation. First commercial deployments will use 26 GHz to 28 GHz and 39 GHz frequencies.

Challenges

As 5G applications migrate from crowded microwave bands to sparsely utilized mm-wave spectrum to accommodate wider-bandwidth modulation schemes and higher data rates, engineers must confront significant technical challenges. The single carrier channel bandwidth and carrier aggregation determine the overall bandwidth requirements. A maximum channel bandwidth per 5G NR carrier of 100 MHz for the sub-6 GHz range and 400 MHz for the mmWave range plus multiple carrier aggregation leads to a bandwidth requirement of up to 2 GHz. For the cellular industry, the spectrum above 6 GHz is a new area, and component developers are facing many challenges such as higher path attenuation, phase noise, frequency and phase stability, as well as linearity and RF power added efficiency (PAE) aspects.

Similarly, engineers must deal with amplitude and phase equalization across GHz-wide operating channels, digital modulation and demodulation performance, as revealed through parameters like Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) and Adjacent-Channel Power Ratio (ACPR).

Requirements

Developers need flexible test and measurement solutions to generate and analyze such 5G wideband signals in order to develop and optimize their designs. To support the full bandwidth and frequency requirements for 5G, wideband signal generation and analysis equipment must provide solutions that go all the way to millimeter wave frequencies and even beyond.

A signal generator for 5G NR needs to be able to generate extremely clean wideband signals with excellent EVM over a wide frequency range. This requires the signal generator to exhibit outstanding spectral, phase and amplitude characteristics. To overcome high path loss at mmWave frequencies, very high RF output power is also necessary. With carrier aggregation, signal bandwidths in the 1 GHz region come into play, making test solutions with wideband signal generation and analysis capabilities a must.

The top performing 5G wideband signal generator and analyzer on the market help you optimize your design:

  • 2 GHz internal modulation bandwidth and a frequency range of up to 40 GHz enables R&D engineers to generate 5G signals with extremely wide bandwidth up to microwave frequencies.
  • 5G wideband signal demodulation with up to 2 GHz internal analysis bandwidth and up to 90 GHz carrier frequency eliminates the need for external down conversion components.
  • 5G-ready integrated personalities to generate and analyze wideband signals in all areas – from research and development to production testing.
  • Generation of typical test scenarios such as coexistence tests with LTE or wide bandwidth 5G signals in the microwave range with a single instrument.
  • Frequency response correction options compensate for cables, connectors and test fixtures used in the test setup.

Visit Rohde & Schwarz for more information.

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