National Instruments expands RFIC test capability to NB-IoT and eMTC standards

NB-IoT and eMTC drive a wide range of machine-type communication applications by delivering on key performance criteria such as extended range and lower power consumption.

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The American automated test and automated measurement systems provider (NI) announced NI-RFmx / measurement software, which complements NI’s existing RF test capabilities for wireless technologies ranging from 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax to Bluetooth to 2G/3G/4G/5G standards.

NB-IoT and eMTC drive a wide range of machine-type communication applications by delivering on key performance criteria such as extended range and lower power consumption. Compared to existing LTE technology, the NB-IoT and eMTC standards extend range through link budget improvements and improve power consumption through narrower bandwidths and simplified radio designs.

NI said that given the intent of NB-IoT and eMTC technology for low-cost and low-power applications, engineers face aggressive cost and power consumption targets. NI’s solutions for NB-IoT and eMTC test combine easy-to-use measurement software with a wide range of RF, DC and digital instruments. These solutions can also test multiple facets of NB-IoT/eMTC radio designs. Using NI-RFmx software combined with NI’s vector signal transceiver, engineers can easily measure a wide range of RF performance characteristics such as output power, modulation quality and spectral emissions. In addition, using NI’s precision DC instruments, engineers can validate power consumption to within femtoamps of resolution. Finally, customers already using NI’s RF instruments for 3G, 4G and 5G test can easily augment tester capabilities as requirements evolve using the new NI-RFmx NB-IoT/eMTC personality to further support the device market.

“NI’s new solutions for NB-IoT and eMTC test are part of our commitment to helping engineers bring new wireless technologies to market more quickly,” said Charles Schroeder, technology fellow at NI. “With our software-defined approach to test and measurement, engineers can rapidly evolve the RF measurement capabilities of test systems to account for new wireless standards in a cost-effective and timely manner.”

NI’s new technology for NB-IoT and eMTC uplink test supplements is a comprehensive product portfolio for RF and semiconductor test, including measurement software for 2G, 3G, LTE-Advanced Pro, 5G New Radio, WiFi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0 and more. In addition, engineers can select from more than 600 modular PXI products, spanning DC to mmWave, to create comprehensive semiconductor characterization and production test systems.

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