RF performance and coverage of IoT devices

RF performance and coverage of IoT devices

Verify the RF performance of your IoT devices with smart test solutions to ensure safe operation, even under difficult conditions.

Wireless IoT devices operate for years and can easily be installed anywhere. New applications can mean that these devices have to be used in very difficult RF environments. Smart meters installed in basements, for example, have to handle tough coverage conditions. Robots on the factory floor have to deal with very harsh radio conditions while maintaining reliable, low latency communication. Other devices such as connected mousetraps or parking lot sensors need to be very robust and waterproof, which is challenging for the overall RF design. The RF performance of IoT devices wireless connections is a crucial factor for the success of IoT applications. Otherwise, there could be a direct impact on critical performance parameters like reliability, power consumption, latency and coverage.

Best in class RF performance call for smart testing

Thanks to the availability of a large variety of easy-to-use development platforms, it is quite simple to build a prototype of a wireless IoT device and run a proof of concept. But the RF design requires special attention. Factors like the used antenna, matching networks, housing, ground planes and surrounding components could have a large impact on the RF performance. Extensive experience in RF design and simulation tools will help, but ultimately the design needs to be verified under real-world conditions with an appropriate test setup.

Your IoT test challenges

IoT device measurements typically start with RF power, spectrum and receiver sensitivity measurements in connected mode. S-parameters are measured to verify and tune the antenna performance of the IoT device. After this, over-the-air measurement of the total radiated power (TRP) and total isotropic sensitivity (TIS) of the final design is recommended. Depending on the application, it can also be relevant to perform measurements under certain fading conditions or apply coverage enhancement techniques such as those used for NB-IoT and LTE-M devices.

Benefits of Rohde & Schwarz IoT test solutions

  • Compact solutions to measure the IoT RF performance of wireless IoT technologies
  • Comprehensive over-the-air test solutions, including desktop anechoic chambers that are suitable for most IoT applications
  • Wide range of oscilloscopes for testing all aspects of embedded designs, including power rails, interference and EMI.

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eGuide: IoT design guide

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