WLAN IEEE 802.11ac testing

WLAN IEEE 802.11ac testing

The IEEE 802.11ac amendment (Wi-Fi 5) operating in the 5 GHz ISM band allows a significant increase in data throughput to almost 7 Gbit/s. The key improvements are the increased channel bandwidth thanks to double the number of subcarriers, more spatial streams and higher modulation schemes. Current WLAN devices typically support 160 MHz bandwidth, up to four spatial streams and 256QAM modulation. These advanced features require appropriate test solutions in R&D and production.

The unique feature set of 802.11ac

The IEEE 802.11ac PHY is based on the well-known orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) modulation used for the legacy standards IEEE 802.11a and 802.11n. It maintains the same modulation, subcarrier spacing, interleaving and coding architecture. In order to largely improve the data throughput, 802.11ac supports 80 MHz channels as multiples of legacy 20 MHz channels and optionally 160 MHz channel bandwidth. In addition to the 64QAM modulation of 802.11n, a higher order 256QAM modulation scheme is supported. The number of possible spatial streams has been doubled so that 8x8 MIMO schemes are supported. As part of the second wave of the 802.11ac rollout, multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) on the downlink and beamforming are supported, allowing simultaneous transmission of data to stations at different locations.

IEEE 802.11ac key parameters

Properties Mandatory Optional
20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz channels x
1 spatial stream x
BPSK, QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM x
256QAM x
80+80 MHz channels x
160 MHz channels x
2 to 8 spatial streams x
Multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) x
400 ns short guard interval x
Space time block coding (STBC) x
Low density parity check (LDPC) x
Detailed IEEE 802.11ac signal analysis using the R&S®FSW signal and spectrum analyzer.
Detailed IEEE 802.11ac signal analysis using the R&S®FSW signal and spectrum analyzer.
Lightbox öffnen

Your 802.11ac test challenges

The standard defines various transmitter and receiver tests such as EVM, TX power, spectrum emissions and sensitivity. 256QAM modulation requires signal generation capabilities to transmit reference signals with very low distortion over a bandwidth of up to 160 MHz and spectrum analyzers with the required analysis bandwidth that can perform with a very low residual EVM. Testing of MIMO requires encoding or decoding of composite signals, including multipath channel emulation. This is important in R&D, but needs to be tested and verified in production as well.

Benefits of Rohde & Schwarz 802.11ac test solutions

  • Complete set of solutions covering tests for chipsets, modules, stations and access points across all application layers from RF to signaling testing and end-to-end data application testing functionalities.
  • Test solutions for every purpose – from R&D to production and certification – developed together with the key players in the ecosystem.
  • Best-in-class solutions providing the required bandwidth, accuracy and efficiency.

Related products

R&S®CMW270 wireless connectivity tester

The non-cellular expert – covers 802.11ac for testing access points and stations in signaling and non-signaling mode

Product information

R&S®SMW200A vector signal generator

The fine art of signal generation – supports 802.11ac modulation schemes at full bandwidth, allowing MIMO testing with real-time fading

Product information

R&S®FSW signal and spectrum analyzer

Setting standards in innovation and usability for testing 802.11ac devices

Product information

R&S®TS8997 regulatory test system for wireless devices

Supports regulatory testing for wireless devices operating in ISM bands in line with ETSI and FCC standards

Product information

R&S®CMW100 communications manufacturing test set

The ultra compact non-signaling tester optimized for production lines. Supports 802.11ac MIMO testing

Product information

R&S®SMBV100B vector signal generator

The new benchmark in its class with up to 500 MHz modulation bandwidth and excellent EVM performance even at high output power levels

Product information

R&S®FSV3000 signal analyzer

The right choice for 802.11ac spectrum and signal analysis in development. Supports 400 MHz analysis bandwidth

Product information

R&S®DST200 RF diagnostic chamber

The ideal environment for RF analysis during development. Supports a wide range of radiated test applications for WLAN devices

Product information

R&S®SGT100A vector signal generator

The optimized solution for use in production and any kind of automated application. Supports 802.11ac testing with a 240 MHz I/Q modulation bandwidth

Product information

R&S®OSP open switch and control platform

Facilitates the fast setup of test and measurement configurations for applications in production, test labs and development

Product information

R&S®TS7124 shielded box

Enables reliable and reproducible measurements when a shielded test environment is needed in R&D and production

Product information

R&S®CMWrun sequencer software tool

Production-ready sequencer tool for parallel multi-DUT testing with integrated chipset control for 802.11ac chipsets

Product information

Related resources

White paper: Testing WLAN modules with 2×2 MIMO

More information

White paper: IEEE 802.11ac technology introduction

More information

Application card: WLAN IEEE 802.11ac – wideband signal testing

More information

Application note: CMW support of WLAN 802.11ac

More information

Application note: Generating signals for WLAN 802.11ac

More information

Application note: Measurement of WLAN 802.11 ac signals

More information

IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN testing with the R&S®CMW wideband radio communication tester

Download now

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay up to date and get insights with a frequent wireless communications newsletter.

Register now

Follow us on Linkedin

Get the latest news on 5G, IoT, WLAN and more.

More information

Related solutions

WLAN/Wi-Fi testing

More information

IEEE 802.11ax testing

More information

Non-cellular device manufacturing

More information

R&S®CMW – WLAN testing

More information

Informationen anfordern

Haben Sie Fragen oder benötigen Sie weitere Informationen? Nutzen Sie hierzu einfach unser Kontaktformular und wir setzen uns umgehend mit Ihnen in Verbindung.

Ich möchte Informationen von Rohde & Schwarz erhalten per

Marketing-Einverständniserklärung

Was bedeutet das im Einzelnen?

Ich bin damit einverstanden, dass die ROHDE & SCHWARZ GmbH & Co. KG und die im Impressum dieser Website genannte, ROHDE & SCHWARZ zugehörige Gesellschaft oder Niederlassung, mich über den gewählten Kommunikationskanal (E-Mail oder Post) zu Marketing- und Werbezwecken kontaktiert (z.B. zur Übersendung von Informationen über Sonderangebote und Rabattaktionen), die in Zusammenhang mit Produkten und Lösungen aus den Bereichen Messtechnik, sichere Kommunikation, Monitoring and Network Testing, Rundfunk- und Medientechnik sowie Cybersicherheit stehen, aber nicht auf diese beschränkt sind.

Ihre Rechte

Diese Einverständniserklärung kann jederzeit durch Senden einer E-Mail, in deren Betreffzeile "Unsubscribe" steht, an news@rohde-schwarz.com, widerrufen werden. Darüber hinaus enthält jede von uns versandte E-Mail einen Link, durch den das Abbestellen zukünftiger Werbung per E-Mail möglich ist. Weitere Einzelheiten zur Verarbeitung personenbezogener Daten und zum Widerrufsverfahren finden sich in unserer Datenschutzerklärung..

Ihre Anfrage wurde erfolgreich versendet. Wir nehmen in Kürze Kontakt mit Ihnen auf.
An error is occurred, please try it again later.