WLAN IEEE 802.11ax testing

Rohde & Schwarz test solutions are optimized to help test engineers join the WLAN revolution by implementing the sixth generation of Wi-Fi.

WLAN IEEE 802.11ax testing

The new IEEE 802.11ax amendment (Wi-Fi 6) operating in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz ISM bands intends to improve WLAN system efficiency, especially the throughput per station in dense signal environments and outdoor environments. For the first time, Wi-Fi 6 allows simultaneous scheduled communications of multiple stations from and to the access point (AP) – a kind of revolution for Wi-Fi. This requires a couple of new features to be introduced that necessitate new testing and certification approaches. Our unique portfolio, which offers testing in non-signaling and signaling mode, is ideal for meeting these needs.

Evolution from 802.11ac to 802.11ax covering OFDMA and MU-MIMO in uplink and downlink.
Evolution from 802.11ac to 802.11ax covering OFDMA and MU-MIMO in uplink and downlink.
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The Wi-Fi 6 revolution

The IEEE 802.11ax PHY is essentially based on IEEE 802.11ac but uses a decreased subcarrier spacing of 78.125 kHz. This quadruples the symbol time, which, together with longer guard times, helps to improve robustness and efficiency. 1024QAM modulation and MU-MIMO will also be supported. The major changes come from the introduction of OFDMA, which enables multiple stations to be served simultaneously in order to improve overall capacity, latency and efficiency in dense signal environments. Resource units (RU) are being introduced to split the available spectrum in smaller parts. A scheduling procedure using trigger frames ensures synchronized uplink communications in OFDMA and MU-MIMO schemes.

New measurements related to the trigger frame.
New measurements related to the trigger frame.
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Your 802.11ax test challenges

The 11ax standard defines various transmitter and receiver tests such as EVM, TX power, spectrum emissions and sensitivity. For example, 1024QAM modulation requires signal generation capabilities to transmit reference signals with very low distortion over a bandwidth of up to 160 MHz and the required analysis bandwidth. Completely new are tests to ensure that stations perform correctly in following the scheduling rules for time and frequency resources for the uplink, as defined in the new trigger frame. This includes measurements such as timing error, unused tone error and TX power adjustment, which requires a test solution in signaling mode.

Benefits of Rohde & Schwarz 802.11ax 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
  • Signaling test solutions covering the new tests required for OFDMA/MU-MIMO in development and certification

Related products

R&S®CMW270 wireless connectivity tester

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

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R&S®SMW200A vector signal generator

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

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R&S®FSW signal and spectrum analyzer

Setting standards in innovation and usability for testing 802.11ax devices

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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

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R&S®CMW100 communications manufacturing test set

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

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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

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R&S®FSV3000 signal analyzer

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

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R&S®DST200 RF diagnostic chamber

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

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R&S®SGT100A vector signal generator

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

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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

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R&S®TS7124 shielded box

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

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R&S®CMWrun sequencer software tool

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

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Related resources

Webinar: Three good reasons to rethink your Wi-Fi 802.11ax test strategy

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White paper: IEEE 802.11ax technology introduction

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Application note: Generating WLAN IEEE 802.11ax signals

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Application card: Testing uplink accuracy for WLAN IEEE 802.11ax

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Article: Signaling tests on WLAN 802.11ax devices

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Article: WLAN 802.11ax speeds up communications in multi-user scenarios

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Article: MIMO measurements on WLAN radio components

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Webinar: 5 things to know about 802.11ax and why testing is more important than ever before

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

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