Applications & White Papers for 5G Wireless Communications

  • Radio frequencies in bands around 28 GHz are being discussed as candidates for mobile communications of the fifth generation (5G). Beam steering will be a key feature in the context of 5G. It will be a major challenge to test the beam steering capabilities of base stations and user equipment in every phase from research and development through production. Conducted measurements will be mainly replaced by over-the-air measurements of electromagnetic radiation. Rohde & Schwarz offers the R&S®NRPM Over-the-Air (OTA) Power Measurement Solution that perfectly fits such measurement needs.

    Part of this solution are the R&S®NRPM-A66 antenna modules. They have integrated diode detectors. Thus, there are no cables between the antenna and the detector as in traditional setups. This avoids high and potentially unknown RF losses. The R&S®NRPM-A66 antenna modules with their integrated diode detectors are factory calibrated, which means that the user does not have to calibrate them to achieve highly accurate measurement results.

    This application note contains theoretical background on OTA power and pattern measurements. It gives step-by-step instructions for the verification of the power level and the radiation pattern of a device under test (DUT) in comparison to a golden device, and it presents an approach for verifying the accuracy of beam steering.

  • Energy efficiency of RF Frontends (RFFE), especially transmitters, continues to gain greater prominence. Meeting the efficiency challenge is increasingly difficult at higher operating frequencies and bandwidths, such as those proposed for 5G.

    There is a group of transmitter RFFE architectures whose signal output is constructed from two, or more, efficiently generated components. This signal construction in effect, means that such architectures use predictive, post-correction linearization. Their predictive nature enables distortion to be (in theory) completely eliminated, irrespective of the non-linear properties of the individual signal paths.

    The capabilities of multi-channel signal synthesis setups with R&S®SMW200A at their heart, in combination with the accuracy of R&S®FSW analyzer and versatility gained by its dedicated analysis personalities ease development of these types of transmitters, and make the instruments a future-proof investment - regardless of which transmitter architecture is developed.

    The document focusses on devices for the 3.5 GHz NR (5G New Radio) candidate band, but its findings can easily be transposed to use in K-band satellite applications or mmW NR candidate bands, where efficiency is an even more crucial design target with non-negotiable linearity constraints.

  • Phase stability over time is a key characteristic for phase-coherent signals. A common 1 GHz reference signal maintains high phase stability between the RF outputs of multiple R&S®SGT100A SGMA vector RF sources.

  • The new IP connection security analysis solution for the R&S®CMW500 platform identifies IoT and mobile communications devices’ IP connection vulnerabilities in an early stage of development.

  • 5G networks will need to offer more capacity and flexibility while lowering the operational expenses of the system. Two new technologies can simultaneously address both the increase in capacity and the increase in energy efficiency: Virtualization & Massive MIMO. This white paper provides an overview of test solutions addressing current and future requirements for antenna verification including both conducted and over-the-air (OTA) test methods, which result from applying Massive MIMO antenna technology.

    This white papers complements the "Millimeter-Wave Beamforming: Antenna Array Design Choices & Characterization" white paper (1MA276) from Rohde & Schwarz, which introduces fundamental theory behind beamforming antennas and provides calculation methods for radiation patterns, a number of simulation results as well as some real world measurement results for small linear arrays.

  • The Doherty Amplifier continues to be rolled out in an increasing number of TxFE (Transmit Frontend) applications, as the quasi-linear amplifier architecture of choice.

    The advent of 5G, with its inevitable microwave or millimeter wave air interface, increase the design challenges associated with its construction; not least of all because of the potential for increased dispersion in the constituent amplifiers and combiners.

    This application note describes a measurement-based development methodology by which the Doherty Amplifier may be enhanced, increasing performance and/or performance bandwidth. This methodology is supported with a working example.

    The methodology may also be extended to balanced, spatially combined and anti-phase (so called "pushpull" or "differential") amplifiers, the latter often itself nested in Doherty configurations.

    The R&S®Quickstep sequencing software may be downloaded from:

    https://www.rohde-schwarz.com/software/quickstep/

  • Millimeter-wave bands are of increasing interest for the satellite industry and potential 5G bands.

    Antennas for 5G applications make use of these high frequencies to incorporate a large count of radiating elements. These antenna arrays are essential for beamforming operations that play an important part in such next generation networks.

    This white paper introduces some of the fundamental theory behind beamforming antennas. In addition to these basic concepts, calculation methods for radiation patterns and a number of real world measurement results for linear arrays are shown.

  • Widespread adoption of higher order modulation schemes, larger signal bandwidths and higher operating frequencies, to enable higher data throughput in communication links like 5G, places increasingly tough demands on the frontend. Signal fidelity is often enhanced with linearization.

    The greater number of RF chains and signal bandwidth in 5G Frontends mean that DPD (Digital Pre-Distortion) may no longer be the default linearization choice; 5G Frontends will be completely different from their 4G predecessors.

    The key metrics of Efficiency, Linearity, Bandwidth and Output Power remain, as does the question of how to optimally create the signal with just enough fidelity and power, with a minimum of wasted power. The solution set to that question, however, has never been greater.

    Amongst other topics, this White Paper, (i) proposes a classification of Linearization schemes, (ii) introduces the hard limiter, (iii) illustrates linearization of an exemplary mmWave PA using non-DPD techniques, and (iv) introduces a class of linearized transmitters that create their signal and linearity from efficiently generated components.

  • Enhanced Mobile Broadband, Massive Machine Type Communication, Ultra-reliable and low latency communication have been identified as the requirements to be supported by the 5thGeneration of Mobile Communication, short 5G. 5G is extensively discussed in the wireless industry. A lot of research and pre-development is being conducted worldwide, including an analysis of the waveforms and access principles that are the basis for current LTE and LTE-Advanced networks.

    In this application note we discuss potential 5G waveform candidates, list their advantages and disadvantages and compare them to Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), which is used in LTE/LTE-Advanced.

  • Generation of wideband digital modulated signals in V-band and above is a challenging task and typically requires a set of multiple instruments. This application note aims at simplifying the task and looks into the analysis part as well. Latest signal and spectrum analyzers like the R&S®FSW67 are first to allow use in V-band up to 67 GHz without external frequency conversion. Up to 2 GHz of modulation bandwidth can be covered using the option R&S®FSW-B2000.

    Former application note 1MA217 describes V-band signal generation and analysis up to 500 MHz modulation bandwidth. This application note expands modulation bandwidth to 2 GHz but also an alternative setup is used to cover the necessary bandwidth and to obtain enhanced purity in signal generation.

  • Verification of the spectrum allocation and in depth analysis of the transmitted signals is very important in many domains. For example, the IEEE 802.11ad standard makes use of approximately 2 GHz bandwidth in the 60 GHz frequency domain. Researchers and developers of Automotive radar discuss the 79 GHz frequency band with an available bandwidth of up to 4 GHz. Finally the upcoming 5G technology for cellular networks discusses the use of up to 2GHz signals in the cm and mm-wave frequency bands.

    This technical evolution already indicates the need of signal measurement and analysis in the mm-wave domain with high bandwidth.

    Therefore, this application note presents a method to measure and analyze signals with an instantaneous bandwidth of up to 2 GHz using new tools on the R&S®FSW Signal and Spectrum Analyzer platform in collaboration with an R&S®RTO Digital Oscilloscope.

  • This application note describes how to generate and analyze wideband digitally modulated signals in the mm-wave range.

    Rohde & Schwarz measuring equipment and some 3rd party off-the-shelf accessories are used for both signal generation and analysis. Measurement results are shown which demonstrate the typical performance for millimeter wave signals in terms of error vector magnitude (EVM) and adjacent channel power (ACLR).

    Two test setups and their measurement results on a commercial V-band transceiver module are presented.

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