R&S®CMWrun - Battery life measurements

Sequencer Software Tool

T&M solution

With the Internet of Things (IoT) world and its diverse applications that require a battery charge to last at least ten years, battery life testing becomes more important than ever. And for smartphones where more and more apps are running, it is crucial to test the latest features for reducing power consumption. Driven by the new IoT requirements for ultra-low power, in its latest releases (12 and 13) the 3GPP standardization recently defined features such as power save mode (PSM) and enhanced DRX (eDRX) in the diverse IoT UE categories as well as cDRX to reduce power consumption as much as possible.

Battery life testing with IP analysis, fully automated with R&S®CMWrun

The performance of these features to reduce power consumption can only be tested and analyzed in a controlled emulated network environment. R&S®CMWrun offers the right solution for such tests under real, yet controlled conditions based on the well-known R&S®CMW500. The R&S®CMWrun CMW-KT051 collects samples from the R&S®RT-ZVC02/R&S®RT-ZVC04 multi-channel power probe at a high sample rate and displays the current and voltage or even the calculated instantaneous power (in Watt) over time.

Specific signaling trigger events (e.g. LTE attach, connected, idle signaling state or IMS registration) have been implemented, providing more details (i.e. more samples). These are displayed and time-correlated on the power consumption diagram. The power consumption diagram is also correlated to events at the IP level by using IP traffic analysis (R&S®CMW-KM051), which indicates which app or IP flow affects the battery lifetime of smartphones or other wireless devices.

Battery life testing with the R&S®RT‑ZVC02/ R&S®RT-ZVC04 multi-channel power probe

Power consumption monitoring solution with R&S®CMWrun based on the R&S®CMW500 and the R&S®RT-ZVC04 multi-channel power probe.

The latest specifications for battery life measurement require not only monitoring of the current over time but also the voltage, including calculation of the instantaneous power at high sampling rates. For such testing requirements, it must be possible to measure the power a device consumes based on a real use case, i.e. powered by a real battery or from the USB interface or even from an AC adapter.

The R&S®RT‑ZVC02/R&S®RT-ZVC04 multi-channel power probe is designed to cover precisely such uses cases, and even offers up to two (with R&S®RT-ZVC02) or four (with R&S®RT-ZVC04) voltage and current channels.

Each power measurement group consists of a voltmeter and amperemeter with 18-bit A/D resolution and 5 Msample/s sampling rate. The built-in multiplier function, available for each group, ensures synchronous, sample-bysample multiplication of current and voltage samples at a rate of 5 Msample/s. An internal decimation unit accumulates the consumed power by averaging over 100, 1000 or 10 000 samples. This ensures that even very short power consumption peaks are captured, while reducing the data transfer rate to a level a PC can handle. Based on this data, the R&S®CMWrun estimates the battery life and displays all power group measurements such as current, voltage and instantaneous power on the event graph.

The R&S®RT‑ZVC02/R&S®RT-ZVC04 multi-channel power probe’s amperemeter is equipped with internal shunts that can be selected for one of the different measurement ranges of interest. The current can also be measured based on an external shunt that is configured and fitted directly into the device under test. In this case, the current is calculated based on the voltage drop on this reference external shunt – the internal amperementer becomes a high impedance voltmeter, avoiding losses on connection cables caused by high currents. Various connectivity options such as 4 mm plugs, pin connectors and solder-in pins are available to cover all kinds of application scenarious.

R&S®CMWrun offers selectable monitoring and display rates (after decimation) of 10/100/1000 sample/s and up to 50 ksample/s as well as an auto zoom function for short time intervals. Signaling trigger events can be used to increase the monitor sampling rate.

Download: R&S®RT-ZVCxx Multi-Channel Power Probe - Data Sheet

Battery life measurements and IP throughput testing are available in the following standard-specific R&S®CMWrun packages:

  • R&S®CMW-KT053: for WCDMA/HSPA and GSM/(E)GPRS
  • R&S®CMW-KT054: for TD-SCDMA
  • R&S®CMW-KT055: for LTE/LTE-A (FDD/TDD)
  • R&S®CMW-KT057: for WLAN/Bluetooth®
  • R&S®CMW-KT058: for CDMA2000®, 1xRTT/1xEV-DO

The following option is mandatory:

  • R&S®CMW-KT051: adds E2E services, FTP/iPerf and controls the R&S®CMW500 data application unit (DAU) and remotely controls the R&S®RT‑ZVC02/R&S®RT‑ZVC04 multi-channel power probe

At a glance

R&S®CMWrun concept, features, interfaces and applications

Today the R&S®CMW500 is the leading, most popular multistandard platform for UE testing. It is used by network operators, test houses, handset vendors and chipset manufacturers alike. The R&S®CMWrun automation software meets all requirements for executing remote control test sequences on the R&S®CMW500 in R & D, quality assurance, production and service for both current and future wireless equipment.

The software engine is based on the execution of test DLLs (plug-in assemblies). This architecture allows easy and straightforward configuration of test sequences without requiring specific programming knowledge of how to remotely control the instrument. It also provides full flexibility when configuring parameters and limits for the test items provided in the standard-specific R&S®CMWrun package options.

The intuitive graphical user interface makes it simple for users to test wireless devices for compliance with the 3GPP protocols for various technologies.

The applications are diverse. For example, in combined user experience tests, synchronized markers show the IP throughput and current drain at a glance. During analysis, event markers help the user optimize IP throughput and battery life.

At the end of the test, an easy-to-read test report containing limits, test results and verdict is generated. The report is available in csv, txt, xml and pdf format.

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