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NI, Spirent Collaborate to Help Validate Performance of 5G NR Smartphones and IoT Devices

1 month ago
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NI, Spirent Collaborate to Help Validate Performance of 5G NR Smartphones and IoT Devices Image Credit: BallBall14/Bigstockphoto.com

National Instruments (NI) and Spirent Communications announced their collaboration to develop test systems for 5G New Radio (NR) devices.

The collaboration will allow 5G chipset and device manufacturers to validate the performance of 5G NR smartphones and IoT devices in the lab without requiring access to expensive and complex 5G base stations (gNodeBs).

Recently the 5G standards body, 3GPP, officially approved the first round of 5G specifications in June 2018. This important step will be followed by the specification of new architectural options and additional capabilities as the standard is expanded over the coming months and years. Consequently, device test solutions must be flexible to quickly adapt to these changes and to allow future upgrades while avoiding costly hardware changes as the standards evolve.

To that end, Spirent Communications, a recognized leader in ensuring the performance of devices and network services, has adopted NI’s flexible software defined radio (SDR) products in the development of its 5G performance solution. Spirent’s solution will employ NI’s USRP (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) devices and mmWave Transceiver System and will include 5G NR test scenarios for mobile location, video, data, audio, and calling performance. Key architectural details of the solution include the use of LabVIEW FPGA to emulate layer 1 through layer 3 of the 5G NR protocol stack.

The new 5G performance test solution will include support for both sub-6 GHz and millimeter-wave radio bands and will integrate seamlessly into Spirent’s existing network emulation platform. The system will also feature up to 2 GHz of bandwidth.

Rob VanBrunt, General Manager of Spirent's Connected Devices Business Unit
5G test engineers already recognize NI’s off-the-shelf platform as the industry’s most flexible and powerful hardware available. Integrating their advanced signal processing capabilities into our 8100 platform enables an attractive upgrade path for our existing customers.

James Kimery, Director of Wireless Research, NI 
Being able to assess the accuracy of cellular location in 5G environments and measuring the performance of video and data delivery are critical needs as 5G devices come on line starting in 2019.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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