Press release

NI Introduces mmWave Test Solution to Accelerate the Race to 5G Commercialization

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NIWeek – NI (Nasdaq: NATI), the provider of a software-defined
platform that helps accelerate the development and performance of
automated test and automated measurement systems, today announced the
mmWave Vector Signal Transceiver (VST) to address the test challenges of
5G mmWave RFIC transceivers and power amplifiers. This product will be
demonstrated at NIWeek 2019 in multi-site production test configurations
for packaged part and wafer-level test and in validation test
configurations using over-the-air measurements.

With chipmakers racing to commercialize 5G mmWave technology, engineers
face the daunting challenge of accelerating product schedules combined
with new and often unsolved technical requirements. NI’s mmWave test
solutions address these challenges in both the R&D lab and the
high-volume manufacturing environment. They deliver:

  • Measurement quality to meet rigorous technical requirements
  • An architecture designed to scale to the specific needs of production
    test for mmWave chips
  • A unified software experience that simplifies measurement and
  • Identical instrumentation in validation and production to simplify
    correlation efforts and reduce development time

NI’s solutions use the mmWave VST, which combines an RF signal
generator, an RF signal analyzer and integrated switching with 1 GHz of
instantaneous bandwidth at frequencies up to 44 GHz. In addition to
existing PXI-based characterization systems in the lab, this instrument
natively integrates into the NI Semiconductor Test System (STS) for
deployment in high-volume manufacturing applications. 5G mmWave STS
configurations support up to eight mmWave VST instruments, with
integrated IF capabilities, and up to 72 mmWave ports in a tester
configuration that is optimized for EVM performance. Choosing a tester
built on the modular PXI platform helps engineers adopting STS to
quickly integrate new measurement capabilities like 5G into their test
cells more cost-effectively and with less risk of delaying time to

“In the race to bring 5G technology to market, traditional approaches to
RF semiconductor test are struggling to deliver on the flexibility and
cost expectations of 5G devices,” said Eric Starkloff, president and
chief operating officer at NI. “The mmWave VST is yet another example of
NI’s ability to combine our industry-leading platform with deep customer
insight to enable customers’ disruptive innovations.”

This product features several innovations to address the test
requirements of 5G mmWave devices. The new calibrated integrated
switching for up to 32 channels enables improved accuracy of beamforming
and phased array measurements without additional infrastructure. The
modular head design delivers accurate and cost-effective measurements
while preserving forward compatibility with future 5G bands. With these
innovations, engineers can simultaneously perform measurements at both
5-21 GHz and 23-44 GHz.

NI’s release of the mmWave VST is part of NI’s continued commitment to
help customers lower the cost and shorten the time to market of RFIC
devices. The mmWave VST complements NI’s modular instrumentation
portfolio of more than 600 PXI products, ranging from DC to mmWave, and
NI’s measurement software for 2G, 3G, LTE Advanced Pro, 5G NR, Wi-Fi
802.11ax, Bluetooth 5 and more, with support for many languages
including LabVIEW and C# .NET.

Find more information about the NI mmWave test solution here
or 5G NR for wireless communication here.

About NI

NI ( develops high-performance automated test and automated
measurement systems to help you solve your engineering challenges now
and into the future. Our open, software-defined platform uses modular
hardware and an expansive ecosystem to help you turn powerful
possibilities into real solutions.

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