One box solution for FR1 base station, small cell, and RF component testing

2 mins read

Rohde & Schwarz has introduced the PVT360A performance vector tester, intended for high-speed, high-throughput testing of all forms of 5G FR1 base stations and small cells as well as for RF components characterization or production.

This single box solution meets the increasingly demanding requirements for 5G NR FR1 base station and small cell tests, resulting from additions to the original 3GPP Release 15 specification in Releases 16 and 17.

The instrument’s frequency range from 400 MHz to 8 GHz covers not just all 5G FR1 requirements, but also the extension to unlicensed frequency bands in the USA to 7.125 GHz. The 500 MHz maximum signal bandwidth significantly exceeds the 5G FR1 maximum of 100 MHz, supporting out of band and adjacent channel leakage ratio (ACLR) measurements.

For maximum test throughput, two independent signal generators and analysers enable fast parallel measurements; the twin channels each support eight parallel full-duplex test ports.

For each channel, the output test signal can be broadcast to all eight ports. For input, ports are fast-switched in less than 10 microseconds for sequential analysis of either parallel or multiport devices. Transmitter and receiver tests can be carried out in parallel; the R&S PVT360A optimises test sequences to minimise any idle time between result processing.

With the second channel installed, users can run True MIMO 2x2 tests with the signal paths tested in parallel, not sequentially. The optional smart channel mode divides the R&S PVT360A in up to eight separate virtual instruments, each with independent output signals and input measurements. The generator and analyser are shared across the virtual instruments, with optimised resource scheduling for all calculations and processing.

For most production test requirements, standard compliant waveforms for 5G NR release 15, 16 and 17 (plus WLAN standards up to 8 GHz) support all typical base station transmitter and receiver tests such as EVM, output power or frequency error. In particular, for component characterization applications, with developers searching for the highest possible performance, the low EVM of the R&S PVT360A signal generator provides high precision test signals for minimal measurement uncertainty.

If additional signals are required, however, customised waveforms may be created using WinIQSIM2, the PC-based waveform creation programme. For additional analysis the R&S VSE Vector Signal Explorer PC-based signal analyser software is utilised.

To cover the full range of requirements in the extremely price-sensitive market for production test with a single instrument, the R&S PVT360A option concept supports setups from a single generator and analyser with eight test ports for frequencies from 400 MHz to 6 GHz and a bandwidth of 250 MHz, up to the complete twin channel configuration each with the full frequency and bandwidth ranges of 8 GHz and 500 MHz. All updates are by keycode and can be installed instantly.