Electronic Design

Emulator Creates Multipath Environments For Wireless Testing

The TrueChannel emulator reproduces accurate multipath environments for testing up to 4x4 multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) or single-input/single-output (SISO) wireless designs (see figure). It works with wireless IC and board-level products, enabling users to stress a device-under-test’s (DUT) algorithms and hardware.

TrueChannel provides end-to-end RF connectivity with the ability to accurately measure a DUT’s response to a standardized or user-defined channel. Channel emulation is particularly critical to the latest MIMO systems, including 802.11n, that require testing with real-world effects such as multipath, fading, and cross-channel correlation.

Accuracy and repeatability of the channel model are achieved with a low-latency, custom digital signal processor supported by high-dynamic-range, high-isolation receiver (RX) and transceiver (TX) RF interfaces. The emulator supports all 802.11 requirements operating in both 2.4- and 5-GHz frequency bands with a channel bandwidth greater than 40 MHz. All RX/TX ports are bidirectional with automatic switching and per-channel gain control.

Users set up the system through an included GUI. Once set up, the system runs automatically. Automation is supported through either a C++ or Matlab-compatible application programming interface. Users define channel model characteristics through these interfaces. In addition, the product comes with Task Group n channel models. Individual channel attenuation can be controlled for modeling roaming scenarios.

Channel models can be dynamically changed at any time during packet transmissions to emulate changing environments. They’re supported by an interpolator that ensures smooth transitions between models. The system can be configured to provide physical-layer link performance PER data in real time. It works with performance analysis packages such as Ixia’s IxChariot or iPerf.

The TrueChannel emulator scales with customer needs. It’s available in 2x2, 3x3, or 4x4 configurations. Systems can be expanded with TrueChannel RX/TX expansion modules. The TrueChannel emulator and RX/TX expansion modules are available now. Get more information at http://www.litepoint.com/wireless_test/channel_emulator.

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