Electronic Design
Virtual RF Design and Testing

Virtual RF Design and Testing

Software and virtual instrumentation meet the design and testing challenge of growing wireless adoption.

Wireless ubiquity?even if we aren't quite there yet, we soon will be. The number of wireless technologies developed and implemented over the past decade is astonishing. Cell phones definitely top the list of key applications, but there are so many others. In fact, most of these new wireless methods are short-range technologies designed to replace cables and provide greater mobility and freedom.

All of these wireless technologies can be easily implemented and incorporated into almost any product thanks to a slew of wireless standards and low-cost wireless IC transceivers to meet them. As a result, almost all engineers today face the prospect of having to build wireless capability into their products.

Most engineers, including EEs, typically aren't trained in wireless theory or practice. So, the challenge is to design and test such products successfully under a barrage of difficult conditions. While many designs are made easy by implementing a manufacturer's reference design for a given chip set, the real work begins with the tests and measurements that must be made to conclude a successful design and get it through manufacturing. A growing number of software simulation and testing products now makes that possible by letting designers design and then test quickly and easily.

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