November 18, 2012. Agilent Technologies Inc. has extended its support of 802.11ac WLAN test with its latest measurement application release for X-Series signal analyzers. The software release offers expanded WLAN support to include the emerging 802.11ac standard.
With this release, test engineers will be able to accelerate design verification and measurement of 802.11ac WLAN components and devices in product development and high-throughput manufacturing environments.
The latest WLAN technology, 802.11ac, builds on 802.11n with a wider RF bandwidth (up to 160 MHz), MIMO support, and high-density 256-QAM modulation to enable 1-Gbps throughput below 6 GHz for multiple stations. Agilent’s X-Series signal analyzers now support this emerging standard with the release of the two new options for the N9077A WLAN measurement application that simplify design verification and speed high-volume manufacturing.
“Designing and testing next-generation wireless components and devices are highly complex and challenging tasks requiring the industry’s best, most up-to-date solutions,” said Jim Curran, marketing manager of Agilent’s Microwave and Communications Division. “Adding support for 802.11ac demonstrates our continued commitment to providing the industry-leading solutions required for successful next-generation wireless testing. It further enhances the unmatched measurement power and versatility of our X-Series signal analyzers, while providing support for the emerging standards that engineers need to design for the future.”
In addition to supporting 802.11 a/b/g/n, the N9077A WLAN measurement application now offers one-button 802.11ac testing with a new option (4FP), enabling design verification and validation early in the product-development process.
When combined with Agilent’s highest performance PXA signal analyzer, equipped with analysis bandwidth of 160 MHz (Option B1X), the N9077A with Option 4FP enables engineers to measure the full bandwidth of 802.11ac WLAN signals from 20 to 160 MHz and 80+80 MHz.
Key application measurements include transmit constellation error (EVM), transmit spectrum mask (SEM), spectral flatness and CCDF–all with built-in pass/fail test indicators per IEEE standards.
Running inside a signal analyzer, the N9077A WLAN measurement application with Option 4FP can make in-channel and swept measurements that increase the channel span to 800 MHz. This eliminates the need for IF digital bandwidth hardware when performing 802.11ac 160-MHz spectrum emission measurements. It also supports the noncontiguous channel SEM of 80+80 MHz in 802.11ac.
Agilent also announced a new WLAN list sequence capability, available as an option with the N9077A WLAN measurement application (Option 5FP) for MXA or EXA X-Series signal analyzers. The capability helps accelerate manufacturing of 802.11ac (up to 40 MHz bandwidth) and 802.11a/b/g/n components and devices.
List sequence measurements speed up testing by eliminating measurement switching and reconfiguration for disparate bursts. Using SCPI commands, it makes a single acquisition of up to 45 WLAN bursts where each burst may be configured with a different frequency, standard, power range, or trigger type. Measurements (including modulation analysis, transmit power and transmit output spectrum/SEM) are then made on all 45 bursts with the results for each burst returned in mere seconds. This functionality enables test engineers to perform large volumes of tests quickly and efficiently, while maintaining the flexibility required to calibrate, exercise and characterize WLAN products.
The N9077A WLAN measurement application is part of a common library of more than 25 measurement applications for Agilent X-Series signal analyzers. The applications cover cellular communications, wireless connectivity, digital video, and aerospace and defense. The X-Series analyzers use an evolutionary approach to signal analysis that spans instrumentation, measurements and software. Agilent’s X-Series signal analyzers include the high-end PXA, the versatile MXA, the general-purpose EXA and the low-cost CXA. These analyzers provide a consistent framework for signal analysis and the flexibility to address business and technical requirements across multiple products and programs.
Agilent’s newest N9077A WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac measurement application software release for X-Series signal analyzers is available now. The 802.11ac functionality (Option 4FP) is available for $4,000. The WLAN list-sequence capability (Option 5FP) is available for $7,400.