Agilent debuts LTE-A uplink 4×4 MIMO signal generation

March 25, 2014. Agilent Technologies has introduced what it calls the industry’s first LTE-A uplink 4×4 MIMO signal-generation solution designed to enable R&D engineers to verify FDD and TDD LTE-A Evolved Node B receivers. The solution comprises N7624B/25B Signal Studio for LTE/LTE-Advanced FDD/TDD software with newly added support for UL 4×4 MIMO.

“Agilent, a recognized leader and provider of world-class LTE solutions, is integrally involved in the development, revision, and implementation of the LTE-Advanced standard,” said Jim Curran, marketing manager of Agilent’s Microwave and Communications Division. “Our first-to-market UL 4×4 MIMO test solution further complements Agilent’s comprehensive portfolio of LTE-Advanced signal-generation and analysis solutions, and reaffirms our commitment to leading the evolution of LTE to a 4G technology.”

LTE-A is a leading fourth-generation wireless communications technology defined in Release 10, and all follow-on releases, of the 3GPP LTE standard. In Release 10, the eNB is required to support up to 8×8 MIMO in the downlink, while user equipment is required to support up to 4×4 MIMO in UL. Thanks to its recent UL 4×4 MIMO enhancement, Signal Studio is well-equipped to meet this requirement. Support for DL 8×8 MIMO was introduced last year.

In any MIMO system, ensuring the receiver correctly decodes the MIMO signal is paramount. Signal Studio with UL 4×4 MIMO support allows engineers to quickly generate a simulated 4×4 MIMO signal and download waveforms into multiple signal generators (for example, Agilent MXG) or a baseband generator and channel emulator (for example, Agilent PXB) for use during eNB receiver test. This capability is suitable for R&D engineers working in LTE-A early engagement, where access to real UE is generally not available. With the enhanced Signal Studio for LTE/LTE-A solution, engineers not only have a good replacement for UE at the early stage of the LTE-A standard, but also can more deeply evaluate their receivers.

Additional Signal Studio-related enhancements

Digital predistortion is a new capability being added to the LTE/LTE-A Signal Studio software. Also new is real-time LTE signal generation support for the Test Case Manager software, which works with Signal Studio.

The DPD capability works with Signal Studio’s envelope tracking function to help developers test ET power amplifiers. Using the capability, developers can apply DPD to their RF and ET signals before they are fed into an ET PA or power supply.

With support for real-time LTE signal generation now available in Test Case Manager, engineers working on LTE base stations can better handle the LTE receiver conformance testing defined by 3GPP TS36.141 (including clause 7 and 8). Test Case Manager enables engineers to perform complex standard-based tests with a streamlined user interface, saving time and effort and reducing inconsistencies in procedures and test results among multiple users.

Agilent’s Signal Studio for LTE/LTE-A FDD and TDD with support for UL 4×4 MIMO, DPD and real-time LTE signal generation is now available. Pricing is as follows:

  • N7624/25B Signal Studio for LTE/LTE-Advanced FDD/TDD Option TFP             Advanced LTE-Advanced FDD/TDD R10, $3,339
  • Option KFP, Envelope Tracking, $1,000
  • N7649B Test Case Manager, Option ETP, LTE FDD and TDD eNB receiver tests, $1,000


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