From Passives to Wi-Fi 7, New T&M Equipment Validates Next-Gen Devices

March 01, 2024 by Jake Hertz

Keysight, Saelig, and Rohde & Schwarz have dropped new test equipment to help engineers at the forefront of new passive and wireless technology alike.

Before anything can make it to market, it must first be tested and verified in a lab. But what happens when an engineer is developing novel technology that transcends the capabilities of existing test instruments? How do you test that?

Test and measurement (T&M) equipment must be ahead of next-generation technologies, from AI chips to Wi-Fi 7, to test and validate new waves of devices. Recently, leading T&M providers, including Keysight, Saelig, and Rohde & Schwarz, released new equipment that indicates what this wave might look like.  


Keysight Releases Wi-Fi 7 Test Platform

Keysight Technologies has announced its E7515W UXM Wireless Connectivity Test Platform, designed to address the needs of Wi-Fi 7.

According to Keysight, the platform stands out for its ability to emulate hundreds of clients simultaneously, a capacity three times greater than existing solutions in the market. The platform supports advanced features such as 4x4 MIMO with 320-MHz bandwidth, essential for Wi-Fi 7's enhanced throughput requirements​​​.


The E7515W UXM platform

The E7515W UXM platform. Image used courtesy of Keysight Technologies

The E7515W UXM platform is built on the same hardware architecture as the E7515B UXM 5G wireless test platform, ensuring robust and extensive RF parameterized testing, IEEE conformance, and a unique rate vs. range test.

Some notable specifications include an operating frequency range from 380 MHz to 7.125 GHz, with a frequency setting resolution of 1 Hz and high amplitude accuracy across various frequency bands. Its voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) maintains nominal values under 1.5 across the entire frequency range, ensuring high-quality signal transmission and reception. The platform also features advanced noise spectral density control and supports a maximum CW input level of +29 dBm nominal, catering to a wide range of testing scenarios. 

The platform may simplify the testing process by offering inherent synchronization, better repeatability, reduced setup times, increased automation, and more efficient debugging and reporting. 


Saelig Introduces Impedance Analyzer for Passives

Saelig also introduced a new entrant to the T&M market with its recent launch of the Sciospec LCR-1 impedance analyzer, a PC-based, single-channel compact LCR meter designed for precise measurements across a variety of components.

It offers 2-, 3-, and 4-port measurement capabilities within a frequency range of 100 mHz to 500 kHz, which can be optionally extended to 1 MHz or 10 MHz. This device can measure resistance from 1 m Ω to 1TΩ, capacitance from 10 fF to 1 kF, and inductance from 1 nH to 1 TH—all with a base accuracy of 0.01%​​​​​.


The Sciospec LCR-1

The Sciospec LCR-1. Image used courtesy of Saelig

The LCR-1 is adept at measuring the electrical properties of passive electronic components by applying an AC voltage or current signal and analyzing the resulting voltage across the component. This analysis enables the device to determine inductance, capacitance, and resistance values, or combinations thereof, by evaluating the phase shift and amplitude of the voltage and current waveforms​​​​​.

Accompanied by user-friendly PC-based software, the LCR-1 simplifies automated measurements and analysis. Features include automatic ranging, four adjustable presets for storing measurement parameters, and manual trigger mode. 


Rohde & Schwarz Tests First 5G V2X Chip  

Rohde & Schwarz recently announced that Autotalks has verified the world’s first 5G vehicle-to-everything chip using the R&S CMP180.

The CMP180 is a radio communication test platform designed to handle the demands of next-generation wireless device research, development, and production testing. This single-box tester can parallel test up to 16 devices, accommodating both cellular and non-cellular multi-signal, multi-technology requirements, making it highly suitable for mass production environments​.

Because the CMP180 can manage multiple parallel signals for various devices and MIMO transmission methods, it can deliver maximum measurement speeds at frequencies up to 8 GHz. It supports a wide range of wireless standards, including Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 7, and 5G NR at FR1 frequencies, along with numerous legacy technologies​.


The CMP180

The CMP180. Image used courtesy of Rohde & Schwarz

The device's RF parameters and high output power make it versatile for use throughout the entire development phase of a product, from initial engineering validation tests to mass production. Its non-signaling test method relies on predefined test routines, minimizing the need for interactive communications between the device and the tester during the testing process​.

Additionally, the CMP180 can be scaled up by stacking two units to form a CMPflexx system, allowing for true 4x4 MIMO testing with four analyzers, four generators, and four times eight RF ports. This setup provides the ultimate flexibility and ease of separation into standalone instruments if needed​.

For user interaction, the CMP180 employs the R&S CMsquares, a unified test software that offers an intuitive, browser-based user experience. This platform facilitates test configuration, execution, and measurement analysis in a cohesive environment, streamlining the testing process across different wireless technologies​.


Testing Beyond the Bleeding Edge

As one of the final steps in product development, T&M equipment can reveal which bleeding-edge technologies are closest to the market. These new offerings from Keysight, Saelig, and Rohde & Schwarz indicate that while tried-and-true passives continue to hold their place in new electronics, wireless technologies like Wi-Fi 7 and 5G are increasingly branching into new use cases, like automotive communication.