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3GPP-compliant reference test solution for sub-6GHz 5G New Radio

28 February 2018

NI announced a sub-6GHz 5G test reference solution compliant with the 3GPP Release 15 specification for 5G New Radio (NR).

With commercial 5G NR deployments below 6GHz on the horizon, engineers are actively developing sub-6GHz 5G RF components and devices. The accelerated pace of 5G standardisation is driving intense pressure to bring products to market quickly. NI’s sub-6GHz 5G NR reference solution is a cost-effective and high-performance option for test that helps engineers quickly characterise their designs and more easily transition from R&D to production test environments.

The new reference test solution from NI is well-suited for testing new wideband RFICs, especially those operating in the 3.3 – 4.2GHz and 4.4 – 5.0GHz bands. Engineers can test devices operating with 400MHz of continuous signal bandwidth and beyond with the PXIe-5840 Vector Signal Transceiver (VST), which includes 1GHz of instantaneous signal generation and analysis bandwidth up to 6GHz. With the NI VST, the solution delivers residual EVM performance better than 0.32 percent (-50 dB) for 100MHz NR signals along with faster measurement speed.

A critical component of this solution is NI-RFmx NR measurement software, which has evolved in conjunction with the 3GPP specification. The latest version of NI-RFmx NR measurement software offers 5G NR waveforms and measurement capability compliant with the first official specification of 3GPP Release 15 for non-standalone NR, which empowers engineers to test both OFDMA and DFT-s-OFDM carrier aggregated waveforms with flexible subcarrier spacing from 15kHz to 120kHz.

“Our new offerings for 5G test are just the latest in a long line of NI innovations helping engineers bring 5G technologies to market more quickly,” said Jason White, director of RF and wireless test at NI. “By combining high-performance RF measurement capability with extremely fast and flexible measurement software, we are helping engineers reduce time-to-market and measurement correlation time by reusing the same instrumentation and measurement science in multiple phases of product development.”

NI’s new technology for 5G test also supplements a comprehensive product portfolio for RF and semiconductor test, including measurement software for 2G, 3G, LTE-Advanced Pro, Wi-Fi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5 and more. In addition, engineers can use the NI VST alongside more than 600 modular PXI products, spanning DC to mmWave, to create comprehensive semiconductor characterization and manufacturing test systems.

To learn more about the 5G NR standard and NI solutions, visit

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