Testing amplifiers for 5G with up to 2 GHz analysis bandwidth

January 09, 2018 // By Martin Schmähling, Rohde & Schwarz
The future 5G cellular standard includes the transmission of signals in the microwave range at 28 GHz or 39 GHz with bandwidths of several hundred MHz. As a result, 5G component developers require a flexible test and measurement solution to analyse signals at these frequencies and bandwidths.

5G: wide bandwidths over multiple carriers

LTE-Advanced Pro currently offers theoretical data rates of up to 1.7 Gbit/s, whilst 5G is aiming for peak data rates of 20 Gbit/s and average user data rate measured in hundreds of Mbit/s. This can only be accomplished by utilizing more bandwidth: bandwidths up to 1 GHz are now under discussion. However, bandwidths of that size are unavailable for the 450 MHz to 6 GHz frequency band currently used for cellular communications. They are only available in the centimeter wave and millimeter wave frequency range.

With possible 5G frequency bands in the range from 24.25 GHz to 86 GHz, the focus lies on the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands. Bundling multiple carriers will make it possible to achieve bandwidths of several hundred megahertz.


Flexible test

A flexible test and measurement solution for 5G has to support enough bandwidth at µWave frequencies. For transmitter tests and EVM characterization 800 MHz are required to simultaneously measure 8 bundled carriers of about 100 MHz bandwidth each. For component characterization like amplifiers even more bandwidth is desired to measure the out-of-band effects of non-linearities. Additionally software solutions are required for amplifier test and optimization and for a flexibly configurable OFDM-signal analysis. 

The FSW high-end signal and spectrum analyzer is now available with the FSW-B2001 hardware option, providing the ability to characterize 5G devices and components with 2 GHz internal analysis bandwidth. The software options FSW-K18/K18D comprehensively characterizes amplifiers and the VSE-K96 OFDM analysis software flexibly analyses OFDM-modulated signals, such as the anticipated in future 5G standards.

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