NI, Spirent collaborate on 5G NR test

July 17, 2018 // By Rich Pell
Automated test and measurement systems provider National Instruments (Austin, TX) and telecommunications testing company Spirent Communications (Crawley, UK) have announced a collaboration to develop test systems for 5G New Radio (NR) devices.

The collaboration, say the companies, will allow 5G chipset and device manufacturers to validate the performance of 5G NR smartphones and IoT devices in the lab without requiring access to expensive and complex 5G base stations. As part of the arrangement, Spirent has adopted flexible software defined radio (SDR) products from NI in the development of its 5G performance system.

Spirent's system will use USRP (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) devices and the mmWave Transceiver System from NI, and will include 5G NR test scenarios for mobile location, video, data, audio, and calling performance. Key architectural details include the use of LabVIEW FPGA to emulate layer 1 through layer 3 of the 5G NR protocol stack.

"Building on the strength of NI's early success in 5G research and prototyping, combined with the modularity of its platform, accelerates initial interoperability and means our customers can feel confident that the platform can adapt to the evolving standards," says Rob VanBrunt, general manager of Spirent's Connected Devices business unit. "5G test engineers already recognize NI's off-the-shelf platform as the industry’s most flexible and powerful hardware available. Integrating their advanced signal processing capabilities into our 8100 platform enables an attractive upgrade path for our existing customers."

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