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NI Claims the Inception of mmWave Software Defined Radio for Fast 5G Research

National InstrumentsNI announces the very first software defined radio (SDR) for the millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum. Dubbed as NI mmWave Transceiver System is touted to be a full transceiver that can transmit and/or receive wide-bandwidth signals at an unprecedented 2 GHz real-time bandwidth, covering the spectrum in the E-band, 71-76 GHz.

Till now, engineers and scientists have used SDRs ubiquitously in the spectrum below 6 GHz for years. But with growing interest in investing in mmWare as a potential core technology for 5G, researchers are known to have a full-featured SDR platform to drive initiatives based on this technology.

The mmWave baseband software is sought to deliver a complete mmWave physical layer including channel coding in LabVIEW virtual instrument (VI) source code to expedite system development while alleviating many of the system integration tasks.

Researchers can also use the mmWave transceiver system baseband with the E-band mmWave heads or other third-party RF front ends to offer maximum flexibility for exploring other mmWave and microwave frequency bands.

The mmWave transceiver system includes new PXI Express modules that collectively function as an mmWave access point for a user device. Because of the unprecedented flexibility, users can develop mmWave communication prototyping systems or perform channel measurements –necessary exercises for wireless researchers to understand the characteristics of a new spectrum – using the same system.

Nokia has been working on early versions of the mmWave transceiver system in its 5G research initiatives for over a year is reported to be the prime participant in NI’s RF/Communications Lead User program.

“NI’s mmWave transceiver system has been a key research platform for our mmWave research,” said Tod Sizer, head of mobile radio research for Nokia Bell Labs. “The platform delivers the right combination of hardware and software necessary to expedite our research and has given us confidence that mmWave will indeed be a critical technology for 5G. At this year’s Brooklyn 5G Summit, we are demonstrating a high data rate mmWave system using phased array @ 60 GHz using NI’s platform, thus making 5G a commercial reality.”

“There’s no doubt that 5G will include frequencies above 6 GHz,” said Charles Schroeder, vice president of RF and wireless communications product marketing at NI. “The mmWave transceiver system is an essential platform for understanding the propagation models of higher frequency signals and for building real-world prototypes of these new generation 5G systems.”

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