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NI unveils Second-Gen Vector Signal Transceiver for Today’s Challenging RF Design and Test Applications

Vector Signal TransceiverNational Instruments (NI) announces a second-generation vector signal transceiver (VST). Dubbed as NI PXIe-5840 module; it is also claimed as the world’s first 1 GHz bandwidth VST to precisely solve the most challenging RF design and test applications.

The NI PXIe-5840 combines a 6.5 GHz RF vector signal generator, 6.5 GHz vector signal analyzer, high-performance user-programmable FPGA and high-speed serial and parallel digital interfaces into a single 2-slot PXI Express module.

Citing on the development, Olga Yashkova, program manager for communications test and measurement practice at Frost & Sullivan said, “NI redefined instrumentation in 2012 by introducing the industry’s first VST with an FPGA programmable by LabVIEW to accelerate the pace of design and lower the cost of test. The second-generation VST demonstrates NI’s continued empowerment of engineers with software-designed instrumentation to stay ahead of the complex and rapidly changing wireless technologies and requirements with the most innovative RF test, measurement and prototyping solutions in the market.”

“Although engineers can use the second-generation VST to solve many advanced RF test applications right out of the box, its software-designed architecture enables engineers to uniquely customize the user-programmable FPGA,” said Charles Schroeder, vice president of product marketing, RF at NI. “Using the intuitive LabVIEW system design software, engineers can transform the VST into exactly what they need it to be at the firmware level and ultimately address the most demanding test and measurement challenges. This instrument is an unparalleled example of a product that delivers the RF performance required for traditional test and measurement and the flexibility of a software defined radio.”

Product Features:

  • 1 GHz of instantaneous bandwidth for advanced digital pre-distortion (DPD) test and wideband signals such as radar, LTE-Advanced Pro and 5G
  • Excellent measurement accuracy that enables the second-generation VST to measure 802.11ax Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) performance of -50 dB
  • Measurement speeds up to 10X faster than traditional instrumentation using FPGA-based measurement acceleration and highly optimized measurement software
  • Small size and tight synchronization allowing for up to 8×8 multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) configuration in a single 18-slot chassis
  • User-programmable FPGA that engineers can easily design with LabVIEW

“The combination of the industry’s widest bandwidth and low latency software-designed instrument allowed us to discover our automotive radar sensors as never before, and even allowed us to identify problems very early in the design phase that were previously impossible to catch,” said Niels Koch, component owner radar systems, Audi AG. “With the VST and FPGA programmable by LabVIEW, we were able to rapidly emulate a wide range of diverse scenarios, thus influencing safety and reliability aspects in autonomous driving.”

With 1 GHz of bandwidth, the latest VST is said to be ideally suited for a wide range of applications including 802.11ac/ax device testing, mobile/Internet of Things device testing, 5G design and testing, RFIC testing, radar prototyping and more.

The VST is reported as a vital part of the NI platform and ecosystem enabling engineers to build smarter test systems and also benefit from more than 600 PXI products ranging from DC to mmWave.

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