An introduction to Consumer Electronics & Market Trend:
Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic (analog or digital) equipment intended for everyday use, typically in private homes. Consumer electronics include devices used for entertainment, communications and recreation. Some of the most popular consumer electronics are, Smartphone, TV, Radio, Smart Watch and similar wearables, Video Game consoles, Bluetooth speakers, Set Top Box (STB), Music System, Camera, Laptop, Tablets, PC etc. Consumer electronics industry has largely merged with the software industry in what is increasingly referred to as the consumerization of information technology. This is enabling new customer experience and customer expectation has increased – better customer experience and better-quality products.
*According to IBEF, Indian appliance and consumer electronics (ACE) market reached Rs. 76,400 crore (US$ 10.93 billion) in 2019. Appliances and consumer electronics industry is expected to double to reach Rs. 1.48 lakh crore (US$ 21.18 billion) by 2025.
*National Policy targets production of one billion mobile handsets by 2025. Production linked incentives (PLI) are being provided to companies to establish manufacturing plants in India.
All these data show India is emerging as big market and ready for consumer electronics production hub. In order to meet time bound production and good quality product, test and measurement will play an important role.
A smartphone or mobile phone undergoes various testing right from design/ R&D phase to components integration and then final assembly testing or final QA before packing and dispatch from factory.
Mobile phone testing can be divided in to 2 major parts (A) Functional Testing (B) Non-Functional Testing.
Functional Testing is a type of black box testing whereby each part of the system is tested against functional specification/ requirements. Functional testing verifies that the software performs its stated functions in a way that the users expect. The process of functional testing involves a series of tests: Smoke, Sanity, Integration, Regression, Interface, System and finally User Acceptance Testing.
Further in mobile production zone following types of testing is carried:
- mobile application testing
- hardware testing
- battery (charging) testing
- signal receiving
- network testing
- protocol testing
- mobile games testing
- mobile software compatibility testing
Non-functional testing includes:
- Performance and availability.
- API testing.
Sometimes local government regulation requires specific testing to be mandated and many mobile service providers also have specific provision for mobile testing before this is launched in market. These testing are referred as certification testing. SAR Testing is one of them. Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) testing is the radiofrequency (RF) dosimetry quantification of the magnitude and distribution of bsorbed electromagnetic energy within biological objects that are exposed to RF fields. These levels are expressed as watts per kilogram (W/kg). Every manufacturer must specify SAR value for each model.
Smartphone Production Challenges
Today’s smartphones use 3G and 4G/LTE and 5G cellular wireless technologies with MIMO antennas for faster data transfer rates. With more RF components, smartphone manufacturers need more calibration and testing. As well as meeting the need for faster data communications, the fusion of cellular wireless and connectivity wireless technology is essential to smartphones. In implementing connectivity wireless, the module maker tests the connectivity wireless technology when the smartphone vendor purchases connectivity wireless modules for their smartphone. However, when implementing both cellular wireless and connectivity wireless in one chipset or when mounting a connectivity wireless chipset on-board (CoB: Chip on Board), the smartphone manufacturing vendor tests the connectivity wireless technology.
The many RF components and wireless technologies to test complicate the calibration of the test system by adding splitters and switches and control software. In addition, the many wireless technologies to test increase production costs through additional investment in test equipment at production ramp-up. In future smartphone manufacturing, a key issue in adapting to multiple wireless technologies is how to simplify test systems and cut production costs.
Key Testing Parameters:
Testing of Mobile parameters are performed according to various standards such as 3GPP, IEEE etc. today handset supports multiple wireless technologies and interfaces. Below picture gives an idea about various wireless technologies incorporated in one mobile handset.
Anritsu Solution to Smartphone Manufacturing Test:
Anritsu recently introduced new test platform MT8872A Universal Wireless Test Set to expedite mobile andset manufacturing testing. MT8872A have below features
- One module supporting multiple wireless standards Supported standards: 5G NR sub-6GHz, LTE/LTE-Advanced, LTE-V2X, NB-IoT, Cat-M, W-CDMA/HSPA, TD-SCDMA, GSM/ EDGE, CDAM2000/1xEV-DO, WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n/p(V2X)/ac/ax, Bluetooth v5.0, ZigBee, Z-Wave, FM/RDS, PS/Galileo/GLONASS/BeiDou/QZSS, DVB-H, ISDB-T/ISDB-Tmm
- Built-in audio analyzer/audio generator
- Simultaneous Measurement of Two Devices with Direct Connection of up to 12 Device Antennas
Installing two test units in the MT8872A main unit supports simultaneous parallel measurement of up to two connected devices under test. Since the number of antennas in wireless communications devices is increasing to facilitate more wireless communication methods, each installed MU887002A test unit supports connection of up to 12 antennas to greatly simplify the test setup.
Two TRX Test Modules can be used to measure multiple wireless technologies in one wireless device or module. The multiple antennas for the various wireless technologies in the wireless device or module are connected all at one time to execute measurements in parallel, greatly reducing the problems of moving smartphones between test stations and re-booting time for smartphone.
Testing plays an important and crucial role in success of consumer electronics be it smartphone or laptop or printer or digital camera or smartwatches. Todays customers are demanding better high-quality products and manufactures have pressure to deliver product in market in less time. Therefore, less testing time, cost and energy efficient, future proof test instruments are demand of today manufacturers.
*Source- click here
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