While designing a narrowband internet of things (NB-IoT) terminal transceiver, experts from Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) discovered an improper definition in the NB-IoT standard’s receiver wideband intermodulation requirement. The requirement was more stringently specified than that in the LTE standard, which runs counter to the promise of offering low-cost/low-power NB-IoT terminals.
A system-level simulation platform — based on EEsof EDA SystemVue software from Keysight Technologies and an NB-IoT library (developed in collaboration with ASTRI) — provided the critical evidence needed for ASTRI to successfully request a standard change at the 3GPP RAN4 #82 meeting in Athens, Greece in February. The change was fully accepted by delegates from many different companies.
NB-IoT is an emerging narrowband wireless communication standard developed to enable a wide range of new IoT devices and services. The standard specifies low-cost and low-power implementation for massive deployment and long battery life.
“As an early and active participant in 3GPP NB-IoT standardization, ASTRI is pioneering development of NB-IoT terminal transceiver IP for the worldwide market,” said Tom Lillig, general manager for Keysight’s Design Engineer Software organization. “SystemVue software has, and continues to play, a critical role in that development by providing ASTRI the capabilities it needs to fully evaluate its transceiver IP at the system level. Without such capabilities, issues like the improper NB-IoT standard definition could have easily be overlooked, detrimentally impacting the standard’s use and proliferation.”
“ASTRI benefited greatly from Keysight’s timely and efficient SystemVue simulation platform during our NB-IoT terminal transceiver IP and chip development,” said Dr. Meikei Leong, chief technology officer of ASTRI. “Our collaboration with Keysight not only improved the worldwide NB-IoT standard, but also helped us catch golden opportunities in the NB-IoT terminal market.”