A second-generation vector signal transceiver (VST) called the PXIe-5840 is said to be the world’s first 1-GHz bandwidth VST.
Developed by National Instruments Corp., the instrument is an update of a VST released in 2012. The newly developed 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 two-slot PXI Express module. With 1 GHz of bandwidth, the latest VST targets applications including 802.11ac/ax device testing, mobile/Internet of Things device testing, 5G design and testing, RFIC testing, radar prototyping and other areas.
“The second-generation VST’s software-designed architecture enables engineers to 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.”
• 1 GHz of instantaneous bandwidth for advanced digital pre-distortion (DPD) test and wideband signals such as radar, LTE-Advanced Pro and 5G.
• 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 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.”
The VST is a vital part of the NI platform and ecosystem that engineers can use to build smarter test systems. These test systems benefit from more than 600 PXI products ranging from DC to mmWave. They feature high-throughput data movement using PCI Express Gen 3 bus interfaces and sub-nanosecond synchronization with integrated timing and triggering. Users can take advantage of the productivity of the LabVIEW and NI TestStand software environments, along with a vibrant ecosystem of partners, add-on IP and applications engineers, to help dramatically lower the cost of test, reduce time to market and future-proof testers for tomorrow’s challenging requirements.
To learn more about the second-generation VST, visit www.ni.com/vst/.