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World's first RF vector signal transceiver creates new class of tester

August 08, 2012 // Nick Flaherty

World's first RF vector signal transceiver creates new class of tester

National Instruments has introduced the world’s first RF vector signal transceiver (VST), creating a new class of software-designed instrumentation.

The software-centric architecture of the PXIe-5644R combines a vector signal generator and vector signal analyser with a user-programmable FPGA into a single PXI modular instrument. This provides a new approach where engineers and scientists can use LabVIEW software to tailor open FPGA-based hardware for testing the latest wireless and cellular standards such as 802.11ac and LTE.
“A quarter-century ago, NI redefined instrumentation with LabVIEW system design software, and now we are doing it again with our vector signal transceiver,” said Dr. James Truchard, President, CEO and Cofounder of National Instruments. “When we first started our company, we envisioned the central role software would play in instrumentation, and now we are truly seeing LabVIEW revolutionise the way engineers approach RF design and test.”
The PXIe-5644R provides up to 6.0 GHz frequency coverage and 80 MHz instantaneous RF bandwidth, up to 10 times faster measurements than comparable solutions. It easily expands to support multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) configurations or parallel testing in a single PXI chassis.
“At Qualcomm Atheros, instrumentation flexibility and to-the-pin control are critical for keeping our RF test process as efficient as possible, and we're pleased with the performance gains we've seen when testing with NI's new vector signal transceiver,” said Doug Johnson, Director of Engineering at Qualcomm Atheros. “The NI PXIe-5644R provides us freedom and flexibility in the way we develop our 802.11ac solutions for our customers, and has significantly improved our test throughput.”

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