RF and Wireless Test

NI RF and wireless test solutions span applications from mobile device testing to high-performance measurements at microwave frequencies. NI PXI test systems provide the fastest test times and simplify measurement challenges while offering industry-leading performance.

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Software-Defined PXI Test Systems

With the industry-leading platform of productive NI LabVIEW system design software and modular PXI hardware, NI is pushing the limits of possibility. Thousands of companies have reduced the cost of test, achieved faster test times, and increased the flexibility of test systems by making the switch to the NI software-defined platform.

Software-Defined PXI Test Systems

PXI automated measurement systems can solve a wide range of challenges, from complex device testing to high-volume production test. A typical system includes a PXI chassis and controller (an instrument-grade PC) and can contain any number of modular instruments including RF signal generators, RF signal analyzers, vector network analyzers, and vector signal transceivers. Using NI software, you can create a benchtop instrument or a user-programmable measurement system.

RF Instruments

NI offers high-performance RF instrumentation optimized for speed and accuracy. PXI RF signal analyzers and generators are ideal for automated test applications because they deliver unprecedented flexibility, accuracy, and measurement speed.

Vector Signal Transceivers

NI vector signal transceivers (VSTs) combine a vector signal analyzer, a vector signal generator, and a high-speed digital I/O interface into one PXI module. VSTs also include an innovative FPGA that you can program with LabVIEW to customize the behavior of the instrument. This instrument provides the ideal platform for wireless device and RFIC testing for standards ranging from 802.11ac to Bluetooth to LTE.

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RF Signal Analyzers

NI signal analyzers perform a wide range of RF measurements from 20 Hz to 26.5 GHz. These instruments not only perform standard demodulation measurements but can also be used as high-performance spectrum analyzers. You can use these signal analyzers in software defined radio applications including radar prototyping, spectrum monitoring, and I/Q signal acquisition. The analyzers include easy-to-use soft front panels as well as a comprehensive programming interface.

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RF Signal Generators

NI signal generators provide fast frequency switching, excellent phase noise, and wide bandwidths. They also provide advanced features such as scripting modes, tight synchronization, and playback of signals from disks. You can control NI signal generators with easy-to-use soft front panels or a comprehensive programming interface.

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Vector Network Analyzer

PXI vector network analyzers deliver unsurpassed flexibility in a small form factor for automated test applications. They feature network analysis from 300 KHz to 8.5 GHz, innovative dual-source architecture, and advanced time-domain analysis and time-domain gating features. NI vector network analyzers include both soft front panel software and a programming API.

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RF Power Meters

NI USB RF power meters offer up to 63 dB of dynamic range at frequencies up to 18 GHz. These power meters are true RMS instruments with options for scope and time-slot modes for bursted and multislot waveforms. You can control them with the soft front panel or programming API.

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Modular Instrumentation

NI offers a wide range of modular instruments, from source measure units (SMUs) to high-speed digitizers and microwave switching products. These modular instruments are flexible and compact, making it possible to put many instruments in a single PXI system. PXI modular instruments are ideal for automated test applications because they deliver unprecedented accuracy and measurement speed.

RF and Microwave Switches

NI RF switches make it possible to automate signal routing between RF instruments and a device under test. NI has a broad portfolio of RF and microwave switches that include solid state and mechanical technology. These modules feature bandwidth up to 40 GHz and provide fast switching time. In addition, the switches are supported by NI Switch Executive software that provides caching of calibration data and usage monitoring.

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Baseband, IF, and RF Transceivers

NI FPGA-based transceivers solve a wide range of application needs, including software defined radio, spectral monitoring, real-time spectrum analysis, and advanced test applications. These products feature multiple synchronized inputs and outputs with up to 200 MHz instantaneous bandwidth using high dynamic range analog-to-digital converters and digital-to-analog converters. Many of the NI transceiver modules feature an onboard FPGA that is readily programmable with LabVIEW.

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RF Signal Conditioning Modules

RF signal conditioning modules provide up to 60 dB of programmable attenuation or up to 60 dB of programmable gain. When used with RF vector signal generators, PXI RF power amplifiers offer wideband amplification with peak power levels of up to +24 dBm. You also can combine the low-noise figures of PXI RF amplifier modules with RF signal analyzers for low-level signal analysis. In addition, combine RF preselection and IF condition modules with PXI signal analyzers for over-the-air receiver applications.

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NI FlexRIO FPGA Modules

The NI FlexRIO product family provides flexible, customizable I/O to form a high-performance, reconfigurable instrument powered by the LabVIEW FPGA Module. NI RF signal analyzers and signal generators can stream data directly to NI FlexRIO modules using peer-to-peer streaming. Typical applications for NI FlexRIO modules include real-time processing for RF modulation/demodulation, emulation, bit error rate testing, or spectrum monitoring.

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PXI Chassis and Controller

In addition to providing PCI or PCI Express communications with the modular instrument, the PXI chassis is the backbone of the PXI system. It provides power, cooling, and digital timing and triggering buses to each module. Most PXI systems use an embedded controller, which fits into slot 1 of the PXI chassis. The PXI controller functions as a PC, and runs an operating system such as Microsoft Windows OS or a real-time OS (LabVIEW Real-Time Module).

PXI Chassis

NI offers a wide range of PXI chassis options, from a low-cost 4-slot solution to a high-performance 18-slot PXI chassis. PXI chassis can support a wide range of modular instruments including RF signal generators, RF signal analyzers, and switching products.

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PXI Controller

PXI systems feature a system controller slot in their leftmost location (slot 1). Controller options include high-performance embedded controllers with either a Microsoft Windows OS or a real-time OS (LabVIEW Real-Time Module) as well as remote controllers from a desktop, workstation, server, or laptop computer. The most common configuration, a PXI embedded controller, includes an integrated CPU, hard drive, memory, Ethernet, video, serial, USB, and other peripherals.

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The software on PXI RF test systems defines the functionality of the instrument. Typical PXI RF test systems include application software such as LabVIEW and NI TestStand as well as instrument soft front panels. Using the included driver software, you can automate RF test equipment in either LabVIEW or text-based programming environments. In addition, using the soft front panels, you can use RF test equipment in an interactive software environment.

Wireless Standards Software

NI provides software toolkits for various wireless standards. The toolkits provide signal creation and analysis software for a wide range of wireless standards including GSM/EDGE, UMTS, LTE, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth, GPS, Glonass, and more. Toolkits feature both a programming API and interactive soft front panel GUI.

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Soft Front Panels

PXI modular instruments feature soft front panel software to help you create interactive measurements. Soft front panel software mimics the behavior of a traditional instrument and provides a familiar software environment to control RF instrumentation.

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Reference Solutions

NI reference solutions for RF test incorporate LabVIEW example code and use standardized configurations of PXI modular instruments. These solutions simplify complex test challenges by automating multiple instruments and incorporating application-specific measurement code.

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LabVIEW System Design Software

LabVIEW is the leading system design software for test systems. It provides a graphical programming environment to help you automate both PXI and traditional instruments. The combination of ready-made LabVIEW example programs for PXI instruments and LabVIEW software empowers you to build virtually any automated test system faster and with more confidence.

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NI TestStand

NI TestStand is ready-to-run test management software that is designed to help you develop highly sophisticated automated test systems faster. You can develop test sequences that integrate code modules written in any test programming language. Sequences also specify execution flow, reporting, database logging, and connectivity to other enterprise systems. Additionally, you can deploy test systems to production with easy-to-use operator interfaces.

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