What is RFmx?

Publish Date: Jun 18, 2018 | 0 Ratings | 0.00 out of 5 | Print

Overview

NI-RFmx is a set of interoperable measurement toolkits with easy to use application programming interfaces (APIs) in LabVIEW, C, & C#. NI-RFmx also includes soft front panels enabling engineers to get the most out of their NI PXI RF VST and VSA Instruments right out of the box. NI-RFmx includes the most advanced optimization techniques such as multiple measurement parallelism and high dynamic range noise correction for industry leading measurement speeds. The result is extremely fast and high-quality measurements with minimal software development effort.

Table of Contents

  1. Soft Front Panels
  2. Waveform Creator
  3. NI-RFmx Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
  4. Standard-Compliant RFmx Personalities
  5. Next Steps

1. Soft Front Panels

NI-RFmx includes Soft Front Panels with a modern, unified UI/UX design to be familiar to traditional box users. The Soft Front Panels include both Spectral Analysis and LTE-Advanced personalities. Soft Front Panels can take over the control of instrument sessions for debugging tests, and include the ability for composite and overlapped measurements. Users can also save and load Soft Front Panel configuration and data to quickly jump to hardware configurations and review data. Additionally, users can debug automation code written in LabVIEW, TestStand, or text-based environments by pausing the code's execution to interactively change instrument configurations before resuming automation with the updated settings.

Figure 1. NI-RFmx Interactive Soft Front Panels for Quick Out-of-the-Box Measurements, Visualization of Measurement Results and Debugging of Tests

 

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2. Waveform Creator

NI-RFmx incorporates a unified waveform creation experience with the NI-RFmx Waveform Creator. The Waveform Creates supports generation for LTE/A TDD/FDD, GSM-EDGE, WCDMA, CDMA2k, EVDO, and TDSCDMA cellular standards, with additional generation capabilities for Analog (FM-RDS), FSK, PSK, and QAM signals. The Waveform Creator can create, download, and play back signal through utilizing NI-RFSG and the TDMS file format. Users can include filter configurations and IQ impairments in their waveform configuration while performing basic measurements. The NI-RFmx Waveform Creator is licensed with NI-RFmx and improves the wireless generation interactive panel experience.

 

 

Figure 2. NI-RFmx Waveform Creator Interactive Panel to Generate Waveforms Compliant with RF Standards

 

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3. NI-RFmx Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

NI-RFmx is built to be simple to use with no sacrifice on measurement performance. The most basic measurement can be performed in as few as four software calls. Each measurement includes a complete set of functions for customizing parameters such as sweep time or integration bandwidth. Additionally, every API function is thoroughly documented including many topics on measurement theory to truly understand the details of measurement optimization.

NI-RFmx installs with examples for programming each measurement. Examples include both basic and advanced functionality giving users the appropriate starting point depending on the application goal. In addition to measurement examples, NI-RFmx includes advanced examples showing how to easily use multi-measurement parallelism with results naming, composite measurements, and advanced automation with signal naming.

Programming in LabVIEW

There are many advantages to programming in a graphical environment of LabVIEW, such as the VI Tree and inline data visualization. The VI Tree is included in LabVIEW palettes which serve as a quick guide for programming and enables engineers to build measurement applications quickly. LabVIEW has a specific palette for NI-RFmx linking to additional RF standard palettes like Spectral Analysis, LTE, and TDSCDMA.

Figure 3. NI-RFmx Spectral Analysis Basic Example in LabVIEW


Programming in C/C#

NI-RFmx supports programming in the most common text languages such as C and .NET. Similar to LabVIEW NI-RFmx has basic and advanced examples for programming in these text-based languages which serve as a starting point for measurements.

Figure 4. NI-RFmx Spectral Analysis Basic Example in C#

 

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4. Standard-Compliant RFmx Personalities

NI’s wireless test solutions support all major cellular standards, from GSM to LTE-Advanced, as well as Bluetooth, NB-IoT/eMTC, GPS/GLONASS, and wireless connectivity ranging from 802.11a to 802.11ax. Each personality provides the ability to create standard-compliant waveforms that are unlocked and free to move from one test system to the next, as well as third-party modeling tools and utilities. Each personality also provides functions to perform physical layer analysis including MODACC, ACP, CHP, OBW, and SEM.

In addition, by using NI-RFmx SpecAn and Demod personalities, you can perform advanced measurements such as digital predistortion and evaluate nonstandard digital modulation formats such as 4096 QAM, at no extra cost. Easy to use APIs abstract complex waveform generation and analysis tasks to make creating automated test applications that deliver the results you need a more streamlined process. RFmx SpecAn offers simple access to the most advanced optimization techniques such as multi-measurement parallelism, multi-DUT measurements, and high dynamic range noise correction. The result is extremely fast and high-quality measurements with minimal software development effort. 

The current list of RFmx personalities is available here.

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5. Next Steps

 

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