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LitePoint debuts 'first' device test for Multicom

Posted: 12 Dec 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:device test? Multicom application? wireless connectivity?

LitePoint Corp. has launched the first device test solution designed specifically for Multicom devices!single devices, such as smart phones and mobile Internet devices, containing multiple radios and wireless connectivity standards.

The IQ2010 connectivity test system is designed to keep test times and costs low without compromising Multicom device test accuracy. Using a variety of RF ports and user-selected (licensed) communications standards, the IQ2010 can be configured to suit a device's set of wireless connectivity features. Combined with concurrent testing and sequence-based testing (SBT), an IQ2010 system can reduce test times significantly. For example, Wi-Fi transmit tests can be reduced to one-sixth the typical test time, and Wi-Fi receive tests can be cut to one-fourth.

"The handwriting was on the wall. Testing became more of a cost component in Multicom products," said John Lukez, director of product management. "We combined our experience in testing many different wireless standards into a single system that could test them all. And, by using software-defined testing, we make it possible for users to buy just what they need, now, and add capabilities at incremental cost, later."

The IQ2010 test system uses multiple hardware blocks to provide concurrent test capabilities for GPS and FM wireless standards in parallel with Wi-Fi, WiMAX, Bluetooth and NFC standards. Multiple vector signal generator sections provide transmit signals for FM, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, WiMAX and NFC transmit testing. Multiple vector signal analyzer sections provide matching capabilities for receive testing.

The IQ2010 test system includes software libraries specific to each communication standard (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 1.0, 2.0, 2.1; GPS, FM TX/RX, WiMAX 802.16d/e; and NFC). Users can select a variety of signal creation and analysis routines using either the included GUI or a C++ API. Data captured by IQ2010 is sent to a controlling PC via USB 2.0 for processing. The C++ API supports all GUI functions making it easy to create automated test programs for manufacturing or design-characterization testing.

The system also features four RF device connection ports!one each dedicated to GPS and FM, and two common ports (RF1 and RF2) used for connecting to Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and Bluetooth subsystems under test.

Target applications
The IQ2010 test system addresses RF calibration, verification and testing needs for all supported connectivity radios. A single insertion, using a single connection, can be used to test multiple radios. The variety of RF ports supports cabling flexibility. Users can test single communications modalities, or test multiple-radio device modalities in concert. Combined with a cellular test system, the IQ2010 supports complete smart phone test coverage in one test station.

With concurrent testing, the IQ2010 could test Wi-Fi and Bluetooth one after another while GPS and FM are tested sequentially but in parallel with the first two. This could provide a reduction in overall test time of as much as 75 percent.

Using sequence-based testing for Wi-Fi testing, one can reduce the time for transmitting multi-data-rate EVM/power measurements and for receive packet-error-rate. In the first case, the IQ2010 system sequences in concert with the device under test by sending outputs at different data rates. In conjunction with device-driver and test-sequence support, the IQ2010 system captures the various data-rate bursts in one capture, reducing communication time between itself and the device under test, and thereby reducing test time by up to six times for transmit testing and calibration.

While performing receive packet-error-rate tests, when the IQ2010 transmits packets to the device under test, it uses specialized built-in circuits to detect acknowledgement signals from the device. These signals confirm correct received data, and eliminate the need for extensive communication with the device under test. This can reduce test times by up to four times.

Standards support
In addition, LitePoint's IQ2010 test system features a common hardware platform with standards-specific features enabled through software licenses. Users can purchase these licenses as needed, and capabilities can be enabled in the field. Therefore, manufacturers can quickly add new capabilities to an existing IQ2010 to rapidly meet new production needs. At the same time, users can buy only the capabilities they need, initially, and enable added capabilities, at incremental cost, when needed.

The IQ2010 test system also supports up to six different standards, at present, with a unified software and hardware interface. Users avoid the need to communicate with multiple test instruments and software interfaces. A single USB connection provides the essential control connectivity to the IQ2010.

The basic IQ2010 test system includes the four modalities most common to Multicom devices!Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and FM!and is slated for volume production in March 2009. The price of the system is $63,000 with volume discounts. The license fees for the other communications standards are $7,500 and 4,000 for WiMAX and NFC, respectively.





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