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From Bob Helsel, Editor of the PXI Newsletter:

Welcome to the November 2018 edition of the PXI Newsletter.  Our intent is to educate and inform you about how the PXI standard is being used in modular test systems for a wide variety of industries.

In the New PXI Products section, we are showcasing PXI products recently released by members of the PXI Systems Alliance.

Our thanks go to nVent, the sponsor of this month's issue.

Visit for more information.


Introduction to the mmWave Transceiver System

By National Instruments

Wireless technology is everywhere. Every day more and more new wireless devices are being created and accessing today’s wireless networks, consuming more and more data. The number of new wireless devices continues to escalate and the amount of data consumed continues to grow at an exponential rate. In order to address the demand, new wireless technologies are being investigated to evolve the existing wireless infrastructure. To that end, the world’s wireless standardization bodies have begun the arduous task of defining the next generation wireless systems commonly known as 5G. The 5G charter includes three specific use cases: Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC), and Ultra Reliable Machine Type Communication (uRMTC). 

These three different use cases can be mapped to different requirements, like an emphasis on peak data rate for the eMBB and latency for the uRMTC. Because of all of the different requirements, one specific technology won’t be able to address all of the requirements, rather 5G will be a combination of new technologies. For the eMBB case specifically, researchers must increase the peak data rates by 100x over 4G with very limited “available” spectrum below 6 GHz. Data rates are empirically linked to spectrum availability according to the Shannon Hartley theorem which states that capacity is a function of bandwidth (ie spectrum) and channel noise. Because spectrum below 6 GHz is almost fully allocated, researchers must explore spectrum above 6 GHz and into the mmWave range to address eMBB use case. 

1. The Need for mmWave Software Defined Radios (SDRs)

Service operators around the world have paid billions of dollars for spectrum to service their customers.  The exorbitant auction prices for spectrum below 6 GHz highlights the strength of the competitive market forces but also the scarcity of this precious resource.  As stated above, enhanced data rates and increased capacity are constrained by spectrum according to Shannon. More spectrum yields higher data rates, which enable service operators to accommodate more users while also delivering a consistent mobile broadband data experience.  In contrast, mmWave spectrum is plentiful and lightly licensed, meaning it is accessible to service operators around the world.  The challenges impacting mmWave adoption lie primarily in the unanswered technical questions regarding this unexplored and largely uninvestigated spectrum.

To capitalize on the promise of mmWave for 5G, researchers must develop new technologies, algorithms and communications protocols as the fundamental properties of the mmWave channel are different from current cellular models, and are relatively unknown.  The importance of building mmWave prototypes cannot be overstated especially in this early time frame.  Building mmWave system prototypes demonstrate the viability and feasibility of a technology or concept that simulations alone cannot.  mmWave prototypes communicating in real-time and over the air in a variety of scenarios will unlock the secrets of the mmWave channel, and enable technology adoption and proliferation.



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Thanks to all our readers.
Bob Helsel, Editor

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New PXI Products

The PXI platform continues its explosive growth with many new product introductions. New products introduced in the last three months include (listed in the order received):

Marvin Test Solutions F-35 Armament Test Set

  • Rugged, portable tester for F-35 Lightning II Alternate Mission Equipment (AME)
  • Field and back-shop testing of launchers, pylons and subassemblies
  • Full support for MIL-STD-1760 assemblies and other JSF interfaces
  • State-of-the-art PXI architecture
  • Full parametric test with optional diagnostics

Coherent Solutions O2EPXIe – Modular Optical-to-Electrical Converter
The O2EPXIe is a high bandwidth, broadband OE converter designed for the PXI Platform. Available in a range of configurations; choose from 1 or 2 channels, AC or DC coupling and various conversion gain and operating wavelength ranges.

Sundance DSP PXIe800Z
The PXIe800Z is based on Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC FPGA family. Depending on the choice of Zynq UltraScale+ FPGA it can be used for High-Performance Computing (HPC), digital communication or image processing, including AR/VR applications. 

Keysight PXI Vector Signal Analyzers
For design validation and manufacturing applications that require fast, high quality measurements where quality control, product conformance and test optimization are essential. With a small footprint, speed, scalability repeatability, and the flexibility to configure a solution with a shared processor, frame/chassis, display, and interface, PXIe vector signal analyzers provide the building blocks for your single or multi-channel modular test solution.

Teledyne SP Devices 14-bit Arbitrary Waveform Generator with 2 GS/s Sample Rate
The SDR14TX AWG offers a complement to the previously released ADQ14 and ADQ7 digitizer families and can be used either for stand-alone operation or in system-level solutions with well-matched signal generation and data acquisition performance.

Advanced Testing Technologies PXI/PXIe Inserts
The Advanced Testing Technologies PXI Insert allows the user to easily incorporate PXI/PXIe instruments into an existing VXI chassis.

NI PXIe-1095 Chassis with 58 W Power and Cooling per Slot

The PXIe-1095 chassis offers 58 W of power and cooling in every slot, 50 percent higher than all previous NI PXI Express chassis.


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