“Agilent provide powerful design and test platforms that support the TD-LTE RAN eNode B stations, and UE development lifecycle"

Date: Fri, 01/30/2009 - 14:41

Interview with Jim Armentrout, market segment manager. Wireless Business Unit. Agilent Technologies

“Agilent provide powerful design and test platforms that support the TD-LTE RAN eNode B stations, and UE development lifecycle" Jim Armentrout

By Telecomkh editorial staff

Jim Armentrout started with Agilent (Hewlett-Packard) in 1988 holding various positions within marketing and support in Europe, Japan and the US.  He was named Agilent’s Wireless Market Segment Manager in December, 2004.  His current responsibilities include leading the marketing programs across Europe, Middle East and Africa for 6 different Agilent divisions and multiple product categories.  Jim earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University and completed an executive marketing program from Stanford University in 1998.  
At Mobile World Congress, Jim Armentrout talked to us about Agilent Technologies products and solutions, particularly on LTE, or Long Term Evolution, a fourth generation (4G) mobile broadband standard, aimed to be the successor to the 3G technologies GSM.
Agilent demonstrations showed at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona how these products provide powerful and scalable design and test platforms that support the TD-LTE Radio Access Network (RAN) eNode B stations, and User Equipment  (UE) development lifecycle, from early physical layer and protocol development to conformance test.

Armentrout: Agilent Technologies announced the world's first fully coded bit error ratio (BER) solution for the time division duplex (TDD) version of 3GPP's long-term evolution (LTE) standard using 2x2 and 4x4 multiple input/multiple output (MIMO) technology. This solution complements Agilent's same capability for the frequency division duplexing (FDD) version of LTE and is expected to accelerate the development of mobile devices and base stations for the China market.The solution is built around Agilent's 3GPP LTE Wireless Library (W1910/E8895) and its MXA Signal Analyzer to help wireless-systems designers and verification engineers speed development of evolving TDD-LTE designs. TDD-LTE is playing an important role in markets where unpaired spectrum is a requirement -- particularly in the China mobile communications market. The library, which is based on Release 8 of the 3GPP standard for the next generation of mobile communication products, provides preconfigured simulation setups that support both downlink- and uplink-coded BER, along with transmitter measurements such as spectral emission mask, error vector magnitude (EVM), complementary cumulative distribution function (CCDF) and detailed demodulation analysis down to the sub-carrier and symbol levels. The latest update to this library complies with TS36.211 v8.3.0 (2008-05) and incorporates downlink transmit and receive MIMO models for both frequency division duplex (FDD) and TDD in 2x2 and 4x4 MIMO configurations.
When paired with Agilent's MXA signal analyzers (N9020A) and MXG signal generators (N5182A), the LTE library provides laboratory-grade testing of TDD-LTE HW using any combination of radio frequency (RF), intermediate frequency (IF), or baseband I/Q signals. The solution allows fully coded BER measurements of a device under test, including simulation of channel impairments for multipath fading.

Journalist: Agilent Technologies and Anite plc demonstrated 3GPP LTE interoperability showing end-to-end streaming video with LTE UE devices from Signalion and Blue Wonder Communications. Can you talk to us about this cooperation?

Armentrout: This LTE technology demonstration is a tangible result of the ongoing strategic partnership between Agilent and Anite to deliver market-leading LTE UE development tools to wireless engineers. Using these tools, LTE developers and their managers can test designs earlier and more completely, thereby shortening development cycles and accelerating time-to-market.
As a key component of the LTE streaming video demonstration, Agilent's E6620A wireless communications test set provides a powerful, common hardware platform, integrating a 3GPP release 8-compliant protocol stack (jointly developed with Anite), for building scalable test solutions across the LTE UE R&D life cycle. Helping to significantly shorten design cycles, it offers real-time, system-rate network emulation for L1/L2/L3 uplink and downlink via RF or digital baseband.
Anite's advanced SAT LTE Protocol Development Toolset (commercially shipping on the E6620A platform) provides a suite of development tools for UE designers. It is the first of the Agilent/Anite portfolio of test solutions designed around a common protocol stack and test environment, enabling rapid development and debug cycles to speed LTE UE protocol design.
Signalion's SORBAS LTE Test UE is used to test evolving LTE mobile communications infrastructure. Its 3GPP LTE mobile terminal capabilities, coupled with additional advanced test interfaces and features, make the SORBAS LTE Test UE an ideal tool for network infrastructure equipment developers. SORBAS provides an air-interface test system for functional and load tests of LTE applications.
The LTE IODT UE solution demonstrated in cooperation with Blue Wonder Communications is based on the second generation of a powerful software modem initially presented at MWC 2008. Due to its flexible approach, standard changes can be easily adapted and continuously validated against solutions like the Agilent/Anite test systems; an advantage that will enable successful participation in upcoming field tests.

Journalist: Agilent Technologies announced too at Mobile World Congress the first LTE real-time signal generation and channel emulation solution for base station test…

Armentrout: Yes, Agilent's Signal Studio for 3GPP LTE software, designed for the PXB MIMO receiver tester, provides the best base station receiver test capabilities on the market today.
Agilent's N5106A PXB MIMO receiver tester, with Agilent's N7624B Signal Studio for 3GPP LTE, now supports advanced real-time LTE testing with HARQ (Hybrid Automatic Repeat Request) feedback from the device under test. This enables closed-loop testing with dynamically changing LTE test signals, which is essential for measuring receiver performance as defined in the 3GPP LTE specification. To simulate realistic propagation conditions in a variety of different environments, the mandatory fading profiles defined in the eNB Performance Requirements or custom-defined fading profiles can be added to the real-time LTE signals along with Additive White Gaussian Noise (AWGN)
Additional Agilent PXB MIMO receiver tester capabilities include:
• transforming complex channel emulation up to 4x2 MIMO into a calibrated and repeatable test process for R&D engineers developing BTS or mobile receivers;
• supporting all major wireless standards, including WiMAX and LTE; and
• summing LTE test signals with interferers created by other Signal Studio applications, such as W-CDMA or GSM, or your custom IQ waveforms files.
Agilent's Signal Studio software with the PXB delivers transport channel coded signals needed for testing ASICs in the baseband section of the LTE base station receiver. Test signal configuration is simplified with Fixed Reference Channel (FRC) predefined setups for receiver testing. The PXB generates real-time signals with seamless streams of data across frame boundaries, as opposed to a truncated data sequence that is repeated in every frame. This enables bit error rate (BER) measurements with continuous data sequences in addition to the block error rate and throughput measurements. The real-time solution supports QPSK, 16QAM and the 64QAM with pseudo-random data sequences or user-defined data payloads.

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