MaxLinear and NI Work Together to Simplify Validation of Wideband Power Amplifiers for 5G Networks

MaxLinear and National Instruments (NI) announced the integration of MaxLinear’s dual-band RF power amplifier (PA) linearization algorithms into NI’s RFIC test software. This integration empowers extensive validation of new wideband, cellular infrastructure PA designs leading to increased power efficiency and lower non-linear effects. NI’s integrated and highly synchronized RF testbench coupled with MaxLinear’s new best-in-class linearization IP gives design validation engineers a streamlined test and measurement approach, providing substantial ACLR reduction, EVM improvements, and power efficiency advantages.

The rollout of 5G networks has triggered a rapid increase in deployed multi-band radios requiring support for contiguous and non-contiguous wideband carrier aggregation configurations. These new RF front-end designs share a single, high-bandwidth PA and signal path, resulting in significant cost and size savings.  However, to achieve maximum energy efficiency, engineers need to drive these wideband PAs into non-linear operation and understand how to minimize the undesired effects of RF energy leaking into adjacent channels.

To address this challenge, NI’s RFIC test software integrates MaxLinear’s cutting-edge, wideband linearization techniques with the latest DC, Digital, Analog, and RF PXI instrumentation, enabling consolidated, more efficient, single transmit radio chain architectures while minimizing leakage into adjacent channels.

Helen Kim, Vice President of Wireless Technologies & IP at MaxLinear, said that the integration of their linearization IP with NI’s platform brings rapid innovation to a very difficult, but core challenge of wideband cellular systems. Giving engineers the tools to simplify power amplifier validation complements our goal to dramatically reduce the enormous amounts of power consumed by 4G and 5G RF radio units today.

“We’re enabling our customers to accelerate the pace of product development through automated device validation. And it’s clear that energy-efficient 5G deployments require more capable validation solutions," said Jesse Lyles, Sr. Director, Semiconductor Business Unit at NI. “Together with MaxLinear, we can provide the validation solutions our customers need to accelerate their time to market. We’re thrilled to enhance NI’s RFIC application with MaxLinear’s linearization algorithms to create greater RF device performance.”