NI and Spirent Communications to Develop Test Solutions for 5G NR Devices

NI and Spirent Communications have come together to develop test systems for 5G New Radio (NR) devices. The collaboration will allow 5G chipset and device manufacturers to validate the performance of 5G NR smartphones and IoT devices in the lab without requiring access to expensive and complex 5G base stations (gNodeBs).

Recently the 5G standards body, 3GPP, officially approved the first round of 5G specifications in June 2018. This important step will be followed by the specification of new architectural options and additional capabilities as the standard is expanded over the coming months and years. Consequently, device test solutions must be flexible to quickly adapt to these changes and to allow future upgrades while avoiding costly hardware changes as the standards evolve.

To that end, Spirent Communications, a recognized leader in ensuring the performance of devices and network services, has adopted NI’s flexible software defined radio (SDR) products in the development of its 5G performance solution. Spirent’s solution will employ NI’s USRP (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) devices and mmWave Transceiver System and will include 5G NR test scenarios for mobile location, video, data, audio, and calling performance. Key architectural details of the solution include the use of LabVIEW FPGA to emulate layer 1 through layer 3 of the 5G NR protocol stack.

The new 5G performance test solution will include support for both sub-6 GHz and millimeter-wave radio bands and will integrate seamlessly into Spirent’s existing network emulation platform. The system will also feature up to 2 GHz of bandwidth.

For more information on how NI is collaborating with industry and academia to define and deploy 5G, click here.