TMY Technology (TMYTEK), a leading mmWave solution provider, has successfully developed a new precisely calibrated Beamformer Box (BBox) that used Microwave Vision Group’s (MVG) StarLab 50 GHz multi-probe test system device to perform conducted and Over-The-Air (OTA) testing, thereby providing a proof-of-concept for 5G beamforming applications. This new BBox is a development kit built for 5G NR mmWave antenna designers and protocol/algorithm developers that enables a simplified OTA testing of mmWave antennas across various parameters such as beam profiling and beam direction testing.
Ethan Lin, Vice President at TMYTEK and project lead, was introduced to the Microwave Vision Group’s (MVG) StarLab 50 GHz test system by Dr Sidina Wane, CEO & Founder of eV-Technologies where he directed Mr. Lin towards the StarLab 50 GHz test solution.
“As a research and development test tool, BBox needs to be calibrated precisely and carefully for both conducted and Over-The-Air (OTA) testing. MVG has been a leading company in OTA testing for a number of years now and StarLab 50 GHz proved the perfect technology for our needs”, said Ethan Lin, VP and Project Lead at TMYTEK.
To demonstrate the feasibility of this system, a measurement operation was conducted in Paris where a set of measurements were performed using the “BBox Lite” as the Device Under Test (DUT) to obtain the radiation pattern of a 5G NR mmWave phased array under pre-defined configurations. It consisted of a 4-channel Front-end system in the 28 GHz band, including Phase Shifters, Amplifiers (Tx/Rx), and a 4x1 patch antenna.
The beamforming capabilities were verified by performing radiation pattern measurements for different presets (0° / ± 10° / ± 15°/ ± 25°). Pointing directions and gain were processed using the MVG WaveStudio software bench and the results confirmed the performances of the BBox.
The results revealed valuable insights into the BBox product and sped up the development process significantly, to the point where TMYTEK is now confirming orders with potential customers, something that they claim would not have been possible if were it not for the StarLab 50 GHz test system.
Given the volume of the data generated during the measurements, three frequencies were selected to evaluate the performances. This corresponds to the center frequency, and the lower/upper limits of a 2 GHz band. It was also verified that measured beams correspond to the presets for the lower/ upper limit frequencies within a 3°error range.
"For MVG, testing innovative products like the BBox is what we love the most. Both of our organizations have a strong belief in the ability of 5G to transform the world around us and for those developing 5G, having both an effective beamforming option and the ability to perform credible and effective testing is essential. We wish both Dr Wane and Mr Lin success with their new venture and look forward to helping them test more 5G solutions in the coming months and years.” says Nicolas Gross, Application Director at MVG, who worked closely with Dr. Wane and Mr. Lin on the project.
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