X-Series signal analyzers feature software release for emerging 802.11ac WLAN standard

November 05, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Agilent Technologies has extended its leadership in 802.11ac WLAN test solutions with its latest measurement application release for X-Series signal analyzers. The software release offers expanded WLAN support to include the emerging 802.11ac standard.

With this release, test engineers will be able to accelerate design verification and measurement of 802.11ac WLAN components and devices in product development and high-throughput manufacturing environments.

The latest WLAN technology, 802.11ac, builds on 802.11n with a wider RF bandwidth (up to 160 MHz), MIMO support and high-density 256-QAM modulation to enable 1-Gbps throughput below 6 GHz for multiple stations. Agilent’s X-Series signal analyzers now support this emerging standard with the release of the two new options for the N9077A WLAN measurement application that simplify design verification and speed high-volume manufacturing.

In addition to supporting 802.11 a/b/g/n, the N9077A WLAN measurement application now offers one-button 802.11ac testing with a new option (4FP), enabling design verification and validation early in the product-development process.

When combined with the company’s highest performance PXA signal analyzer, equipped with analysis bandwidth of 160 MHz (Option B1X), the N9077A with Option 4FP enables engineers to measure the full bandwidth of 802.11ac WLAN signals from 20 to 160 MHz and 80+80 MHz.

Key application measurements include transmit constellation error (EVM), transmit spectrum mask (SEM), spectral flatness and CCDF–all with built-in pass/fail test indicators per IEEE standards.

Running inside a signal analyzer, the N9077A WLAN measurement application with Option 4FP can make in-channel and swept measurements that increase the channel span to 800 MHz. This eliminates the need for IF digital bandwidth hardware when performing 802.11ac 160-MHz spectrum emission measurements. It also supports the noncontiguous channel SEM of 80+80 MHz in 802.11ac.

Agilent has also announced a WLAN list sequence capability, available as an option with the N9077A WLAN measurement application (Option 5FP) for MXA or EXA X-Series signal analyzers. The capability helps accelerate manufacturing of 802.11ac (up to 40 MHz bandwidth) and 802.11a/b/g/n components and devices.

List sequence measurements speed up testing by eliminating measurement switching and reconfiguration for disparate bursts. Using SCPI commands, it makes a single acquisition of up to 45 WLAN bursts where each