AUSTIN, Texas -- National Instruments has condensed a new multi-functional RF vector signal transceiver in size and made it easier for engineers and scientists to use its graphical system design language Labview to tailor FPGA-based hardware for specific applications.
“A quarter-century ago, NI redefined instrumentation with Labview system design software, and now we are doing it again with our vector signal transceiver,” said James Truchard, president, CEO and co-founder of National Instruments during NIWeek 2012 here this week.
“When we first started our company, we envisioned the central role software would play in instrumentation, and now we are truly seeing Labview revolutionize the way engineers approach RF design and test.”
As a first real application of the VST, the NI PXIe-5644R has enabled Qualcomm Atheros instrumentation flexibility for testing upcoming 5G wireless devices and systems by what NI calls to-the-pin control of the FPGA governing the VST.
“This is critical for keeping our RF test process as efficient as possible, and we're pleased with the performance gains we've seen when testing with NI's new vector signal transceiver,” said Doug Johnson, director of engineering at Qualcomm Atheros, at the event. “The NI PXIe-5644R provides us freedom and flexibility in the way we develop our 802.11ac solutions for our customers, and has significantly improved our test throughput.”
The product’s features are impressive: it covers up to 6.0 GHz and 80 MHz instantaneous RF bandwidth, which allows it to be used to test the latest wireless standards such as 802.11ac and LTE and can be expanded to support multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) configurations or parallel testing in a single PXI chassis .
Xilinx FPGAs have been driving NI instruments for more than 10 years, and with the VST, mark the beginning for users being able to use them to control bits at the pin level due to the the sophisticated algorithms developed in the latest Labview 2012 version of the graphical system design architecture.
Separately Xilinx has increased the peak processing performance of the Zynq 7000 family to 1 GHz this week further expanding the system value of many high-end image and graphic processing applications.Related story:Paradigm Shift in Wireless Instrumentation? That’s What They’re Claiming