National Instruments (NI) has launched the NI-RFmx 2.2, which is the latest version of its advanced measurement software for PXI RF test systems. When used with the second-generation PXI vector signal transceiver (VST), the new software enables engineers to test 4.5G and 5G RF components such as transceivers and amplifiers using a wide range of carrier aggregation schemes, even as the 5G standard is still being defined. Further, with the second-generation VST, engineers can simultaneously generate and measure up to 32 long term evolution (LTE) carriers, each with 20 MHz of bandwidth, and use the software to specify a variety of carrier spacing schemes.

The NI-RFmx software also includes algorithm improvements, which reduce the measurement time. In addition to the algorithm improvements, the software has enhanced support for measurements such as intermodulation distortion, third-order intercept, and both Y-factor and cold source noise figure measu­rements. These measurements integrate easily with the PXIe-5668R RF signal analyser, enabling engineers to configure high performance PXI intermodulation distortion and noise figure test sets. Further, it enables the engineers performing modulation quality and spectral measurements for wireless technologies such as universal mobile telecommunications system (UMTS)/hig­hs­peed packet access+ (HSPA+) and LTE/LTE-Advanced Pro to experience EVM measurement time reductions of up to 33 per cent. According to NI, the measurement speed improvements in NI-RFmx are a part of the company’s efforts to help customers in lowering their testing costs by enabling faster measurements.