The 5G device ecosystem is ramping up, with more than 100 announced 5G devices identified as of August of this year. That means the need for 5G testing of chipsets and user equipment is also on the rise, even as the use of millimeter-wave frequencies for 5G New Radio deployments and devices pose significant engineering challenges.
Fernando Schmitt, product manager for wireless testing solutions at Rohde & Schwarz, discussed some of the issues around 5G device testing, and how Rohde & Schwarz has addressed them, at Mobile World Congress Los Angeles.
Rohde & Schwarz demonstrated test set-ups for 5G research and development as well as production testing at MWC LA, with single-box test set-ups showcasing 5G New Radio user equipment and chipset testing in Frequency Range 1 (sub-6 GHz) via traditional conducted testing and Frequency Range 2 (millimeter wave) with an over-the-air link.
“One big challenge on 5G millimeter wave/FR2 is the testing over the radiated environment,” Schmitt said. “You need to be in OTA conditions.” In those test scenarios, he noted, both the size of the device antenna and its location on the device matter. “The point here is the link budget, means how much RF you have to compensate for the higher loss in this kind of environment,” he added.
Schmitt also highlighted Rohde & Schwarz’s R&S ATS1800C test chamber for radio frequency conformance testing, which can support testing of 2G, 3G and 4G devices and antennas as well as 5G at both sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave frequencies.
The beauty of the chamber, as Schmitt describes it, is in its use of a reflector that enables the near-field/far-field transformation required to conduct such 5G OTA testing within a compact, portable chamber. The reflector, mounted on the ceiling of the chamber, creates a large, cylindrical “quiet zone” that supports testing for a wide range of device form factors.
Schmitt pointed out that because Rohde & Schwarz has built a variety of testing accessories available for the chamber, the integrated offering represents a “one-stop shop” which also provides continuity for calibration, service and overall investment for 2G, 3G and 4G testing as well as meeting the new challenges of 5G as the device ecosystem grows.
Watch the interviews with Schmitt below.