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Faster Validation with Design and Test Integration


In RF comms development, aggressive specs and evolving technologies shouldn’t slow you down. Keep moving forward with the Keysight Technologies, Inc. RF workflow environment: It’s the comprehensive way to simulate, measure and analyze communications components and systems. Through application-specific solutions, we can help you achieve greater levels of confidence in your designs, products and schedules. The foundation is proven hardware and software products that let you leverage our decades of experience in highfrequency systems.

A Changing Industry

Communication systems used for commercial wireless, military and satellite communications, radar, and electronic warfare (EW) applications have grown increasingly complex. Adding to that challenge are extreme competitive pressure and the need for ever higher performance and design robustness. Enabling fast and effective RF and microwave (MW) communication systems and component development demands a workflow with better integration between design and test to help teams:

  • Reduce development cycle time
  • Achieve higher performance
  • Attain earlier system validation

The Challenge with a Traditional Worklow

Traditional RF/MW communication system development follows a sequential progression from idea through verification and involves limited interaction between baseband and RF teams, and between design and test. With the traditional workflow: – Different tools and design languages used by each team introduce discontinuities and system integration risks that can increase product development time.

  • Most design tools have poor to no real-world basis, and rely on closed-form mathematical models to represent real-world effects.
  • Limited interconnection with test equipment hinders improving modeling accuracy, preventing high-fidelity predictive design.

Without common methods and test benches, there are many places in the workflow where design flaws and performance issues can be masked. This leads to either expensive overdesign or rework cycles, since there is no methodology to validate and optimize design performance throughout the product development lifecycle.

Why an Integrated Design and Test Approach is Better

Integrating design and test within the RF/MW communication system development workflow allows multi-discipline design teams to efficiently interact using common tools, methods and test benches. With this workflow: 

  • Laboratory-quality measurement is available to the design creation process, first enabling more accurate device models based on measurement.
  • In system-level simulation, measured behavior can substitute for higher-level models as hardware components become available, resulting in more accurate simulations.
  • Design intellectual property (IP) is available to the hardware measurement space for more specialized and accurate hardware validation.

Bringing real-world measurement and test earlier into the design process enables design flaws to be captured early and corrected in a time- and cost-efficient manner, reducing overall development cost and improving designto- manufacturing cycle time.

In Wireless you can accelerate next-generation designs with earlier validation. Fine-tune amplifier performance earlier in the development cycle. Validate your RFIC designs before building prototypes or baseband hardware becomes available. Start sooner with Keysight’s early support of the latest standards.

Accelerate Next-Generation Wireless Designs with Earlier Validation Complex emerging technologies and severe competitive pressure pose technical and time-to-market challenges to developers of communication systems and components. Keysight’s RF workflow environment enables faster design validation and greater confidence in the project schedule with application-specific solutions that combine design software with test instruments.

Digital Pre-Distortion (DPD) 


DPD is a cost-effective linearization technique enabling a power amplifier (PA) to operate in its high power-added-efficiency region, near saturation and without significant signal distortion. It is ideal for addressing a key base station/mobile device PA design challenge. However, it requires a highly specialized skill set for modeling, implementation and verification. 

Solution: Keysight’s RF Worklow Environment 

Make implementing DPD during PA development faster and more practical. Designers can prove their PA may be linearized with DPD in minutes, before building a prototype or after hardware is available. Implementation of DPD linearization networks is also accelerated, first with a PA model in the virtual world or later with PA hardware/test instruments.

Realistic Scenario Generation and Analysis 


Radar and EW systems face an increasingly cluttered spectral environment. Evaluating radar/EW hardware under a variety of highly realistic scenarios can help characterize system performance in the presence of multiple interference signals. 

Solution: Keysight’s RF Worklow Environment 

Simplify creation and analysis of highly realistic multi-emitter test signals for lab-based testing of radar/EW devices still in development with COTS software and instrumentation. The combination of software and hardware makes it possible to alter an offending emitter’s frequency, power or bandwidth, including scalable emitters such as OFDMA signals. 

Reduce development cycle time 

SystemVue’s SignalCombiner enables creation and combination of multi-emitter signals within the simulation environment, such as LTE/WCDMA and GSM/ EDGE. Through resampling, multiple emitters are combined into a single waveform that can be downloaded to a high-precision AWG, such as the Keysight M8190A, for playback. The 89600 VSA software runs inside an oscilloscope or the PXA signal analyzer, providing demodulation capabilities. The RF workflow environment covers a significant number of likely use cases for testing in R&D applications. Its lower cost makes it possible to equip multiple designers or teams with individual systems, facilitating better analysis of various scenarios prior to testing a device with a real-time system.



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