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Four Tips for 5G New Radio Signal Analysis

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Overview

Strong demand for faster-data-rate applications has triggered the need for technologies capable of wide signal bandwidth operating at higher frequencies. 5G New Radio (NR) operates in two frequency ranges (FR): FR1 for sub-6 GHz frequencies and FR2 for millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequencies. Maximum channel bandwidth increases to 100 MHz for FR1 and 400 MHz for FR2, as shown in Table 1. The higher frequencies and wider bandwidths for 5G NR bring in new design and test challenges.

Table 1. 3GPP frequency ranges, bands, and maximum channel bandwidth

At mmWave frequencies, the components are compact and highly integrated with no place to probe, resulting in the need for radiated tests, also known as over-the-air tests. The excessive path loss between instruments and devices under test (DUTs) results in a lower signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) making signal analysis measurement challenging. The low SNR degrades transmitter measurements such as error vector magnitude (EVM) and adjacent channel leakage ratio (ACLR), which do not represent the actual performance of the DUTs. Even worse, analyzing wide-bandwidth signals at mmWave requires overcoming the impacts of frequency responses that also degrade signal quality. 

5G NR requires you to think differently about how you design and test devices. Here are four tips to help you successfully analyze 5G NR signals and get your designs to market faster.

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