5G Communications

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5G represents the next milestone in mobile communications, targeting more traffic, increased capacity, reduced latency, and energy consumption through various technologies such as massive multiple-in and multiple-out (MIMO) and beam-forming antenna arrays, mm-Wave spectrum use, and carrier aggregation. NI AWR software helps engineers develop the technologies that will make these advances possible. 

Hot Topics

  • New in V13: 5G Library gives VSS users access to current 5G candidate signals. Each candidate signal is then implemented as a fully parameterizable block with source subcircuits exposing adjustable parameters such as carrier frequency, sub-carrier spacing, number of sub-carriers, filtering, and sub-carrier mapping. Learn more: 5G Waveform Library 
  • High Peak-to-Average Power Ratio (PAPR) can drive a power amplifier (PA) deep into saturation, leading to adjacent channel interference. Several technologies are available to improve PA linearity and efficiency for communications systems.
    Learn more: Product Development Flow for 5G/LTE Envelope Tracking Power Amplifiers
  • Massive MIMO and beam-steering technology enhance capacity and data rates through complex RF front-end technology, requiring careful engineering between antenna elements and driving circuitry.
    Learn more: Addressing 5G and MIMO Design With Circuit/Antenna In-Situ Simulations With NI AWR Software
  • Millimeter-Wave Spectrum Bands are a key element in the 5G roadmap, with gallium arsenide (GaAs) pseudomorphic high-electron mobility transistor (pHEMT) frequency multipliers and PAs demonstrating excellent performance.
    Learn more: Design of a Full ETSI E-band Circuit for a Millimeter-Wave Wireless System


Conceptualize / Explore / Realize

  • Visual System Simulator™ and LabVIEW - Providing a design-to-test 5G solution that enables system and component designers to explore tradeoffs between digital signaling methods, error-correction coding, multiple-access, spread-spectrum techniques, and bandwidth-efficient signaling. 
  • NI AWR Design Environment - Offers system, circuit and electromagnetic technologies to enable designers to model, simulate, and optimize the RF front end modules, MMICs, and RFICs that drive the massive MIMO and beam-steering antenna arrays in next-generation communication systems.
  • NI Instruments - Provides test solutions such as Vector Signal Transceiver (VST), PXI, and LabVIEW to efficiently address all phases of next-generation wireless product development, reducing costs while maintaining industry-leading performance. 

Circuit / System / EM Simulation Products

  • Visual System Simulator (VSS) - System and circuit-envelope analysis

    • RF and baseband behavioral models
    • LTE downlink (DL) and uplink (UL) signal sources
    • MIMO technology and Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) specifications
    • Seamless integration with Microwave Office and Analog Office design suites, enabling APLAC harmonic balance, EM, and linear co-simulation
    • RFB™ for cascaded RF measurements
    • RFI™ for identification of intermodulation products
    • RF chain impairment analysis
    • TDNN™ memory effect behavioral modeling
    • Circuit envelope simulation
    • Turbo decoders, I/Q demodulator, and BER simulation
    • EVM, ACPR, and phase noise measurements
    • Impedance mismatch capability for monitoring VSWR and its impact on the system
    • Fixed-point library 
    • Test benches 
  • Microwave Office - RF and microwave circuit analysis
    • Design capture with industry-leading tuning
    • Linear and nonlinear frequency- and time-domain simulation
      • APLAC harmonic balance for large-scale and highly nonlinear designs
    • Synthesis, optimization, and yield analysis
    • Load pull - Generate contours from active device models or plot measured data for impedance matching
  • Analog Office - RFIC and analog designs
    • Design Capture - with industry-leading tuning
    • Linear, nonlinear and time-domain circuit simulation
      • APLAC harmonic balance for large-scale and highly nonlinear designs
      • HSPICE (and APLAC) - Simulation including transient/time-domain, AC and noise analysis extraction technology
    • Synthesis, optimization, and yield analysis
    • Layout, extraction and verification
  • AXIEM and Analyst - 3D planar and 3D finite element method (FEM) EM​​ analysis
  • EM Socket - 3rd Party EM Tools - Interoperability with ANSYS, CST, and Sonnet EM software products

Models and Libraries

  • 5G Waveforms - Emerging modulation schemes proposed for 5G communications
  • Phased-Array /MIMO Models - Enables simulation of phased arrays with very large number of elements
  • RF Behavioral Models - Comprehensive library of components found in RF front-ends
  • Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Components - Comprehensive library of base-band signal processing components and math functions
  • Microwave Office Element Catalog - Various models and vendor component libraries
  • Channel Models - Comprehensive library of over-the-air fading and propagation models
  • Custom algorithm Interoperability - Co-simulate with LabView and/or Matlab

Manufacturing and Test

  • VST - Features NI’s unique software-designed instrument technology to solve the most advanced RF design and test applications, from radar prototyping to 5G test
  • TestWave -  Integrates test and measurement (T&M) equipment with NI AWR Design Environment
  • LabVIEW - Co-simulates with VSS to enable 5G designers to verify complex RF systems, inclusive of DSP blocks

Supported Technologies

  • Systems - Circuit and system co-simulation of wireless communication metrics such as adjacent channel power ratio (ACPR), error vector magnitude (EVM), and related digital modulation analysis
  • Modules - Multi-technology packaging modeling and simulation solutions for MMIC/RFIC, chip/package/board interconnects and embedded passives
  • RFICComplete small-scale or large-scale RFIC RF front-end design with native or third-party schematic/layout entry, fully integrated EM extraction, and circuit analysis
  • MMIC - Design flows and process design kits (PDKs) for working with gallium arsenide/gallium nitride (GaAs/GaN) foundries
  • PCB - Single and multi-layer board modeling, simulation, and layout solutions 

5G Communications - Video Gallery