LitePoint Unveils First Multicom(TM) Device Test Solution
Concurrent-test architecture can shorten test times and lower test costs
As more and more wireless features are added to single devices, conventional test times increase commensurately. The component of cost represented by testing also grows faster than other costs, altering the overall cost model. Without innovation in Multicom testing, related costs could pose limitations in feature growth, pricing, and margins. Today, most wireless test systems are designed to test a single wireless standard. Testing multiple standards often involves multiple testers and multiple lines. Devices are moved from line to line risking insertion damage and incurring insertion time penalties. As insertions and test times aggregate, overall test times grow proportionately along with test costs.
"The handwriting was on the wall. Testing became more of a cost component in Multicom products," said John Lukez, director of product management. "We combined our experience in testing many different wireless standards into a single system that could test them all. And, by using software-defined testing, we make it possible for users to buy just what they need, now, and add capabilities at incremental cost, later."
The IQ2010 Connectivity Test System
The IQ2010 test system uses multiple hardware blocks to provide concurrent test capabilities for GPS and FM wireless standards in parallel with WiFi, WiMAX, Bluetooth and Near Field Communications (NFC) standards. Multiple vector signal generator (VSG) sections provide transmit signals for FM, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, WiMAX and NFC transmit testing. Multiple vector signal analyzer (VSA) sections provide matching capabilities for receive testing.
The IQ2010 test system includes software libraries specific to each communication standard (WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 1.0, 2.0, 2.1; GPS, FM TX/RX, WiMAX 802.16d/e; and NFC). Users can select a variety of signal creation and analysis routines using either the included graphical user interface (GUI) or a C++ API. Data captured by IQ2010 is sent to a controlling PC via USB 2.0 for processing. The C++ API supports all GUI functions making it easy to create automated test programs for manufacturing or design-characterization testing.
The system features four RF device connection ports - one each dedicated to GPS and FM, and two common ports (RF1 and RF2) used for connecting to WiFI, WiMAX, and Bluetooth subsystems under test.
The IQ2010 Applied
The IQ2010 test system addresses RF calibration, verification and testing needs for all supported connectivity radios. A single insertion, using a single connection, can be used to test multiple radios. The variety of RF ports supports cabling flexibility. Users can test single communications modalities, or test multiple-radio device modalities in concert. Combined with a cellular test system, the IQ2010 supports complete smartphone test coverage in one test station.
With concurrent testing, the IQ2010 could test WiFi and Bluetooth one after another while GPS and FM are tested sequentially but in parallel with the first two. This could provide a reduction in overall test time of as much as 75 percent.
Using sequence-based testing for WiFi testing, one can reduce the time for transmitting multi-data-rate EVM/power measurements and for receive packet-error-rate. In the first case, the IQ2010 system sequences in concert with the device under test by sending outputs at different data rates. In conjunction with device-driver and test-sequence support, the IQ2010 system captures the various data-rate bursts in one capture, reducing communication time between itself and the device under test, and thereby reducing test time by up to six times for transmit testing and calibration.
While performing receive packet-error-rate tests, when the IQ2010 transmits packets to the device under test, it uses specialized built-in circuits to detect acknowledgement signals from the device. These signals confirm correct received data, and eliminate the need for extensive communication with the device under test. This can reduce test times by up to four times.
Software Licensable Standards
LitePoint's IQ2010 test system features a common hardware platform with standards-specific features enabled through software licenses. Users can purchase these licenses as needed, and capabilities can be enabled in the field. Therefore, manufacturers can quickly add new capabilities to an existing IQ2010 to rapidly meet new production needs. At the same time, users can buy only the capabilities they need, initially, and enable added capabilities, at incremental cost, when needed.
The IQ2010 test system supports up to six different standards, at present, with a unified software and hardware interface. Users avoid the need to communicate with multiple test instruments and software interfaces. A single USB connection provides the essential control connectivity to the IQ2010.
Price and Availability The basic IQ2010 test system includes the four modalities most common to Multicom devices - WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and FM - and is slated for volume production in March 2009. The price of the system in the US is $63,000 with volume discounts. The license fees for the other communications standards are:
WiMAX - $7,500 and
NFC - $4,000.
Prices for the system and licenses outside of the US can be gotten by contacting LitePoint's sales partners in the region of interest. Information about all sales partners is available at www.litepoint.com.
Additional product information on IQ2010 is available at www.litepoint.com
LitePoint Corporation, based in Sunnyvale California, designs, develops, markets, and supports advanced wireless test solutions for: developers and marketers of branded wireless products; consumer electronics and contract manufacturers; and wireless IC designers. Through its in-house expertise in the design of wireless systems and ICs, LitePoint has developed innovative test solutions to assure products conform to specifications, interoperate with other compliant products, and perform as described. LitePoint's test products address both development and high-volume production, providing its customers with superior return on investment, accelerated time-to-market, improved manufacturing yields, improved product quality, and increased profitability. For more information, visit LitePoint at www.litepoint.com.
LitePoint and the LitePoint logo, IQview IQflex, IQnxn, and IQmax are registered trademarks and IQ2010, IQsignal, IQwave, IQfact, IQcheck, IQdebug, IQmeasure, IQtest, IQexpress, IQturbo, IQultra, IQsymphony, TrueChannel, and TrueCable are trademarks of LitePoint Corporation. Microsoft Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All trademarks or registered trademarks are owned by their respective owners