National Instruments are hoping to ‘redefine instrumentation’ with the introduction of the world’s first RF vector signal transceiver.
Launched at this year’s NI Week in Austin, Texas, the NI PXIe-5644R comprises a vector signal generator and a vector signal analyser in to a single PXI instrument and features software-centric architecture gives scientists and engineers the ability to tailor the open FPGA-based hardware for their specific needs.
Engineers can customise the vector signal transceiver to serve original design purposes or enhance its existing functionality using NI’s flagship LabVIEW graphical system design software.
The move represents the latest evolution of National Instruments’ long-term goal of fully integrating software design with hardware instrumentation.
“A quarter-century ago, NI redefined instrumentation with LabVIEW system design software, and now we are doing it again with our vector signal transceiver,” said Dr James Truchard, President, CEO and Cofounder of National Instruments. “When we first started our company, we envisioned the central role software would play in instrumentation, and now we are truly seeing LabVIEW revolutionise the way engineers approach RF design and test.”
The hardware has already been employed by network and wireless specialists Qualcomm Atheros who were able to increase their testing speed by a factor of 200, the conference heard.
Director of Engineering Doug Johnston said: “At Qualcomm Atheros, instrumentation flexibility and to-the-pin control are critical for keeping our RF test process as efficient as possible, and we're pleased with the performance gains we've seen when testing with NI's new vector signal transceiver.
“The NI PXIe-5644R provides us freedom and flexibility in the way we develop our 802.11ac solutions for our customers, and has significantly improved our test throughput.”
NI says the instrument is more than ten times faster than comparable solutions, has a 6.0 GHz frequency coverage and 80 MHz instantaneous RF bandwidth and easily expands to support multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) configurations or parallel testing.