AMCAD proposes now to combine the advantage of both solutions using one innovative tool. The IQMASTER VST solution embed cost-effective RF Soc that are usually found in Radio Equipment. On top, a high-end software (IQSTAR) takes control of the RF SoC. This offers a powerful turn-key solution with calibrated, flexible and advanced measurement capabilities. Using the IQMASTER VST, PA vendors can now easily prove that their circuits operate as desired in realistic conditions for telecommunication systems manufacturers. This development has been made in partnership with WUPATEC, with a team that has strong expertise in DPD measurements of broadband RF power amplifiers.
RF transceivers are usually provided to test engineers under two different formats to generate and measure complex IQ signals. The aim is to characterize power amplifiers with modulated signals.
On the one hand, it’s possible to afford a high-end measurement solution made of premium benchtop instruments. They provide a high quality measurement experience with state-of-the art hardware specifications. IQ signals can be generated and measured by one instrument, such as Vector Signal Transceiver, or using a vector signal generator synchronized with a vector signal analyzer. It can be challenging for companies to use several solutions made of such instruments on different benches because of financial constraints.
On the other hand, RF transceiver provided as System-On-Chip solutions (RF SoC) could be used in a much more affordable way. They also have the advantage of testing Power Amplifier as if they were used in real-life applications, such as in a Radio Remote Head. In this latter case, the challenge is to take control of the system, which requires a team composed of different skillsets (RF test engineers, FPGA programmers, software developers…). The software application in that case is often very limited, just to make the proof of concept, but far from the user experience offered with high-end instruments.