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Keysight, Nokia Bell Labs Demo 6G Sub-THz Component Characterization

June 2, 2023
Keysight's vector component analyzer and mmWave signal analyzer enable Nokia Bell Labs to better characterize component performance for 6G D-band comms and E-band backhaul systems.

This article is part of our IMS 2023 coverage.

Visitors to Keysight Technologies’ Booth 835 at IMS 2023 can see the company’s demos (with Nokia Bell Labs) of component and RFIC characterization for 6G sub-THz RF applications in the D- and E-bands.

For 6G technology to deliver on its promised extreme data speeds, ultra-low latency, and near-infinite bandwidth, sub-THz spectrum will have to come into play. But sub-THZ frequencies haven't traditionally been used for cellular communications due to their propagation characteristics, which present signal-integrity and path-loss challenges that can negatively impact performance.

To help mitigate those challenges, Keysight and Nokia Bell Labs have been collaborating to develop characterization techniques to test active sub-THz components, such as amplifiers, mixers, and frequency converters. The goal is to ensure that the components don't introduce additional signal distortion into communications systems.

At IMS, the collaborators’ demo, built on Keysight’s PNA-X vector component analyzer, involves characterization of a Nokia power amplifier (PA) developed for use in 6G D-band wireless communications systems and designed to operate with a low error-vector magnitude (EVM).

Using Keysight’s N5290A PNA mmWave system, Nokia Bell Labs can accurately detect the PA's low EVM, which is a measure of the signal distortion introduced into the communications system by the component. With these measurements, Nokia Bell Labs can better understand the PA's performance to optimize its 6G transmission system design.

In a separate demo, Keysight and Nokia Bell Labs are showing an E-band test solution that features Keysight’s N9042B UXA signal analyzer used in combination with its V3050A signal analyzer frequency extender. It measures a Nokia transceiver RFIC designed for use in an E-band system for backhaul applications.

Finallly, to help network equipment manufacturers, semiconductor companies, and device makers address the bandwidth and performance demands of 6G, Keysight will display a 6G sub-THz R&D testbed. The wideband testbed features an arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) that generates a wideband intermediate frequency (IF), which is upconverted to H-band (220-330 GHz). The signal is downconverted to an IF, digitized with a UXR high-performance oscilloscope, then demodulated and analyzed using PathWave vector-signal-analysis (VSA) software.

For more information, visit the company's website.

For more IMS 2023 coverage, visit our digital magazine.

About the Author

David Maliniak | Executive Editor, Microwaves & RF

I am Executive Editor of Microwaves & RF, an all-digital publication that broadly covers all aspects of wireless communications. More particularly, we're keeping a close eye on technologies in the consumer-oriented 5G, 6G, IoT, M2M, and V2X markets, in which much of the wireless market's growth will occur in this decade and beyond. I work with a great team of editors to provide engineers, developers, and technical managers with interesting and useful articles and videos on a regular basis. Check out our free newsletters to see the latest content.

You can send press releases for new products for possible coverage on the website. I am also interested in receiving contributed articles for publishing on our website. Use our contributor's packet, in which you'll find an article template and lots more useful information on how to properly prepare content for us, and send to me along with a signed release form. 

About me:

In his long career in the B2B electronics-industry media, David Maliniak has held editorial roles as both generalist and specialist. As Components Editor and, later, as Editor in Chief of EE Product News, David gained breadth of experience in covering the industry at large. In serving as EDA/Test and Measurement Technology Editor at Electronic Design, he developed deep insight into those complex areas of technology. Most recently, David worked in technical marketing communications at Teledyne LeCroy, leaving to rejoin the EOEM B2B publishing world in January 2020. David earned a B.A. in journalism at New York University.

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