ZProtocol WLAN, a 802.11ac demodulation software solution for analysis, characterization and testing of the next generation of Wi-Fi RF integrated circuits (RFICs), now is available from N.M.-based ZTEC Instruments.

The background: The exponential growth of digital media and wirelessly connected devices requires faster and more reliable wireless protocols. A fifth-generation (5G) Wi-Fi standard, designated 802.11ac by the IEEE, achieves wireless data rates in excess of 1 Gbit/s by extending the existing 802.11n protocol with wider instantaneous bandwidth to 160 MHz, more MIMO channels and higher density modulation up to 256 QAM.

Although the 802.11ac standard still is in draft form, RFIC manufacturers like Broadcom are demonstrating 802.11ac chip. 5G Wi-Fi systems will be available for home networking this year, with 5G smartphones and tablets expected to follow in 2013. As such, engineers must test these new 802.11ac devices with IEEE standard-compliant hardware and software tools.

ZProtocol WLAN offers fast, flexible and easy to use test software that complies with the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. Its testing software includes:

>> Error Vector Magnitude (EVM);
>> Spectral mask;
>> Spectral flatness;
>> Preamble decoding and VHT-SIG-A reporting, including CRC check;
>> Legacy field decoding and parity reporting;
>> Center frequency error;
>> Center frequency leakage;
>> Waveforms for constellation, time domain, spectrum, subcarrier flatness; and
>> Legacy protocol support for 802.11a, 802.11g and 802.11n.

In combination with ZTEC’s ZT8651 PXI/PXIe 6 GHz Vector Signal Analyzer (VSA), ZProtocol WLAN offers a solution for 802.11ac testing covering all aspects of the 802.11ac protocol, including:

>> All Modulation Bandwidths: 160 MHz, 80 MHz, 40 MHz and 20 MHz;
>> All Modulation Coding Schemes (MCS0-9): BPSK to 256 QAM;
>> All Channels: ranging between 5.18 GHz and 5.825 GHz;
>> Short and Long Guard Intervals;
>> MIMO Streams: X2, X3, X4;
>> Low EVM floor: -46 to -38 dB, 0 dBm to -40 dBm, 20-80 MHz, MCS0-9;
>> Input power levels: -120 dBm to +20 dBm; and
>> Rapid EVM measurement processing time: <50 ms

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