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WLAN 802.11ax transmitter tests, receiver tests, conformance testing

This page describes WLAN 802.11ax transmitter and receiver specifications as defined in IEEE 802.11ax standard. The 802.11ax radio conformance test equipments or solutions are used to conduct 11ax transmitter tests and 11ax receiver tests.

What is WLAN 802.11ax ?

Introduction:
IEEE has recently published draft version of 802.11ax standard known as wifi-6. The standard is going to be ratified in 2019. It is successor to 802.11ac but operates in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. There are many new features added in newly released standard such as OFDMA in both downlink and uplink, MU-MIMO with beamforming in the downlink, MU-MIMO in the uplink, 1024-QAM, increased guard and symbol duration, larger bandwith (upto 160 MHz), BSS color, special packet format for outdoor applications and so on.
Refer WLAN 802.11ax tutorial >>.

WLAN 802.11ax Transmitter Tests

WLAN 802.11ax Transmitter test setup

The figure-1 depicts test setup used for testing transmitter part of 802.11ax device (i.e. 11ax station).

Following table mentions 802.11ax transmitter tests.

Transmitter Specifications Descriptions with limits
EVM (Error Vector Magnitude) -35 dB (For 1024QAM)
Unused tone error (for 11ax Stations) Unused tone error
Subcarriers in close proximity to active RU26 subcarriers must lie 2 dB under EVM limit. For distant subcarriers, EVM requirement is reduced in 10dB steps down to -35 dB. THe figure depicts limit value for RU26. For other RU sizes, there is different limits and step widths defined in the 802.11ax standard.
Frequency offset & timing offset In this test, Initially trigger frame is sent to DUT using R&S SGT 100A or any compliant generator equipment and DUT responds with HE_TRIG frame towards R&S FSW analyzer. Relative frequency error (Center frequency offset, tolerance +/- 350 Hz) of response signal in the uplink as well as delay between end of trigger frame and start of response frame (timing accuracy, tolerance +/- 0.4 µs) are measured.

WLAN 802.11ax Receiver Tests

Following table mentions 802.11ax receiver tests.

Receiver Specifications Descriptions with limits
Sensitivity test At low power (about -43dBm) at the receiver for 1024QAM modulation test, only 10% of received packets should contain faulty bits.

802.11ax radio conformance test equipments or solutions

Following is the list of 802.11ax radio conformance and other test solutions.
➤802.11ax test equipments should have EVM better than -35 dB with margin of atleast 10 dB. R&S spectrum and signal analyzer support EVM less than -53 dB. Hence measurement error of only 0.07 can be achieved with this 11ax equipments. R&S VSG (Vector Signal Generator) also offers EVM as required by 11ax specifications.
➤Keysight technologies offers 802.11ax test solutions validating various 11ax features which include OFDMA, MU-MIMO, 1024QAM constellation diagram with EVM, baseband IQ and so on.
➤Anritsu Corporation has launched Universal Wireless Test Set (MT8870A) which offers 802.11ax transmitter and receiver testing.
➤zSignal 802.11ax Software from LitePoint Corporation.
➤NI (National Instruments) has introduced test solution for 802.11ax High-Efficiency (HE) devices.

WLAN 802.11ac RF PHY conformance tests

802.11ac spectral mask

Refer Article on 802.11ac RF/PHY conformance testing >> for more information. The figure shows one such 802.11ac transmitter test for power spectrum mask validation.

References:
•  IEEE 802.11ax draft standard



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