The test and evaluation phase of wireless system development is typically a rate limiting step in the design process. It is also a significantly expensive one.

In December 2011 Agilent Technologies pioneered a new method of for the testing and evaluation of advanced wireless systems based on the Lime LMS6002D field programmable transceiver IC. This method has cut both the development time and number of optimisation cycles required, significantly speeding time to market.

Agilent created the suite of test equipment and software to give designers a comprehensive, cost-effective method for design validation, even when creating multi-standard radios.

Using the LMS6002D Agilent was able to create a tool where RF engineers could adjust the transceiver’s uplink and downlink frequencies from 0.3-3.8 GHz continuous, and set the on-chip channel filters to accommodate all cellular standards. Combining this with the Agilent’s test equipment allows digital IQ signals to be generated using a pattern generator, and then have these signals converted to RF and analysed using a wide-band oscilloscope running its software.

The system has subsequently gone on general release and has significantly cut time to market for a growing number of RF system developers.