Keysight Introduces New Method to Accelerate Power Amplifier Digital Pre-Distortion Test Speeds

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Keysight Technologies, Inc. introduces the new Iterative Learning Control (ILC) test method that significantly shortens Digital Pre-Distortion (DPD) test times for power amplifiers.

Power amplifiers (PA) are a core component in wireless communication devices. Characterization of these components is a critical but time-consuming task that can take hours or even days during the research & development (R&D) phase. By shortening the time it takes to complete the design and validation process, power amplifier manufacturers are able to accelerate their time-to-market.

Keysight meets this need by introducing the innovative ILC DPD test method that shortens DPD test time to minutes and accelerates R&D time from test validation to product design and optimization. As a part of Keysight’s comprehensive High-Frequency Measurement Solution portfolio, the ILC test method runs on the N9055EM0E Power Amplifier Measurement Application and uses the VXG Vector Signal Generator and PXA Signal Analyzer to provide industry-leading test performance for signal generation and analysis.

The ILC DPD test method offers the following benefits: 

  • Faster Test Speeds – Optimizes the N9055EM0E software to reduce the characterization of power amplifiers to minutes.
  • Integrated User Interface – Shows both pre-DPD and post-DPD measurement results in one screen for easier operation and integration when characterizing a power amplifier with multiple test instruments.
  • Measurement Accuracy and Performance – Provides industry-leading performance when characterizing power amplifier by removing the limitations of signal analyzer and generator and determining the real-world performance of power amplifier designs.

Fabless semiconductor manufacturer Hexawave is the first to deploy the ILC test method to characterize its new HWA1330 5G gallium arsenide (GaAs) PA up to 4 watts in the 3.3 to 3.8 GHz frequency range. The ILC test method was critical in validating that the HWA1330 can meet design targets including more than 30% power added efficiency (PAE), 35.5 dB power gain, and below -50 dBc adjacent channel leakage ratio (ACLR) at 100MHz bandwidth and 8.5dB peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR) with DPD.

Dr. Mong Lin, President at Hexawave, said: “Power amplifiers are critical in communication systems. Our HWA1330 power amplifier is an industry leader and Keysight’s innovative test method allows us to rapidly and reliably validate our 5G New Radio power amplifier designs to stay at the forefront of the industry.”

Peng Cao, Vice President and General Manager of Keysight’s Wireless Devices and Solutions Group, said: “Keysight is pleased to strengthen our technical leadership in power amplifier characterization by introducing the new ILC DPD test method. It’s a great example of how our experts keep finding innovative solutions to meet our customers’ testing challenges.”


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