IMS2022 Booth Tour: EDA And Measurement Science Converge

Addressing razor-thin margins on modulated signal quality.


At the IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS) 2022, the theme was “Explore the Peaks of Microwave Engineering,” a play on the event’s Denver location. There’s another clever interpretation – exploring the peaks encountered in high peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR) conditions with complex modulation. These modulated signals are driving Keysight’s vision where EDA and digitized measurement science converge. Before we look at some new solutions in the Keysight IMS2022 booth tour video, let’s look at challenges they address.

Razor-thin margins on modulated signal quality

Many RF systems such as 5G and Wi-Fi use dense digital modulation schemes like QAM, packing points into constellations. These constellations get even tighter in 6G and Wi-Fi 7. Error vector magnitude (EVM) is a critical metric in evaluating these systems. With margins getting razor-thin, evaluating EVM can no longer be left to the end of the project.

Arbitrary, wideband modulated signals are now an essential tool during RF system design. Two Keysight demos look at new instrumentation capability for modulation and de-modulation, including software for digital pre-distortion modeling inside the latest PNA-X Network Analyzer.

Keysight Fellow Dr. Joel Dunsmore demonstrating PNA-X capabilities at IMS2022.

Reproducing real-world system conditions in virtual space

Digital twins are more than just simulations. A digital twin is an accurate virtual representation of a physical system, including feedback and modeling enhancements from measurements made on the physical system. This makes digital twins a powerful solution for systems with difficult to reproduce real-world conditions. Those conditions can be micro, such as parasitic effects on RF circuits, or macro, such as position, orientation, and interference effects on a system.

An excellent example where a digital twin excels is the case of a 5G non-terrestrial network (NTN). A demo shows how Keysight tools combine detailed simulation of real-world RF effects with integration of third-party tools modeling satellite kinematics impacting system performance. It’s the type of scenario where just setting up the right tests can be prohibitively expensive in physical space. Shift left, moving engineering activities from the physical system into the virtual system, reduces cost and improves system design.

 Dr. Murthy Upmaka demonstrating PathWave System Design capabilities at IMS2022.

Electromagnetic-circuit co-simulation crosses domains faster

Another motivation for bringing EDA and measurement science together is the idea that many critical RF behaviors cannot be uncovered in isolated domains. Multiple domains must be exercised simultaneously, with authentic modulated signals, to gain simulation fidelity. But this approach extends simulation complexity and time.

Two Keysight demos show how electromagnetic (EM) test & measurement and simulation is evolving to meet this challenge. The key to cross domain test and advanced behavioral modeling at the component and system level is EM-circuit co-simulation techniques. Using Keysight tools, EM simulation becomes as easy as circuit simulation, reducing conversion errors and speeding up workflows.

See experts talk through six demo stations

Those are just some of the challenges in today’s RF system design. When EDA and measurement science converge, designers gain the benefits of shift left thinking.

For those who didn’t get to IMS2022 in person, Keysight’s live booth tour video with experts talking about these challenges is archived – an email address provides instant access.

Watch Keysight Live from IMS.


David A. Humphreys says:

We hope that the newly released IEEE 1765 standard for EVM will be of benefit

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