10 March 2023
Keysight introduces new method to accelerate power amplifier digital pre-distortion test speeds
Keysight Technologies Inc of Santa Rosa, CA, USA has introduced the new Iterative Learning Control (ILC) test method that significantly shortens digital pre-distortion (DPD) test times for power amplifiers.
As a core component in wireless communication devices, characterization of power amplifiers (PAs) is a critical but time-consuming task that can take hours or even days during the 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.
The ILC test method 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 what is claimed to be 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.
Taiwan-based fabless semiconductor manufacturer Hexawave (an Ennostar Group affiliate) is first to deploy the ILC test method to characterize its new HWA1330 5G gallium arsenide (GaAs) PA up to 4W in the 3.3–3.8GHz 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), 35.5dB power gain, and below –50dBc adjacent-channel leakage ratio (ACLR) at 100MHz bandwidth and 8.5dB peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR) with DPD. “Keysight’s innovative test method allows us to rapidly and reliably validate our 5G new radio (NR) power amplifier designs,” comments Hexawave’s president Dr Mong Lin.