Millimeter wave (mmWave) radio heads connected to National Instruments PXI signal transceiver.

National Instruments Announces New mmWave Radio Heads for NR 5G Testing

  • National Instruments (NI) launches two series of millimeter wave (mmWave) radio heads for its mmWave signal transceiver.
  • The new radio heads, which cover the frequency ranges 24.5 GHz to 33.4 GHz and 37 GHz to 43.5 GHz, are designed for prototyping applications of New Radio (NR) 5G standard radio communication systems.

While the 3GPP standardisation body is completing the definition of the 5G communication protocol, it has specified the frequency bands that will be reserved for 5G mobile telecommunications. These frequencies are in the millimeter wave (mmWave) range. The spectral coverage offered by these new radio heads enables the design and testing of the first 5G communications equipment in the United States, South Korea, Japan, Europe and China.

In 2016, National Instruments announced its mmWave signal transceiver (emitter-receiver), based on software defined radio (SDR) technology covering millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies for 5G and advanced wireless communications.

The new radio heads are compatible with the mmWave transceiver launched by NI in 2016, both from a software and baseband subsystem perspective. They are also interchangeable with older generation mmWave radio heads. The existing software can therefore be reused with a minimum of modifications.

The open, modifiable physical layer provided by the source code created under LabVIEW complies with the Verizon 5G TF specification and Release 15 of 3GPP’s 5G NR specifications. Together with the mmWave transceiver, this flexible solution is a ready-to-use OTA (Over-the-air) communication system. The source code is modifiable to meet the requirements of each application such channel sounding, 5G NR algorithm development and optimization and beam steering algorithm research and test.

The 24.5-33.4 GHz radio head range is available in several models: mmRH-3642, mmRH-3652 and mmRH-3602.
The 37-43.5 GHz radio head range includes the mmRH-3643, mmRH-3653 and mmRH-3603 models.