National Instruments unveils mmWave SDR to speed 5G research

National Instruments (NI) took the wraps off what it describes as the world’s first software defined radio (SDR) for millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum.

The new transceiver system includes a full transceiver that can transmit and/or receive wide-bandwidth signals at 2 GHz real-time bandwidth, covering spectrum in the E-Band – 71-76 GHz. NI notes that engineers and scientists have used SDRs ubiquitously in the spectrum below 6 GHz for years, but now companies in mmWave have a full-featured SDR platform to drive their initiatives.

Nokia, which is a key participant in NI’s RF/Communications Lead User program, has been working with early versions of the mmWave transceiver system in its 5G research initiatives for over a year.

“NI’s mmWave transceiver system has been a key research platform for our mmWave research,” said Tod Sizer, head of mobile radio research for Nokia Bell Labs, in a press release. “The platform delivers the right combination of hardware and software necessary to expedite our research and has given us confidence that mmWave will indeed be a critical technology for 5G. At this year’s Brooklyn 5G Summit, we are demonstrating a high data rate mmWave system using phased array @ 60 GHz using NI’s platform, thus making 5G a commercial reality.”

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