5G waveforms

How Rohde & Schwarz signal generators and analyzers facilitate 5G waveform generation and analysis.

For 5G NR, as specified in 3GPP Release 15, the standardization organization decided to use cyclic prefix based orthogonal frequency division multiplex (CP-OFDM) as the access scheme. Unlike LTE, 5G NR also supports CP-OFDM in the uplink direction. But LTE’s discrete Fourier transform spread OFDM (DFT-s-OFDM) uplink scheme, better known as single carrier frequency division multiplex (SC-FDMA), is still a valid access scheme and support is mandatory for any 5G terminal. The network decides which of the two schemes is used in the uplink.

The fundamental difference between CP-OFDM in LTE and 5G NR, in particular in the downlink direction, is the handling of the DC subcarrier. LTE does not use this subcarrier and therefore no data is mapped to it during the OFDM signal generation process. In 5G NR, the handling of the DC subcarrier is left totally to the vendor’s implementation and data can be mapped to it.

5G NR supports mmWave frequencies up to 52.6 GHz. At higher frequencies, phase noise has a higher impact. A phase tracking reference signal (PTRS) embedded in the downlink and uplink directions compensates for the increase in common phase error caused by higher phase noise. PTRS is a new set of reference signals that are not supported by LTE.

5G wideband signal analysis with the R&S®FSW
5G wideband signal analysis with the R&S®FSW
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Your 5G test challenges

Supporting two access schemes in the uplink direction poses a new challenge for RF design and test engineers. Now they need to optimize their design to achieve highest performance with both types of waveforms. Creating carrier aggregation scenarios with either waveform up to a total bandwidth of 1 GHz presents an additional challenge.

Benefits of Rohde & Schwarz 5G test solutions

  • 5G NR integrated personalities on both the signal generator and spectrum analyzer support the switch between CP-OFDM and DFT-s-OFDM at the click of a button.
  • 2 GHz internal modulation bandwidth and a frequency range up to 40 GHz enables R&D engineers to generate 5G signals with extremely wide bandwidth up to microwave frequencies.
  • 5G wideband signal demodulation with up to 2 GHz internal analysis bandwidth and up to 90 GHz carrier frequency eliminates the need for external downconversion components.
  • Frequency response correction options compensate for cables, connectors and test fixtures used in the test setup.
  • Generation of typical test scenarios such as coexistence tests with LTE or wide bandwidth 5G signals in the microwave range with a single instrument.

Related products

  • R&S®SMW200A vector signal generator

    5G-ready options and an internal modulation bandwidth of up to 2 GHz enables generation of 5G wideband signals up to mmWave frequencies.

    More information

  • R&S®FSW signal and spectrum analyzer

    5G-ready options and an internal analysis bandwidth of up to 2 GHz enables analysis of 5G wideband signals up to 90 GHz in one instrument.

    More information

Related resources

  • Webinar: Demystifying the 5G NR physical layer

    More information

  • First 5G NR signal generator and analyzer presented at MWC 2018
    Video: First to offer 5G NR signal generation and analysis

    More details

  • Demystifying 5G - Minimizing the impact of accessories when testing 5G RF components
    Video: Minimizing the impact of accessories when testing 5G RF components

    More details

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