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National Instruments Unveils NI 5791 RF for 5G Wireless Research

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November 05, 2012

National Instruments Unveils NI 5791 RF for 5G Wireless Research

By Meenakshi Shankar
TMCnet Contributor


National Instruments (News - Alert), a company that leverages commercial technologies, has unveiled the NI 5791 RF transceiver adapter module for NI FlexRIO, currently being used in multiple cutting-edge research projects on 5G technologies.

The NI 5791 adapter module is the latest addition to the NI SDR platform that includes the NI USRP (Universal Software Radio Peripheral), as well as instrumentation-grade, PXI-based software-designed instruments.

"The NI 5791 delivers superior RF performance needed to develop wide bandwidth software defined radios," James Kimery, director of RF/communications lead user programs at National Instruments, said in a statement.

NI FlexRIO instruments consist of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) modules that one can program with the NI LabVIEW FPGA Module and adapter modules to gain high-performance analog and digital I/O.

As indicated, the new transceiver adapter module forms a powerful SDR solution when paired with an NI FlexRIO FPGA module for real-time, user-designed processing. Through triggering mechanisms provided by the PXI platform, users can synchronize eight or more transceivers for MIMO and beamforming configurations.

The NI 5791 also comes with extensive FPGA digital signal processing (DSP) libraries and example architectures for common signal processing applications.

"The combination of the NI 5791, NI FlexRIO and LabVIEW enables researchers investigating leading wireless technologies to rapidly prototype and innovate faster," Kimery added.

Kimery also clarified that this combination is based on the same software technology developed for the vector signal transceiver. This single-software framework using NI LabVIEW system design software enables faster prototyping in physical layer design applications.

Key features of the NI 5791 include tunable RF transceiver, covering 200 MHz to 4.4 GHz; up to 100 MHz real-time bandwidth at 16 bits; large Xilinx (News - Alert) DSP-focused FPGAs for real-time signal processing; system design based on LabVIEW, with included DSP libraries; and high-speed, low-latency PXI Express x4 (~800 MB/s) connection to the host.

In another development, National Instruments signed a joint initiative with Cardiff University to develop advanced nonlinear network analysis systems. These systems combine NI PXI RF instruments and NI LabVIEW software, along with waveform engineering tools from Mesuro for dramatic improvements in measurement time compared to previous systems.

Edited by Braden Becker

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