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Transceiver Testing

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Full Fan-out Transceiver Test Systems
A full fan-out transceiver test system is constructed as a fully meshed matrix. There is a path between every pair of ports. Each path has its own individually controlled programmable attenuator. Each port can be connected to a device that can transmit/receive signals (i.e. radios, handsets). The programmable attenuators allow for a different dB setting for every path through the matrix. The attenuators can have their dB setting faded over a time interval to simulate signal fading between radios.

The example diagram shown is a 12 port full fan-out configuration. This 12 port design will have a total of 66 programmable attenuators.

Limited Fan-out Transceiver Test Systems
For a limited fan-out transceiver, a port connects to only X number of its neighboring ports. The number of its neighboring ports can vary depending on the application. The example diagram shows a 12 port LC8 design. Each port is connected to only its 8 closest neighboring ports (4 upper neighboring ports & 4 lower neighboring ports). This design requires only 48 programmable attenuators.

This limited fan-out design is most useful for reducing size/cost of designs with a large number of ports. For example, a full fan-out 48 port design would require 1128 programmable attenuators. A limited fan-out 48 port LC16 requires only 384 programmable attenuators. Cost and size reduction of approximately 66%.

Hub Fan-out Transceiver Test Systems
The hub fan-out transceiver test systems are constructed as a star matrix with a programmable attenuator on each port. The star configuration limits the number of paths in the matrix to be equal to the number of ports. The star design results in a lower cost due to the lower number of programmable attenuators.

The example diagram shown is a 12 port hub fan-out configuration. All ports are connected via a resistive power divider/combiner with a star configuration. There are a total of 12 programmable attenuators.


Size/Cost Vs. Functionality
For a transceiver test system, the major cost driver is the number of programmable attenuators. Below are examples showing how the number of attenuators vary by design type. Reducing the number of programmable attenuators will reduce the size/cost of the test system. But you have to weigh the reduced size/cost against reduced functionality.

Design Type
# of Attenuators
Size/Cost Vs. Full Fan-out
8 Port full fan-out
28 attenuators
8 Port LC4 limited fan-out
16 attenuators
42.85% reduction
8 Port hub fan-out
8 attenuators
71.42% reduction
16 Port full fan-out
120 attenuators
16 Port LC8 limited fan-out
64 attenuators
46.66% reduction
16 Port hub fan-out
16 attenuators
86.66% reduction
32 Port full fan-out
496 attenuators
32 Port LC16 limited fan-out
256 attenuators
48.38% reduction
32 Port hub fan-out
32 attenuators
93.54% reduction
48 Port full fan-out
1128 attenuators
48 Port LC16 limited fan-out
384 attenuators
65.95% reduction
48 Port hub fan-out
48 attenuators
95.74% reduction

3.x.x Firmware for PMA models
All transceiver test systems are controlled via Ethernet/RS-232 and ship with our latest 3.x.x firmware. Our firmware manual (firmware manual.pdf) lists all remote commands for the 3.x.x firmware. The 3.x.x firmware supports up to 12 simultaneous Ethernet connections and is DHCP capable. It features remote commands such as fade attenuator, variable attenuator handover, set block, fade block.