The Agilent Technologies 89600 vector signal analyzer (VSA), one of the company’s most widely used wireless test products, performs a broad range of signal analysis and spectrum analysis functions thanks to a huge library of software applications. Now, Version 12 of the VSA’s software addresses the needs of cellular communications and wireless networking R&D engineers with physical-layer (PHY) testing in mind.

The software features enhancements in Long-Term Evolution (LTE), HSPA+, multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO), and EDGE-EVO analysis. It also offers improved hardware connectivity and support for a new operating system. With the new LTE, HSPA+, and GSM EDGE-EVO analysis tools, designers can dig deeper into signals to find and fix the causes of PHY problems.

Further, Version 12 delivers a bundle of new capabilities for LTE modulation analysis. These features include support for the 3GPP December 2009 version of the standard and associated conformance test updates, as well as new in-band emissions and spectrum flatness traces. Both traces incorporate pre-set limit lines for uplink conformance testing.

The software also adds two new analysis tools: downlink control channel decode and auto-configuration, and UE-specific (user equipment) resource signal (RS) analysis. Downlink control channel decoding and auto-configuration provides new tables that the engineer can use to verify information sent on the control channel. Designed for TDD-LTE (time-division duplex), the UE-specific RS analysis enables designers to examine UE RS allocations separately or as a group.

Version 12’s improved hardware connectivity offers dual digital inputs, so engineers can use two logic analyzers to view 2x2 baseband MIMO signals. With these new features, along with the existing support for 2x2 RF MIMO measurements, engineers can evaluate and troubleshoot the entire MIMO signal path from the RF output all the way back to baseband DSP.

Other software enhancements include W-CDMA modulation analysis updates to support HSPA+ MIMO testing (see the figure), GSM modulation analysis updates to support asynchronous quadrature phase-shift keying (AQPSK) for GSM EDGE-EVO, and support for the Windows 7 operating system.

Version 12 of Agilent’s 89600 VSA software is available now for download at with a starting base price of $10,714. An update and subscription service, providing automatic notification and shipment of new software updates, is available for $2075.

Agilent Technologies Inc.