Keysight Technologies’ SystemVue platform for system design and verification has been used to contribute to an improvement to the narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) standard. SystemVue enables users to combine existing baseband, RF and channel models together for evaluation of the entire system and is used by some South African research institutions.
NB-IoT is an emerging narrowband wireless communication standard developed to enable a wide range of new IoT devices and services. The standard specifies low-cost and low-power implementation for massive deployment and long battery life.
The improvement realised using SystemVue optimises the NB-IoT user equipment (UE) standard to facilitate the implementation of low-power NB-IoT terminal chips and will be incorporated in Release 13 (revised version) and 14 of the 3GPP standard.
While designing an NB-IoT terminal transceiver, experts from Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) discovered an improper definition in the NB-IoT standard’s receiver wideband intermodulation requirement. The requirement was more stringently specified than that in the LTE standard, which runs counter to the promise of offering low-cost/low-power NB-IoT terminals.
A system-level simulation platform, based on Keysight EEsof EDA’s SystemVue software and NB-IoT library (developed in collaboration with ASTRI), provided the critical evidence needed for ASTRI to successfully request a standard change at the 3GPP RAN4 #82 meeting in Athens, Greece in February. The change was fully accepted by delegates from many different companies.
“As an early and active participant in 3GPP NB-IoT standardisation, ASTRI is pioneering development of NB-IoT terminal transceiver IP for the worldwide market,” said Tom Lillig, general manager for Keysight’s Design Engineer Software organisation. “SystemVue software has, and continues to play, a critical role in that development by providing ASTRI the capabilities it needs to fully evaluate its transceiver IP at the system level. Without such capabilities, issues like the improper NB-IoT standard definition could have easily been overlooked, detrimentally impacting the standard’s use and proliferation.”
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