News | June 10, 2003

Agilent Technologies' Baseband Studio Makes Design Verification Faster and Easier

New Product Family Saves Time and Money by Enabling Test Efficiencies

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Agilent Technologies Inc. today introduced Baseband Studio, the industry's first product family dedicated to reducing baseband design iterations by providing a digital, IF, RF or microwave signal stimulus that emulates real-world signal conditions.

Baseband Studio applications help reduce design iterations and cost of test in the cellular, wireless networking, and aerospace/defense industries. The applications initially work with Agilent E4438C ESG and E8267C PSG vector signal generators.

Verification at baseband becomes more and more important as product complexity and cost pressures increase, because most of the intelligence in wireless products resides in the baseband section. Consequently, designers are working to verify the performance of their baseband circuits and algorithms at early stages of design to save the time, cost, and aggravation of debugging algorithms and redesigning circuits after hardware has been built. Baseband Studio makes it possible to identify problems that arise as the design progresses, and can greatly reduce costly rework that negatively impacts time to market.

Baseband Studio includes four products that enable three applications: fading, waveform streaming, and digital outputs.

  • Agilent N5115A Baseband Studio for fading provides digitally integrated single- and dual-channel fading simulation of baseband signals generated by the ESG as well as calibrated additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) in a single solution that is easy to set up.

  • Agilent N5110A Baseband Studio for waveform streaming allows extremely long waveform files residing on a PC hard drive to be streamed to an ESG or PSG vector signal generator. The signal generator converts the waveform into analog I/Q or RF signals to provide a real-time test stimulus for the wireless component or subsystem.

  • Agilent N5101A Baseband Studio PCI card enables the fading and waveform streaming software applications. It performs operations on baseband signals and controls I/O functions in conjunction with signal generation software and waveforms generated by ESG and PSG baseband generators.

  • Agilent N5102A Baseband Studio digital signal interface module allows the ESG and PSG vector signal generators to output baseband signals in digital I/Q or intermediate frequency (IF) formats, including the required data format, clock features and signaling. The interface module provides a selection of logic types and connector types so it easily connects into the test system, in most cases eliminating the need for custom fixturing.

Both the PCI card and interface module employ advanced Xilinx field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), which enable them to become high-performance baseband processors that are instantly reconfigurable to accommodate the many signal formats that are processed by the Baseband Studio software applications.

Fading simulation is a key test to ensure that wireless communication receivers can function properly in the presence of reflections, interference and noise. Baseband Studio for fading provides pre-defined configurations for all the major 2G and 3G formats, plus 802.11 WLAN, making setup simple and error free. The ability to add noise digitally takes the guesswork out of setting carrier-to-noise ratio and Eb/No, while simultaneously simplifying the test setup. Baseband Studio for fading offers up to 30 MHz RF bandwidth and up to 48 paths.

Baseband Studio for fading is expected to support the Agilent 8960 wireless communication test set by March 2004. Its initial offering will include W-CDMA and cdma2000 technologies for engineers doing RF qualification and verification of wireless terminals.

Waveform Streaming
Designers of electronic warfare (EW), radar, satellite and wireless base station receivers must test their products in scenarios that can range from a few minutes to several hours in length. With limited memory capacity in currently available baseband generators, these designers have been forced to either partition the signal stream into small segments or build their own system to store, play back, and upconvert their waveforms. Baseband Studio for waveform streaming is the only commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) product that eliminates these tedious processes by allowing the entire signal, regardless of length, to be stored on a PC hard drive and then streamed out continuously through the N5101A PCI card to the ESG or PSG, and then output to the device under test.

Digital Outputs
Unlike pattern generators or basic arbitrary waveform generators, the N5102A digital interface module connects directly into the Agilent ESG and PSG baseband signal creation hardware. This gives baseband designers immediate access to the same set of complex digital modulation formats used by RF designers to test the final stages. Using a common test signal saves time that would be spent creating a custom signal and ensures the quality of the signal during the integration of baseband and RF subsystems. W-CDMA, 802.11 WLAN, cdma2000, 1xEV, and many other formats are supported.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 32,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6 billion in fiscal year 2002. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

Forward-Looking Statements:

This news release contains forward-looking statements (including, without limitation, statements relating to Agilent's expectation that its Baseband Studio for fading will support the Agilent 8960 wireless communication test set by March 2004 and that it will include W-CDMA and cdma2000 technologies) that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause results to differ materially from management's current expectations. These and other risks are detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Oct. 31, 2002, its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended Jan. 31, 2003 and its Current Report on Form 8-K filed May 19, 2003. The company assumes no obligation to update the information in this press release.