PathWave System Design 2023 smooths 5G non-terrestrial simulation

Keysight Technologies has announced PathWave System Design (SystemVue) 2023 software to speed the design process for 5G non-terrestrial networks (NTN) and other wireless systems. 

Improvements to the latest PathWave System Design empower RF system designers to create digital twins of their architectures and transform from a hardware-centric to a simulation-centric design flow, explained the company.

New 5G NTN systems are complex which can apply stress to development lifecycles. Engineers request commercial software which connects with existing environments and drives virtual prototyping of systems in application-specific environments. Simulations that use measurement-derived models deliver higher fidelity in mission-critical applications such as satellite communications and aerospace defence, reported Keysight. In particular, system architects want to explore real world “what if” scenarios before building hardware to reduce technical risk and minimise time to market.

Keysight said PathWave System Design 2023 software supports engineers working in RFIC, sub assembly, and mission or system-of-systems applications by connecting system, baseband, and hardware verification tools in a complete RF system modelling workflow. Engineers can perform industry-leading phased array analysis that captures all non-ideal effects across channels and between amplifiers and antennas. New tool capabilities also enable frequency domain nonlinear system modelling to predict application-specific system behaviour.

“5G applications are evolving towards 6G, requiring the need for tools that address the entire digital engineering design and validation workflow,” said Peter Blood, director of product management for PathWave System Design at Keysight. “Organisations are demanding that systems are virtually prototyped in their target scenario, so system and mission engineers are turning to simulation, virtual prototyping, and digital twins. These techniques shift the development process left in time and remove the need for multiple physical prototypes,” he explained. “PathWave System Design blends simulation with measurement-derived models and offers a complete RF system workflow to rapidly architect, design, and verify these complex NTN systems with updated 5G libraries.”

PathWave System Design 2023 software includes an updated 5G transceiver to support NTN in conjunction with PathWave Vector Signal Analysis (89600 VSA) 2023. Enhancements include a full-featured channel model, which natively supports all the propagation characteristics for low, medium, and geostationary earth orbits, including large path delay and large-frequency Doppler shift with trajectory visualisation.

There are also two new simulation user interfaces: the Digital Pre-distortion (DPD) Explorer for circuit level designers in PathWave Advanced Design System (ADS) and the DPD Designer for architects in PathWave System Design. According to Keysight these enhancements deliver “unprecedented efficiency, flexibility, speed, and fidelity” enabled by its compact waveforms and new graphical user interfaces.

Also new is the dynamic gain model which is claimed to deliver unrivalled power amplifier modelling with memory effects. It supports workflow with other Keysight software and instrumentation for extraction.

Load Pull modelling is another new feature. It creates a phased array digital twin with power amplifier models derived from Keysight instrumentation or circuit level simulation. 

Connectivity with Keysight’s EXata software and PropSim Channel Studio software enables mission engineers to create a 5G network-level digital twin. High-fidelity physical layer analysis from PathWave System Design and PropSim channel models enhance the statistical simulation from EXata, continued the company, for designers to evaluate network-level performance of NTN communications systems without compromising on fidelity, complexity, or simulation speed.

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