Industrial Electronics

Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI jointly support the i14y Lab PlugFest and verify Analog Devices’ new O-RU design

20 December 2022

At the recent i14y Lab Open RAN services and platforms PlugFest, which was part of the O-RAN ALLIANCE Global PlugFest Fall 2022, Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI Solutions combined their industry-leading capabilities to deliver an integrated solution for conformance testing of O-RAN Radio Units (O-RUs). With the automated testing solution, they were able to verify Analog Devices’ innovative 8T8R O-RU reference design and development kit according to both O-RAN and 3GPP pre-conformance.

The Joint European O-RAN and TIP PlugFest Fall 2022 was organized by i14y Lab, an industry consortium aiming at accelerating network disaggregation and Open RAN by building a European and German ecosystem of vendors and system integrators. It is supported by Deutsche Telekom and European Advanced Network Test Center. Technology vendors like Analog Devices, Inc. had the opportunity to verify the conformance of their platforms with test and measurement solutions from Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI Solutions among others.

One successful scenario was the automated verification of an O-RU. Network disaggregation brings new challenges because it requires interoperability between network equipment from different vendors. The evolving O-RUs need to conform with both 3GPP and O-RAN standards. Fronthaul conformance tests, defined by the O-RAN ALLIANCE, ensure that the emerging O-RU designs are interoperable with the O-RAN distributed unit (O-DU).

To address multiple application scenarios, Analog Devices has developed a particularly flexible O-RU reference design. The ADRV904x-RD-RUMB 8T8R O-RU reference design and development kit supportsA jointly developed automated testing platform for O-RAN Radio Units (O-RUs) was successfully validated. Source: i14y Lab A jointly developed automated testing platform for O-RAN Radio Units (O-RUs) was successfully validated. Source: i14y Lab time division duplex (TDD) as well as frequency division duplex (FDD) modes and multiple bands including all FR1 frequencies from 600 MHz up to 6 GHz, as well as it includes a complete O-RAN RU Split 7.2 x split for 4G & 5G NR standards.

Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI Solutions are both leaders in wireless communication testing and active in specifications development in the O-RAN ALLIANCE and 3GPP. Together they have developed an O-RAN conformance test solution that has been used to support several Open Testing and Integration Centers (OTICs), and was used at the O-RAN PlugFest for validating Analog Devices’ O-RU reference design:

  • The R&SSMM100A vector signal generator, R&SFSVA3000 signal and spectrum analyzer as well as the R&SVSE vector signal explorer analysis software from Rohde & Schwarz have emulated a real-world radio environment by generating, capturing and analyzing RF signals, extended for O-RAN applications.
  • The TM500 O-RU Tester from VIAVI Solutions has implemented the O-DU side of the M-plane and C/U-plane functionality, which was necessary for the configuration of the interface with the O-RU and to exchange I/Q data over the Open Fronthaul.
  • The O-RU Test Manager application from VIAVI has provided a single point of control for the integrated system and has ensured a seamless user experience throughout the test setup.

At i14y Lab Open RAN PlugFest, this test platform verified Analog Devices’ O-RU reference design according to the O-RAN conformance test specifications defined by the open fronthaul interfaces workgroup WG4. This includes the control and user plane (CU-Plane) for both FDD and TDD modes of operation. In addition, the setup supported test cases from 3GPP TS 38.141-1 Base Stations (BS) conducted conformance transmitter testing.

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