Fast Efficient Wireless Connectivity and GNSS Production Testing


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When testing location-aware and wireless devices on the production line, speed, accuracy and efficiency are key. Learn how new tools can accelerate these tests, saving time and money.

- The key characteristics of efficient production line testing
- Why parametric testing methods aren’t always the best option
- The functional testing tools built for use on the factory floor

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Fast Efficient Wireless Connectivity and GNSS Production Testing

  1. 1. Fast Efficient Wireless Connectivityand GNSS Production TestingA Spirent eBook
  2. 2. IntroductionPositioning and navigation technologies are evolving fast, andmanufacturers must perform an ever increasing variety of productionline tests on completed smartphones, laptops, and other location-aware devices.Many manufacturers continue to use complicated and expensiveparametric tools to conduct these tests, slowing time to market,raising costs and compromising device quality.Spirent is committed to supporting efficient, professional testingthroughout the value chain. This means enabling the right kind oftesting at the right stage – from the earliest days of receiver researchand development right through to production and technical support.SPIRENT eBook Page 2
  3. 3. In this ebook we’ll explore the unique requirements of productiontesting, and explain why the production line demands its own testingsolutions – solutions designed to deliver a simple, reliable verdict asrapidly and efficiently as possible.You’ll also gain an overview of our ground-breaking production testingsolutions, the GSS6300 and GSS5300.We hope you find this ebook interesting and useful. If you’d like moreinformation about anything you read in the following pages, pleasedon’t hesitate to contact us at globalsales@spirent.comSPIRENT eBook Page 3
  4. 4. Production Testing TodayMulti-GNSS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, FM, Near Field Communication – today’slocation-aware devices combine the strengths of a wide variety ofradio signals to deliver more accurate positioning, more consistentfixes, and more diverse, innovative applications.As a result, such devices incorporate an increasing number ofsensors and radio receivers, all of which need to be checked on theproduction line to ensure that they are working correctly, and thatthe finished product is functioning as designed.SPIRENT eBook Page 4
  5. 5. With consumers demanding higher performance devices faster, andcompetition to service that demand on the rise in many industries,failure to complete these functional tests reliably and quickly cansignificantly damage both a manufacturer’s reputation and itsbottom line.Equally, however, manufacturers that switch to efficient, professionalproduction testing practices stand to enjoy a significant competitiveadvantage – with the ability to get more reliable, more innovativeproducts to consumers faster, and at a lower cost.SPIRENT eBook Page 5
  6. 6. The Aim of Production TestingTo understand the size of the opportunity represented by a newapproach to production testing, it’s first important to recognisehow the aims and requirements of such tests differ from those ofthe performance tests that play such a central role in research anddevelopment, and integration and verification.SPIRENT eBook Page 6
  7. 7. During the development of any location-aware device, rigoroustesting is essential: from receiver benchmarking to characterisationto calibration. The primary aim of testing at this stage, however, isto discover, compare and extend the limits of a receiver or devicedesign’s performance.SPIRENT eBook Page 7
  8. 8. To conduct such tests professionally requires sophisticated parametrictools capable of recording a comprehensive set of detailedmeasurements, and simulating an extreme range of operatingenvironments.The aim of production testing is quite different – by the time afinished location-aware device rolls down the production line,parametric testing should be long since complete.At this late stage, testing means checking that the variouscomponents of a product are functioning properly – and the resultshould be a simple verdict of pass or fail.SPIRENT eBook Page 8
  9. 9. Successful production testing is therefore characterised by:EfficiencyThe ease and economy with which a pass/fail verdict can be achieved.SpeedHow quickly that verdict can be achieved, and how many differentradio signals and devices can be tested at once.AccuracyThe capacity for human error to compromise the testing process.Since the primary aim of this production testing is so different to thatof most R&D tests, it’s unsurprising that parametric tools are far fromthe ideal solution.SPIRENT eBook Page 9
  10. 10. The Problem with Parametric Testing on the Production LineDespite their very different purpose, many manufacturers currently useparametric testing tools to perform their functional production line tests.This can cause a number of problems:InefficiencyAs noted in the last section, parametric tools are sophisticated,highly-adaptable solutions designed to test radio signal receivers totheir limits in the R&D lab. The high level of functionality demandedby this application makes them expensive investments, and meansthey require a comparatively high level of technical expertise tooperate.When deployed on the production line, they can raise capitaland labour costs substantially.SPIRENT eBook Page 10
  11. 11. DelaysIn the R&D lab, there’s rarely any need to test more than one receiveror device design simultaneously. There’s also, comparatively, plenty oftime to calibrate your equipment for each test.On a production line, however, complex calibration and a lack ofcapacity is a distinct disadvantage – damaging a manufacturer’s abilityto get new products to market quickly, and to respond tosudden increases in demand.SPIRENT eBook Page 11
  12. 12. InaccuracyThe very level of advanced functionality which makes parametric toolsso powerful in the R&D lab heightens the risk of miscalibration on theproduction line – increasing the chance that sub-standard productswill be shipped, and brand reputation damaged.As new location-aware devices make use of a growing range of radiosignals, the above issues are set to become of increasing concern tomanufacturers relying on parametric tools.SPIRENT eBook Page 12
  13. 13. The GSS5300: A Versatile Testing Solutionfor Today’s Production LineSpirent’s ground-breaking new RF simulator,the GSS5300, is built specifically to meet the unique needs of modernproduction line testing, simulating a wide range of radio signals –from Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to FM and NFC.A single, rapidly deployable unit, it enables manufacturers to:Reduce testing costsDesigned to deliver the simple yes/no verdict production testingrequires, the GSS5300 is more efficient, less expensive and muchsimpler to use than parametric testing tools –driving down capital and labour costs.SPIRENT eBook Page 13
  14. 14. Accelerate testingOne GSS5300 unit can test two devices for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM andNFC signals simultaneously – and units can be deployed in parallelto test further multiples of two devices at the same time. This slashesthe time needed to perform professional production testing, enablingmanufacturers to service demand faster and grow competitive edge.Promote testing consistencyThe GSS5300 is engineered to make testing as straightforward aspossible – minimising the danger of inaccurate test results dueto calibration errors, and helping to ensure every product meetscustomer expectations. Drive innovationSPIRENT eBook Page 14
  15. 15. Many modern RF receiver chipsets now include a ‘test mode’ whichcan be activated to speed and simplify testing processes. TheGSS5300 takes full advantage of test modes where available, drivingfurther time and efficiency savings. Coupled with its ability to testemerging wireless technologies such as NFC, this makes the GSS5300the ideal tool for testing even the most innovative location-awaredevices.While the GSS5300 is a powerful tool in its own right, it’s alsodesigned to work in tandem with Spirent’s GSS6300 family ofproducts, providing a complete RF receiver testing solution for themodern production line.SPIRENT eBook Page 15
  16. 16. The GSS6300: Peerless Multi-GNSS Production TestingSpirent’s GSS6300 Multi-GNSS Signal Generator is the GSS5300’solder sibling. It delivers all the same efficiency, cost and qualitybenefits as the GSS5300, but simulates the signals of multiple GNSSconstellations, from GPS and GLONASS to Galileo.The GSS6300M is the ideal entry-level multi-channel GNSS simulatorfor busy production testing environments and receiver integrators.Its eight channels of operation can simulate L1/E1 signals from GPS/SBAS, GLONASS and Galileo to test the fundamental positioningcapabilities of any GNSS device.SPIRENT eBook Page 16
  17. 17. Where Next?If you found this eBook of interest, you may now like to do one of thefollowing:• Visit our Resources page to browse our other eBooks and Application Notes on relevant topics.• Read the Spirent GNSS Blog to keep up with news and insights on the latest GNSS developments.• Email us for more information at gnss-solutions@spirent.comShare this eBook on your favourite social media platform:Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Technorati Google + Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon MCD00198 Issue 1-00
  18. 18. About SpirentSpirent has been the global leader in GNSS testing for 25 years. Spirent deliversnavigation and positioning test equipment and services to governmental agencies,major manufacturers, integrators, test facilities and space agencies worldwide.Spirent Spirent Federal Systems Got a smartphone?+44 1803 546325 +1 714 692 6565 Scan the Code for information