Broadband wireless access (BWA) via WiMAX technology has been projected by many research studies to be a market with the growth potential of cellular communications. As that market heats up, the race to deliver products to market will accelerate. Prepared suppliers will have the right development tools even in advance of a finalized standard, such as the Mobile WiMAX library from Agilent Technologies (Palo Alto, CA), for their Advanced Design System (ADS) electronic-design-automation (EDA) software program. The Mobile WiMAX design exploration library has been created to not only save time, but also dollars during a typical design cycle.

The Mobile WiMAX library (see figure) allows engineers to create waveforms that comply with the physical layer (PHY) specifications of both the IEEE 802.16-2004 and IEEE 802.16e WiMAX standards, which define the mobile version (with roaming and handoff's) of WiMAX as opposed to the fixed version. The software can also be upgraded as those (and other) standards evolve to accurately represent the final standards adopted for WiMAX. Mobile WiMAX operators can experiment with different uplink and downlink scenarios using computer models rather than fabricating expensive hardware.

Designers can select from different variations of orthogonal-frequency-division multiplex-access (OFDMA) modulation, including quadrant (QPSK) OFDM, 16-state quadrature-amplitude-modulation (16-QAM) OFDM, and 64-QAM OFDM. Mobile WiMAX library uses can also select the basic Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) size (with variable bandwidths), type of error-correction code (such as convolutional coding and convolutional turbo coding), the overall coding rate, and the value of the cyclic prefix.

The design library can be used to make transmitter and receiver measurements, modify a wide range of parameters for a downlink source (including for use with two antennas), tune different characteristics of a downlink receiver, and alter such parameters as path loss and fading in a communications channel model. Transmitter test benches include evaluation of error vector magnitude (EVM), spectral mask, waveform integration, and constellation displays. Receiver test benches include evaluation of sensitivity, bit-error rate (BER), and packet-error rate (PER) with noise and fading.

The Mobile WiMAX library is available now as part of the ADS 2005A program. It can be imported into Agilent's RF Design Environment (RFDE) so that RF IC designers can access the Mobile WiMAX test benches within the Virtuo Custom IC Platform from Cadence Design Systems (www.cadence.com). The Mobile WiMAX library requires several ADS modules for proper operation, including the ADS Design Environment (module E8900), ADS Data Display (module E8901), and the Agilent Ptolemy Simulator (module E8823). P&A: $8400 and up (ADS 2005A); stock.

Agilent Technologies, 1400 Fountain grove Pkwy., Santa Rosa, CA 95403; (707) 577-1400, e-mail: info@agilent.com, Internet: www.agilent.com/find/eesof