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Signals Research Group’s New LTE Chipset Benchmark Study Focuses on Cat 4 Data Throughput

Spirent Communications, the leader in testing networks, services and devices, announced today it has collaborated with Signals Research Group (SRG) to benchmark data throughput performance of six LTE Category 4 (Cat 4) capable chipsets from Ericsson, HiSilicon, Intel, MediaTek, Qualcomm, and Samsung. The study included a mix of commercial and pre-commercial chipsets and is a part of an overall LTE chipset performance analysis series which will include LTE TDD and Carrier Aggregation in future reports.

The key conclusions of this test include the following:

  • Samsung’s pre-commercial chipset was the top performer, based on its average throughput and its individual finishing place in each of the tests.
  • Results showed significant variance in performance with the more challenging conditions (i.e., low signal strength and high interference).

“When a pre-commercial chipset takes top honors, one must also take into consideration other factors, such as stringent operator acceptance testing, which could identify problems that fall outside the scope of our study. In the case of Samsung, this issue is somewhat mitigated because it has brought other LTE chipsets to commercial status,” commented Michael Thelander, the President of Signals Research Group. “It is also important to note that a top-performing chipset will not necessarily result in a top-performing mobile device since a poor antenna design or a non-optimized RF front-end can severely degrade RF performance – a point that we proved in our last study with Spirent.”

The Spirent CS8 Mobile Device Test System enabled SRG to measure how each chipset performed under identical conditions and capture key performance indicators (KPIs) which provide additional insight into why some devices/chipsets behaved differently than others. The Spirent CS8 provided additional value to the study as it is being utilized by several of the mobile operators who have recently launched commercial LTE networks.

“It was both motivating and exciting to once again partner with SRG and showcase the evolution of data throughput performance since the initial Signals Research Group chipset benchmark study in 2007,” said Nigel Wright, Vice President Spirent Communications. “With peak data rates observed at approximately thirty times higher than our first study, the results have once again demonstrated the potential of LTE and exposed the range of performance in the complex scenarios inherent in next-generation chipsets and devices.”

The study included tests for LTE FDD data throughput performance for some of the industry’s most popular mobile chipsets. SRG tested all of the chipsets in Category 4 mode. A Category 4 device is capable of supporting up to approximately 150 Mbps in a 20 MHz FDD channel, while a Category 3 device is limited to approximately 100 Mbps. In this study, the chipsets were subjected to 29 different test scenarios that combined a mix of fading profiles, transmission modes and different MIMO correlation factors using Spirent’s CS8 test platform.

For a preview of the report in Signals Ahead, “Chips and Salsa XVIII: LTE Chipset Performance Benchmark Results: The Cat 4 Is Out Of The Bag” please visit the consultancy’s website at www.signalsresearch.com.

For more information on Spirent’s CS8 test system, please visit http://www.spirent.com/Products/CS8.

About Spirent Communications plc

Spirent Communications plc. (LSE: SPT), a global leader in test and measurement, offers an extensive portfolio of solutions to test data centers, cloud computing and virtualized environments, high speed Ethernet networks and services, 3G/4G wireless networks and devices, network and application security, and positioning technologies. For more information visit http://www.spirent.com/about-us/News_Room/About_Spirent_Communications_plc.aspx

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