Wi-Fi 6 chipsets and devices harness the latest wireless standard with improved capabilities and performance. Enabling metrics such as faster data throughput and greater network efficiency may be favorable for consumers, but it places considerable demands on Wi-Fi characterization and compliance testing. When faced with test equipment that is not up for the task, engineers often resort to testing compromises, threatening measurement accuracy.
Channel bandwidths up to 160 MHz require instrumentation with adequate video bandwidth (VBW), modulation techniques necessitate statistical depictions, and long data streams with MIMO architectures demand time gating, extended measurement times, and multi-channel time alignment. This article will describe the various challenges associated with Wi-Fi chipset characterization, as well as their corresponding solutions that enable accurate power measurements to reveal the true performance of the latest generation of Wi-Fi.