Rohde & Schwarz launch thermal power sensor for 5G/6G devices

Following an EU-funded collaboration, Rohde & Schwarz has launched a new thermal power sensor for next-generation 5G and 6G mobile communication.

The new R&S NRP170TWG(N) thermal power sensor. Picture: Rohde & Schwarz

The R&S NRP170TWG(N) thermal power sensor can be used for precise power level measurements in the D-band.

According to the test and measurement equipment manufacturer, the device is the only RF power sensor on the market that offers full traceability to national metrology institutes (NMI) in the frequency range from 110 GHz to 170 GHz, an important prerequisite for commercializing the frequency band.

Rohde & Schwarz described the sensors as fully calibrated plug & play devices that can be easily integrated into any measurement setup with a USB or LAN connection.

“The R&S NRP170TWG(N) hardware is designed to reduce measurement noise and drift, while remaining very accurate and easy to use,” the company said in a press release.

The sensors can be used in general R&D for 6G mobile communications, novel sub-THz communications, sensing and future automotive radar applications.

Rohde & Schwarz said it developed the R&S NRP170TWG(N) sensors alongside Germany’s national metrology institute – the Physikalisch-Technische-Bundesanstalt (PTB) and other NMIs.

The sensor was developed as part of a EU project to establish traceability up to 170 GHz. Previously, NMI traceability was only possible up to 110 GHz.

Daniel Blaschke, head of development for RF & Microwave Power Meters at Rohde & Schwarz, said: “Through partnering with the PTB and other NMIs we helped extend traceability into the D-band, preparing commercialization and mass adoption of products operating in this frequency range. Rohde & Schwarz is extremely proud to be the first to transform this technological accomplishment into a commercially viable, traceable RF power sensor up to 170 GHz.

Dr Karsten Kuhlmann, head of the working group High-Frequency Basic Quantities at PTB, said: “Having accurate and calibrated power levels across the setup in the sub-THz region is no trivial task. Power levels at the DUT measurement plane need to be measured accurately, reliably and traceably to national standards. We are happy to advance the commercialization and mass production of future D-band products with our industry collaboration.”