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Signals Research Group’s New LTE Chipset Benchmark Study Highlights Wide Variance in Performance

Signals Research Group (SRG) today announced the findings of the latest benchmark test of LTE chipsets. Serving as the industry’s only independent data performance study, the SRG report concludes that while all chipsets perform equally well under somewhat ideal network conditions, there continues to be large performance differences in more realistic and challenging test scenarios.

Using a lab-based testing approach on the Spirent 8100 LTE test solution, SRG collected and analyzed the data performance of eight LTE baseband chipsets from Altair Semiconductor, GCT, Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Renesas Mobile, Samsung Electronics, and Sequans Communications.

This recent study marks the eighth time that SRG and Spirent have collaborated on chipset performance testing. The 8100 LTE solution was used to subject all the chipsets to the exact same sets of network conditions, automatically repeating each test multiple times to generate statistically significant, objective results. Some of the key highlights from the study include the following:

  • LTE chipsets from three different suppliers shared top honors and separated themselves from the rest of the field.
  • In the more challenging test scenarios, the differences between the top-performing and worst-performing chipset frequently exceeded 20 percentage points.
  • It is evident that chipset suppliers have different philosophies with respect to how the chipsets report channel conditions (using Channel Quality Indicator - CQI) and how they leverage the use of MIMO, including open loop and closed loop, as well as transmit diversity.

“In the most recent benchmark study, three chipsets distinguished themselves from their peers with Intel’s pre-commercial solution capturing top honors,” said Michael Thelander, CEO, Signals Research Group. “At the same time, all of the chipsets performed well in certain test scenarios, suggesting that with additional optimization they could achieve meaningful performance gains. The big question mark remains for those solutions which we were not able to include in our study since there is a major difference between a product demonstration under ideal conditions and a chipset that is ready to participate in an independent benchmark study.”

The tests measured the downlink throughput and key performance indicators of each chipset at the application layer under a wide range of realistic network conditions. The test scenarios, based on the latest specifications from 3GPP Technical Reports (TRs), included various static conditions as well as industry-standard pedestrian fading and vehicular fading conditions. In total, 32 LTE test scenarios were used.

A complete analysis of the LTE chipset performance benchmark is contained in SRG’s latest report, which is due to be published on Monday, February 25 and will be available at www.signalsresearch.com.

For more information on testing LTE chipset and mobile device performance, visit http://www.spirent.com/Devices-and-Equipment/LTE_devices.

About Spirent Communications plc

Spirent Communications plc. (LSE: SPT), a global leader in test & 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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