With increasing pressure to lower test costs, many RF test engineers also face the challenge of reducing measurement time. Wireless local area network (WLAN) device testing is no exception. Whether you are creating an automated test system for design validation or final production test, it has become increasingly important to optimize a test system for measurement speed. However, in many cases, you must reduce test time and cost without sacrificing accuracy or repeatability. This white paper investigates five trade-offs that affect the measurement speed for WLAN testing, including:

  • Averaging versus repeatability
  • EVM over full versus partial burst
  • Composite versus single measurements
  • Measurement span versus measurement time
  • Effect of CPU on measurement time


The same fundamental measurement trade-offs apply to any WLAN measurement device. The results reported in these experiments were obtained using a software-defined test system based on NI LabVIEW software and PXI modular instrumentation.