LTE System Toolbox

Key Features

  • Standard-compliant models for LTE and LTE-Advanced (Releases 8, 9, 10, and 11)
  • Link-level transmit and receive processing functions, support for downlink transmission modes 1 to 10, and reference designs, including coordinated multipoint (CoMP)
  • Test models (E-TM) and reference measurement channel (RMC) for LTE, LTE-A, and UMTS waveform generation
  • Interactive tools for conformance and BER testing
  • Waveform transmission and reception with radio devices and instruments for over-the-air testing
  • System and control parameter recovery from captured signals, including cell identity, MIB, and SIB1
  • Channel estimation, synchronization, MIMO receiver functions, and propagation channel models

Design Verification

LTE System Toolbox facilitates the process of testing an LTE design by providing a golden reference implementation. With its comprehensive set of transmitter, receiver, and channel model components, the system toolbox provides test vectors and metrics needed to verify each individual component of the transmitter or the receiver. The set of components includes:

  • Channel coding with rate matching, scrambling, and modulation
  • MIMO operations, including layer mapping and precoding
  • Resource element mapping, and OFDM and SC-FDM signal generations
  • Frame synchronization, frequency offset, and frequency correction
  • Downlink and uplink channel estimation, and perfect channel estimation
  • Equalization algorithms including zero-forcing and MMSE 
  • Demodulation, descrambling, and channel decoding
  • Hybrid automatic repeat request (HARQ)

The system toolbox provides a comprehensive specification of the time-frequency resource grid. The grid represents the framework that the LTE standard uses to organize data and multiplex various channels and signals before OFDM transmission on each antenna. By using the functions that generate and populate various elements of the grid, you can verify design correctness and catch placement and mapping mistakes in your implementations.

Downlink physical signals, their associated functions, and their locations on the resource grid.
Downlink physical signals, their associated functions, and their locations on the resource grid. LTE System Toolbox enables you to place data within the grid for correct implementation of the LTE transceiver.

End-to-End Simulation

LTE System Toolbox enables you to model and simulate the physical layer of the LTE standard. With link-level simulations, you can obtain expected measures of performance, including throughput and block-error rate, and evaluate real implementations based on simulated measures. The system toolbox also enables better system planning by facilitating link-level simulations that provide some of the parameters needed to design a cell tower of a given geometry and propagation profile.

The set of supported functions for transmitter, receiver, and channel modeling operations includes:

  • Frequency division duplex (FDD) and time division duplex (TDD) frame structures and carrier frequencies
  • All transmission bandwidths, including LTE from 1.4 to 20 MHz and LTE-A up to 100 MHz with carrier aggregation
  • LTE physical signals, including downlink and uplink reference signals and synchronization signals
  • LTE physical channels, including control channels and shared channels
  • Full downlink processing chain, including downlink shared and control channel processing, all MIMO multi-antenna schemes, and OFDM signal generation
  • Full uplink processing chain, including uplink shared and control channel processing, uplink SU-MIMO and MU-MIMO multi-antenna schemes, and SC-FDMA signal generation
  • Link adaptation features, including support for adaptive modulation and coding scheme (MCS) selection, as well as estimation of channel quality indicator (CQI), rank indicator (RI), and precoder matrix indication (PMI) information
  • LTE-Advanced capabilities and examples, including coordinated multipoint (CoMP) transmission, and reception and carrier aggregation
  • LTE-defined propagation channel models, including extended pedestrian A model (EPA), extended vehicular A model (EVA), extended typical urban model (ETU), moving propagation channel models, and high-speed train MIMO channel models

LTE System Toolbox enables you to set up tests that measure the throughput performance of a physical downlink shared channel (PDSCH) under conformance test conditions specified in the LTE standard document TS 36.101. With the system toolbox data structures, you can concisely express all system parameters. With the system toolbox functions, you can express all combinations of transmitter, channel model, and receiver operations. Using these tools for conformance and block error rate (BLER) testing, you can obtain link-level performance measures and verify compliance with standard specifications.

Conformance test results: throughput as a function of SNR as part of downlink TS 36.101 conformance testing.
Conformance test results: throughput as a function of SNR as part of downlink TS 36.101 conformance testing. The system toolbox includes performance measure and metrics that let you verify compliance with standard specifications.

Signal Generation and Analysis

LTE System Toolbox provides a variety of time-domain signals, or waveforms, that you can use to test, measure, and verify various implementations. You can generate individual waveforms for all combinations of LTE transmitter parameters. Generated waveforms can be customized using MATLAB®, providing greater flexibility than the reference measurement channel (RMC) generation offered by hardware-based signal generators. You can then use each generated waveform to test and verify the accuracy and performance of software or hardware implementations of a receiver.

Waveforms generated by the system toolbox have the following features:

  • Physical channels, including physical broadcast channel (PBCH), physical control format indicator channel (PCFICH), physical downlink control channel (PDCCH), physical downlink shared channel (PDSCH), physical hybrid indicator channel (PHICH), physical random access channel (PRACH), physical uplink shared channel (PUSCH), and physical uplink control channel (PUCCH)
  • Physical signals, including primary synchronization signal (PSS), secondary synchronization signal (SSS), cell-specific reference signals (RS), demodulation reference signals (DMRS), channel state information reference signals (CSI-RS), and sounding reference signals (SRS)
  • Enhanced physical downlink control channel (EPDCCH) and its demodulation reference signal (DM-RS) generation functions in support of 3GPP Release 11
  • Signal quality measurements, including EVM, ACLR, and in-band emissions
  • Downlink reference measurement channel (RMC)
  • Downlink E-UTRA test model (E-TM)
  • Uplink reference measurement channel (FRC/RMC)

You can generate downlink test model waveforms as specified in LTE standard document TS 36.141. The system toolbox provides flexibility for generating these waveforms—it includes functions for programmatic use, and waveform generation tools with user interfaces for interactive use.

LTE Test Model Generator for generating waveforms as specified in TS 36.141.
LTE Test Model Generator for generating waveforms as specified in TS 36.141. You can customize waveform content using tools provided by LTE System Toolbox.

In addition to providing tools for generating LTE waveforms, LTE System Toolbox enables you to generate 3GPP Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) downlink and uplink waveforms, and reference channels to model standard-compliant W-CDMA, HDSPA, HSUPA, and HSPA+ signals.

Waveforms generated by the system toolbox can be transmitted over the air using RF signal generators or supported software-defined radio (SDR) devices. Signals captured using RF signal analyzers or SDR devices can be analyzed and decoded in MATLAB with LTE System Toolbox functions. This hardware connectivity feature enables you to validate your designs by replacing simulated channels and impairments in your end-to-end model with live radio signals.

Use Instrument Control Toolbox™ to configure and communicate with RF test and measurement instruments, and use Communications System Toolbox™ hardware support packages to connect to supported SDR devices.

LTE System Toolbox process for waveform generation through waveform analysis.
You can generate baseband LTE waveforms, transmit and receive live radio signals to and from RF instruments and supported SDR devices, and validate your LTE system design with live LTE signals.

Signal Information Recovery

LTE System Toolbox provides functions for signal information recovery, including identification and source localization. These measurements are useful for obtaining information necessary to decode a signal or for ascertaining the location and identity of a mobile unit. For example, in an emergency, first responders can use these measurements to quickly locate the mobile unit in distress.

Signal information recovery measurements in the system toolbox include:

  • Signal recovery procedures
  • Cell identity search
  • Master information block (MIB) decoding
  • System information block type 1 (SIB1) recovery
  • Time difference of arrival (TDOA) positioning

The system toolbox provides a comprehensive set of receiver functions for modeling how a mobile unit (UE) communicates with the network. These functions enable you to perform UE cell-search procedures, obtain cell identities, and extract system information such as the master information block (MIB) and the system information block (SIB). The process involves acquiring slot and frame synchronization, demodulation, and decoding of the majority of the downlink channels.

By demodulating and decoding the MIB information, you can obtain essential parameters such as the system bandwidth. You can then extract additional system parameters, such as SIB1 that contains the public land mobile network (PLMN) identity and other scheduling information for SIBs other than SIB1. Obtaining these parameters is essential for handoff, mobile unit localization, and other system access and registration procedures.

Radio network temporary identity (RNTI) search and recovery of system information block (SIB).
Radio network temporary identity (RNTI) search and recovery of system information block (SIB). LTE System Toolbox provides functions that enable you to perform UE cell search procedures, obtain cell identities, and extract system information.

Conformance Testing

LTE System Toolbox functionality is accurate and comprehensive, and it conforms to the LTE standard specification. Data structures and functions in the system toolbox comply with the 3GPP LTE standard Releases 8, 9, 10, and 11. The system toolbox provides a comprehensive set of transmitter, channel model, and receiver operations for downlink (base station to mobile) and uplink (mobile to base station) transmissions.

LTE System Toolbox has been used in the industry since 2009. The accuracy of the system toolbox physical layer models has been verified by successfully exchanging digital baseband signals with commercial signal generator and analyzer instruments.

Designing Antennas and Antenna Arrays with MATLAB and Antenna...

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