“Adaura Technologies provides Quantenna with reliable cost effective solutions for our expanding RF test requirements in both the laboratory and factory environments.”

- Ray Ho, RF Hardware Engineering Manager

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OVERVIEW

Quantenna desired more reliable and more easily automated digital attenuators and power dividers for RF testing.

REQUIREMENTS

Digital attenuator and power divider solutions with high reliability and unit-to-unit consistency, that were easily automated, expandable, and cost competitive.

SOLUTION

Quantenna rapidly implemented a higher performance and simplified RF test solution leveraging Adauratech’s 4 channel 6 GHz digital attenuators and 4-way 6 GHz Power Dividers.

RESULTS

Quantenna was able to increase the RF test consistency and ease the automation of both laboratory and factory testing for performance evaluation tests of their WiFi chipsets.

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Leading the industry in ultra-reliable next generation WiFi semiconductor solutions, Quantenna Communications, Inc. is a pioneer in enabling wireless multimedia entertainment solutions with extremely high performance, service, and reliability requirements. In order to design and develop high performance WiFi chipsets that can meet this need, Quantenna requires RF test solutions for R&D, quality assurance, and manufacturing that met their standards of performance and reliability. The RF test solutions of digital attenuators and power dividers that Quantenna had been employing suffered from a high variance of insertion loss and other reliability issues. Additionally, the digital attenuator units were single-channel, which led to complex and error prone automation.

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As Quantenna was the first company to bring a commercially available and standards-based 802.11ac and 802.11n 4x4 Multi Input Multi Output (MIMO) WiFI chipset to market, the company discovered that providing MIMO WiFi technology with carrier-grade features required rigorous attention to detail and reliability throughout the manufacturing process. Many of Quantenna’s WiFi chipsets are deployed in their customers’ clients’ residential gateway video bridges, set-top boxes, and other broadband multimedia and data devices. Hence, their customers’ service solutions and technology often depends upon the extreme reliability and performance of the WiFi chipsets in these devices.

Quantenna’s prior PC-driven digital attenuator solution—which was deployed in MIMO lab quality assurance, factory quality assurance, manufacturing, and R&D—posed major consistency and reliability issues. The insertion loss for each unit could range from 6-10 dB from unit-to-unit, which was unacceptable for Quantenna’s standards. However, when testing and deploying over 60 of Adaura Technologies' 4 channel 6 GHz USB-programmable digital attenuators (ADUSB4As), Quantenna discovered that the variance in the insertion loss from unit to unit was at or below 0.5 dB. 

“The 4 channel 6Ghz attenuators have extremely consistent performance from channel to channel and unit to unit,” Ray Ho shared, “The reliability of each unit is exceptional!”

Adaura Technologies did not only provide Quantenna with programmable attenuators for performance evaluations in simulated path loss RF test, they were also able to provide 4 way power dividers that were implemented in a wide variety of RF testing solutions.

Overcoming the hurdle of automation complexity was one of Quantenna’s greatest requirements in acquiring new testing solutions, Adaura Technologies' USB-programmable digital attenuators and small-form factor power dividers are designed to be easily designed into new or old RF test platforms with easily expandable hardware and software features.

Having shipped more than 60 million chipsets used in over 90 products worldwide, Quantenna was determined to leverage RF test solutions that helped them meet the demanding standards of their service provider customers, such as AT&T, Comcast, and DirecTV and the high-end product solutions of ASUS and Netgear. Quantenna was able to find such a solution with Adaura Technologies' USB-programmable multi-channel digital attenuators and power dividers. Considering Adaura Technologies' RF test solutions are cost effective, rapidly deployable, and designed with future expansion in mind, as Quantenna’s RF test needs increase they should be able to rely on proven and familiar test solutions from Adaura Technologies.