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Sarokal Test Systems Delivers Innovative Test Solutions For The Upcoming 4G And 5G Networks

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Sarokal Test Systems delivers CPRI, eCPRI, OBSAI, JESD204, Ethernet and upcoming IEEE 1914 solutions to enable users like chipset vendors, fronthaul equipment manufacturers, and telecom operators to develop, test and verify their 4G and 5G network devices. Below is our recent interview with Mikko Karppinen, Marketing Manager at Sarokal Test Systems:


Q: Who are the primary customers of Sarokal and what are some of the key challenges you are helping them solve?

A: All companies that develop devices and ICs that connect to Fronthaul or to JESD204 interface. Also, the integrators and network buildup and maintenance companies would benefit a lot from our technology.

5G will change fronthaul architecture and that means there are lot of changes for our customers. Data amounts and user data latency requirements don’t work with traditional 4G fronthaul, or it will not be commercially reasonable. Therefore, telecommunication manufacturers and operators must change the architecture of fronthaul. To meet the new requirements, the customers need new equipment to verify network functionality. With X-STEP it is easy to support any kind of new developments and customer specific solutions as well as all the new standards and specifications. This means customers can even use X-STEP as a golden platform between design teams and companies in their ecosystem.

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Q: You’ve recently launched a new 5G Fronthaul test device; could you tell us something more?

A: X-STEP™ V is our next generation test device, that takes care of new 5G fronthaul data amount, latency, and timing requirements. One device to fit all fronthaul testing and development needs far into the future. The X-STEP™ is not only test device it can also serve as a signal actor, sniffer or intruder, and more is coming.

Q: Can you give us more insights into your test solutions?

A: Every customer has their specific requirements for testing. Our platforms are highly customizable for the customer needs and that makes them suitable test devices all the way from early R&D phase to production and field testing.

Integration with 3rd part tools is one of the benefits what our tool can do. Customers typically integrate the device into their existing automation system and use it by remote.

Now new CPRI/eCPRI and JESD204C line rates and protocol changes increase demand for new test equipment. Customization to the client protocol variant is one good strength on our device. For example, the eCPRI specification is so open that different vendor devices can’t be compatible with each other.

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Q: What milestones can we expect from you over the next 12 months?

A: New protocol supports and X-STEP ecosystem´s wider use. Continuous development to serve our customers in the best way. We also have unique features that are highly needed in Ethernet in general, like bit accurate capture and transmission, so we expect those to be taken into use by our customers in other Ethernet solutions than Fronthaul.

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