Two-port 26.5-GHz vector network analyzer fits in one PXI slot

Keysight Technologies Inc. today announced the M937xA series of one-slot PXI vector network analyzers that cover 300 kHz up to 26.5 GHz. The company also debuted a new PXI Reference Solution for RF power-amplifier (PA) characterization and test.

The new analyzers can perform fast, accurate measurements and reduce the cost-of-test by enabling simultaneous characterization of many devices—two-port or multiport—using a single PXI chassis.

When space is at a premium, full two-port VNA capability with S-parameters can be added to an existing system that has just one open slot. To address applications such as high-volume device testing and highly complex on-wafer testing, a single chassis can be loaded with up to sixteen PXI VNA modules for use as either multiple two-port VNAs, a single 32-port VNA, or any combination in between.

Six models are available, providing frequency coverage from 300 kHz to 4, 6.5, 9, 14, 20, or 26.5 GHz.

“Keysight retains its position as the world leader in vector network analysis by offering customers meaningful choices in price, performance and capability,” said Gregg Peters, vice president and general manager of Keysight’s Component Test Division. “With our new PXI VNA, we now offer a choice in form factor that addresses emerging needs in aerospace, defense, wireless communications, and more.”

The PXI VNA uses the measurement science and calibration technology from the Keysight PNA vector network analyzers. The PXI models also provide a graphical user interface that shares the familiar look-and-feel of the PNA family and eases the transition to PXI.

Prices range from $9,000 to $38,000.

Power-amplifier PXI Reference Solution

Keysight also introduced a new PXI Reference Solution for RF power-amplifier (PA) characterization and test. The Reference Solution—which performs S-parameter, harmonic distortion, power, and demodulation measurements—enables rapid, full characterization of next-generation power-amplifier modules, such as a power amplifier-duplexer (PAD). The Reference Solution is optimized for high throughput and highly accurate measurement quality.

The robust digital predistortion (DPD) algorithms in the Reference Solution are built on years of close cooperation with wireless manufacturing customers and insights gained from Keysight’s SystemVue simulation and N7614B Signal Studio for Power Amplifier Test software applications.

The proven DPD algorithms, with lookup table (LUT) and memory polynomial capability, complement the solution’s envelope tracking (ET) test capability. The solution includes fast waveform download, tight synchronization and automated calibration, critical for ET test. The Reference Solution supports multiple vendors, such as the Signadyne SD AOU-H3353 single-slot, high-speed PXIe AWG, and enables the fastest envelope generation in the industry while reducing the test footprint.

“The combination of Keysight’s excellence in RF solutions and Signadyne’s knowhow in high-speed generators has led to development of a comprehensive test solution that provides outstanding value to the RF power amplifier industry,” said Marc Almendros, chief executive officer of Signadyne.

“We created the PXI Reference Solution for RF power amplifier characterization and test because customers told us that full characterization of PAD-type devices is critical to their success,” said Mario Narduzzi, marketing manager of Keysight’s Software and Modular Solutions Division. “Proven, robust digital pre-distortion algorithms, with open and closed loop measurements, deliver the best performance of any PA characterization test solution in the industry.”

The new M937xA PXIe vector network analyzer and the M9393A PXIe performance VSA, enable the full characterization that customers need, including key high-density, high-speed S-parameter measurements and high-speed harmonic-distortion testing up to 27 GHz.

The Reference Solution’s open-source sample code is optimized for PA characterization. Its design facilitates rapid evaluation of the test configuration and reduces time to first measurement. With these new capabilities, engineers can improve device performance with DPD and ET; decrease device size and cost amidst increasing device complexity and test requirements; integrate more capabilities in PAD-type devices; and reduce the size of test stations used to test multiple or complex devices.

PADs are an increasingly popular alternative to more traditional power-amplifier architecture because along with lower power consumption and greater efficiency and value, they allow device designers to save and optimize space by replacing multiple, discrete components with a single, compact module. PADs are also rapidly gaining in popularity with device designers because of the trend toward increasing band counts due to the implementation of new LTE networks.

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