Agilent’s pure, precise signal generators help designers create next-generation wireless devices: Page 2 of 4

June 13, 2012 // By Agilent Technologies
In RF communications, the seemingly insatiable demand for content continues to drive up data rates, modulation bandwidth and distortion requirements. As designers reach for new levels of performance, so must the instrumentation they use to characterize their devices.
requiring user intervention such as manual I/Q adjustment.

This can be useful in the testing of smartphones, which can have three or more transceivers running at the same time while other similar devices are operating nearby. The MXG’s wide-bandwidth modulator can produce a test signal composed of a complete spectral segment that includes the desired signal plus adjacent and alternate channels as potential interferers—and perhaps spurious or transient signals, too.

Delivering pure signals at high output levels

In applications such as the development of multi-carrier power amplifiers (MCPAs), large signals are needed to drive an amplifier into its nonlinear region to produce harmonics, intermodulation and compression. In a signal generator, high output power is useful only if test signals can be produced with high quality in areas such as harmonic distortion, broadband noise, ACPR and EVM.

The MXG and EXG combine output power of up to +27 dBm with low EVM and low ACPR of up to -73 dBc (W-CDMA TM1, 64 DPCH). This provides a one-box solution that is pure and powerful enough to support direct testing of high performance MCPAs as well as components and systems.

External power amplifiers are sometimes used with RF signal generators; however, this adds cost and complexity to the test solution. It will also degrade performance by adding amplitude error that is outside the signal generator’s calibration loop.

Applying excellent performance to complex signals

To help developers quickly create high-quality signals that meet the needs of specific standards and measurements, the MXG and EXG are compatible with Agilent Signal Studio software. This suite of signal-creation tools addresses cellular communications, wireless connectivity, audio, video, positioning, tracking, and general-purpose applications.

Signal Studio has two operating modes: waveform playback mode and real-time mode. Waveform playback mode supports two levels of functionality, basic and advanced. These are used to create and customize waveform files of finite length by configuring signal parameters, calculating the resulting waveforms and downloading

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