Modular instruments ensure measurement integrity and code compatibility across form factor and product lifecycle: Page 2 of 4

January 19, 2015 //By Allison Douglas, Keysight EMEA
In the Test & Measurement (T&M) industry today, there is a debate between T&M experts, equipment manufacturers and end-users: What is the best instrument form factor to achieve this test?
The first new modular series that has been introduced are one-slot PXI vector network analyzers that cover 300 kHz up to 26.5 GHz. The new M9370A series offer the best PXI VNA performance on key specifications such as speed, trace noise, stability and dynamic range. This enables the PXI VNAs to perform fast, accurate measurements and reduce the cost-of-test by enabling simultaneous characterization of many devices – two-port or multi-port – using a single PXI chassis.

As devices become increasingly complex, there is a need to easily characterize a full set of S-parameters on a large number of ports—8, 16, 24, or more. On the production line or in a wafer fab, there is a growing need to test multiple devices or multiple wafer sites at a single test station. Examples include cell phone handsets, military radios and increasingly dense silicon wafers. In these situations, one of the key needs is reducing the overall size of the test solution. 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 (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Adding two-port PXI VNA modules to an existing test station enables powerful device characterization without expanding system height or footprint.

The PXI VNA uses the measurement science and calibration technology from the popular 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.

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