VNA covers single sweep NF measurements over 70 kHz to 125 GHz, extends coverage to 750 GHz

July 04, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Anritsu Company has introduced noise figure measurement capability for its VectorStar MS4640A and ME7838A Vector Network Analyzers (VNAs). Option MS4640A-041 equips VectorStar with 70 kHz to 125 GHz noise figure measurement, enabled in part by a unique receiver optimized for measurements from 30 GHz to 125 GHz.

An example of Anritsu’s technical leadership is embodied in the receiver used to perform industry-first VNA-based noise figure measurements at 125 GHz. It incorporates a unique design focusing on improved noise performance and reduced sensitivity to source impedance. The result is a robust capability to make high quality microwave and millimeter-wave noise figure measurements on a wide variety of active devices.

For less experienced test engineers, configuring a noise figure test setup can be particularly challenging, as is often necessary to add pre-amplification and filtering in front of the measurement receiver to ensure sufficient sensitivity to make a quality measurement. If too little amplification is used, there may be excessive jitter from the instrument A/D converter. If too much power or amplification is applied, compression can impact the measurements.

These two constraints form the effective noise figure measurement range and can limit the flexibility a user has in choosing pre-amps and filters. The MS4640A-041 option takes advantage of the high-performance VectorStar architecture to provide a wider noise figure measurement range and greater configuration flexibility. In addition, the use of a simple, low-cost termination is possible, rather than a specialized noise source, as part of the cold source noise figure measurement method. These advantages result in an easier to use, more flexible test system.

The VectorStar series already includes features such as a unique gain compression capability where a user can display gain compression at up to 401 frequencies to characterize performance over a DUT’s operating bandwidth in one step. If there is a need to perform active device testing at the wafer level, the VectorStar platform can utilize active and passive tuning of source and load impedances to help account for both fundamental and harmonic content ensuring optimum DUT performance during test.

4-port measurement to 110 GHz

The VectorStar ME7838A broadband VNA platform now also offers 4-port measurement capability, bringing the inherent advantages of the VectorStar platform to 4-port and

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