Rohde & Schwarz launches new class of VNA for the next decade

January 17, 2019 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Rohde & Schwarz launches new class of VNA for the next decade
The ZNA is a new-generation of high-end vector network analysers (VNAs) that combines leading-edge RF performance with a unique operating concept that delivers flexibility and simplifies measurement configuration. Key attributes include unprecedented measurement stability, the lowest trace noise available and a dynamic range up to 170 dB to enable demanding measurements on active and passive components and modules as the industry heads into the 5G era.

A universal test platform for characterizing active and passive DUTs, the ZNA is currently available in two models – the ZNA26 (10 MHz to 26.5 GHz) and ZNA43 (10 MHz to 43.5 GHz), which both offer an outstanding dynamic range of 146 dB (typical) and a trace noise as low as 0.001 dB at 1 kHz IF bandwidth. These two features are essential for measurements on high-rejection filters.

The unique hardware configuration of the ZNA includes four internal, phase-coherent sources, eight truly parallel receivers and two internal local oscillators (LOs). This simplifies the test setups for characterizing frequency-converting devices, amplifiers and even complex T/R modules, requiring the DUT to be connected only once. Users can perform vector corrected conversion loss, phase and group delay measurements in half of the time required with the conventional approach and without the need for a reference mixer.

The ZNA's hardware configuration enables it to perform mixer measurements for RF and IF in parallel, delivering measurement speed twice as fast as with the conventional approach. Amplifier characterization becomes easy with a 100 dB power sweep range, a pulse generator and modulator per test port, versatile intermodulation measurement capabilities and spectrum analyzer functionality.

Further, the ZNA offers a new approach, focused on the DUT, to simplify measurement configuration. The user first selects the type of DUT (e.g., mixer or amplifier) and is then guided step by step through configuration to the desired test setup. This significantly speeds up and facilitates test setups. Alternatively, users can take the conventional approach and configure measurements individually, providing high flexibility to master even the most challenging measurement tasks.

In a hint at the changes expected over the next decade, the ZNA is the first purely touch-operated vector network analyzer, using a 12.1-inch touchscreen as the main display and a 7-inch touchscreen instead of a hardkey panel. Together with the DUT-centric approach, the second touchscreen provides a seamless user experience. It also enables easy upgrades to the instrument that includes changes to the operating panel that can now be done in software.

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