5G millimetre test system runs from 2Hz to 110GHz

5G millimetre test system runs from 2Hz to 110GHz

New Products |
By Nick Flaherty

Keysight Technologies has launched a signal analyser and frequency extender for 5G millimetre wave testing.

The N9042B UXA X-Series signal analyser operates up to 56GHz and to 110GHz with a dedicated antenna extender. This also puts the signal calibration next to the device under test, including all the cables and switches outside the analyser.

At mmWave frequencies, signals are more susceptible to impairments that affect the signal quality, such as IQ modulation errors, phase noise, distortion, signal-to-noise ratio, amplitude, and phase linearity. The N9042B UXA X-Series provides wide analysis bandwidth and deep dynamic range to help customers solve their most difficult mmWave challenges including tight design margins and timelines, complex modulation and stringent standards.

“It’s more than an analyser, it provides 11GHz of analysis bandwidth with the frequency extender to 110Ghz of carrier frequency, and even higher with more mixing and other extenders. Because the set up at higher frequencies can be very complex we have a calibrator with a very clean source  that allows the user to understand their setup up back to the instrument itself,” said  Joe Rickert, vice president and general manager of high frequency measurement R&D for Keysight’s communications solutions group.

“The base box goes up to 50GHz but with the extenders you can go seamlessly from 2Hz to 110GHz. Beyond that we have options with a Virginia Diodes external converter to 1500GHz,” said Sean Lee, business development for RF products. “The frequency extender is more than just a mixer. It has a built in filter to help with image rejection in a small factor with a USB-powered remote head to extend the measurement of the DUT.”

The performance is achieved with a new amplifier structure in the hardware. The preamplifier operates at 3 to 50GHz but a low noise amplifier (LNA) is added to drive down noise. This reduces the noise distortion with a much lower noise floor.

“The receiver calibrator improves the overall receiver system accuracy by an order of magnitude and moves the reference plant ot the output of the DUT,” said Lee. “Previously you used an external power meter to calibrate and with higher frequencies you might need a signal generator and the calculations are manual.”

The analyser has also been upgraded with a 9th generation i7-9850HL processor that is 40 percent faster than the previous version.

The V3050A Signal Analyzer Frequency Extender provides unbanded and preselected frequency coverage up to 110 GHz while the RCal receiver calibrator corrects system path losses and frequency responses up to 5 GHz IF bandwidth without the need for an external vector network analyzer, cabling and manual test-plane characterization.

The palm-sized RCal seamlessly transfers precision factory calibration data to the Keysight X-Series signal analyzer over a USB connection, reducing the effort and complexity required to improve measurement accuracy for the test receiver system.

“With the increasing demand for data, higher frequency and bandwidth, Keysight’s signal analyzer and generator solutions embody our deep expertise in mmW design and measurements, for the latest 5G wireless, radar, aerospace defense, satellite and communications research,” said Rickert.

Keysight has also integrated the PathWave X-Series measurement applications with the signal analyzer to simplify complex tasks and deliver repeatable results. The 89600 PathWave Vector Signal Analysis software provides a comprehensive set of tools for demodulation and vector signal analysis with support for more than 75 signal standards and modulation types.

Testing 5G components and devices to the 3GPP 5G New Radio (5G NR) standard Releases 15 and 16 requires a solution with higher accuracy, sensitivity, and bandwidth capability. The N9042B signal analyzer tests the true performance of transmitter designs with error vector magnitude (EVM) and 5G NR signal analysis software which perform transmitter downlink and uplink measurements with one-button simplicity.

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