802.11 WLAN test scopes and analysers offer full 165-MHz bandwidth

802.11 WLAN test scopes and analysers offer full 165-MHz bandwidth

New Products |
By eeNews Europe

In introducing the new features, Tektronix says that many companies are offering 802.11ac testing – but at 80-MHz bandwidth, and increasing demands for over-the-air bandwidth reflect directly on the capabilities needed of T&M hardware and software. The company sees differing requirements in test of the RFICs that form the basis of the WLAN designs; in the design of modules; and in the challenges facing embedded systems designers who can assume that the chipset is capable of doing its job but need to verify that the full connectivity is working in their design.

To meet these needs, Tektronix has produced the uprated RSA5000B real-time signal analyser (now claimed to have the widest-available bandwidth); the MDO4000B mixed-domain oscilloscope (positioned as the lowest-cost wideband solution for WiFi measurements) and SignalVu-PC software supporting RF measurements, with in-depth analysis software for complex RF signals and support for Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/j/n/p/ac tests.

The RSA5000B real-time signal analyser now series has up to 165 MHz acquisition bandwidth, expanding measurement capabilities for the 160 MHz bandwidth found in 802.11ac, up from 40 MHz in prior 802.11 versions. The minimum signal duration for 100% Probability of Intercept (POI) has improved 33% to 2.8 µsec. This ensures that even the briefest signals are discovered, triggered on and saved, minimising time to intercept in spectrum management applications.

Real-time features that were previously extra-cost options are now standard in RSA5000B instruments, including swept DPX, density trigger, time-qualified triggers and improved minimum signal duration. Spectrum processing rate has increased by 33%, to more than 390,000 spectrums/s. The 5000B is not a swept spectrum analyser – taking that architecture to such a wide bandwidth would be very challenging, Tek says – but employs a very fast A/D front end with digitla processing. Example specifications for the RSA5126B variant include frequency range of 1 Hz to 26.5 GHz; EVM (preliminary) for 802.11ac 160 MHz of -42 dB; internal preamp to 26.5 GHz; and bandwidth up to 165 MHz. Features in the core set of spectrum analysis capabilities include characterisation of pulsed signals.


More aimed at the designer of embedded systems with connectivity, Tektronix has also uprated the spectrum analysis performance of its mixed domain oscilloscopes (MDOs.) The MDO4000B series, used with SignalVu-PC, now offers the widest-available bandwidth vector signal analyser for advanced modulation analysis. You can view it, Tektronix adds, as a wideband spectrum analyser – with scope channels. As an 802.11ac test solution, it is half the cost of other mid-range offerings, the company claims

In the MDO4000B Tektronix, says it has significantly enhanced the performance of the MDO’s spectrum analyser compared to the original MDO4000 instruments. These enhancements include;

  1. Spurious Free Dynamic Range (SFDR) has improved to 60 dBc guaranteed and 65 dBc typical (from 55/60 typical) giving users higher confidence while performing spurious searches;
  2. Phase noise performance has improved as much as 20 dB enabling close-in spurious measurements and phase noise evaluation;
  3. Vector calibrated I&Q data enable high-accuracy modulation and vector measurements;
  4. Maximum RF acquisition time has been doubled from 79 ms to 158 ms enabling longer time correlation with the rest of the system as well as the capture and analysis of multiple bursts of modulated data;
  5. Lower Frequency Limit has dropped from 50 kHz to 9 kHz enabling EMI diagnostics over the frequency range specified by international regulations.

When used with SignalVu-PC Vector Signal Analysis (VSA) software, the MDO4000B offers a wide bandwidth (≥1 GHz) vector signal analyser, making this combination well-suited for such RF test and measurement tasks as general modulation analysis, pulse analysis, frequency and phase settling, radar and spectrum management.

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