IoT spurs low-cost vector network analyzer from Tektronix

IoT spurs low-cost vector network analyzer from Tektronix

Business news |
By Rich Pell

“We still see the IoT market growing like crazy, with a 33% compound growth for the next 5 years and we are seeing a continuing growth in demand for lower prices instruments,” said Dean Miles, EMEA marketing development manager at Tektronix. “IoT design engineers have a different workflow with pre-certified RF modules and we see an emerging need in the market driven by IoT for lower cost RF.”

The TTR500 Series low cost USB2 VNA offers a full 2-port, 2-path S-parameter VNA for such applications as measuring passive/active components, antennas and matching networks, RF modules, test cables, adapters and more. It features a solid set of specifications including 100 kHz to 6 GHz frequency range, 122 dB dynamic range, less than 0.008 dB trace noise, and -50 to +7 dBm output power, all in a compact package weighing less than 2kg. Linking to a laptop for analysis reduces the cost and size of the unit.

VNAs help IoT designers match Bluetooth, WLAN, RFID and other radios to antennas. In many cases, designers must rent or borrow VNAs, adding time and expense to projects. In education, the high cost of VNAs means students get little to no hands-on time with an important instrument.

“With its disaggregated design, the TTR500 Series achieves the same level of performance as a benchtop VNA, but at 40 percent lower cost and one-seventh the size and weight of units with comparable performance,” said Jim McGillivary, general manager of RF and Component Solutions at Tektronix. “This new architecture also reduces component count and  complexity for more reliability compared to benchtop VNAs. The RSA306 disrupted the spectrum analyzer and I’m confident the TTR500 Series will have the same impact for the VNA.”

An important feature of the TTR500 is the built-in bias tee that is accessible on both ports and allows for active devices, such as amplifiers, to be easily DC biased. This means engineers do not need to use an external bias tee or pay a premium for an instrument with an optional internal bias tee. The TTR500’s built-in bias tee allows for 0 to ± 24 V, and 0 to 200 mA on both ports for active devices.

The TTR500 works with any Windows PC or laptop and the VectorVu-PC software delivers a traditional look and feel for controlling and calibrating the instrument. It offers full point and click usability with the ease of PC-based networking for saving and sharing files. For automated test systems in design or manufacturing, VectorVu-PC offers programmatic support for SCPI commands, including command compatibility with common legacy VNAs for easy integration into existing test systems. In addition, the software offers an offline mode for data analysis with an output file format compatible with common EDA simulation tools.

The TTR500 Series vector network analyzer is available now and pricing starts at € 8,920/ £ 7,570 for a 3 GHz instrument. The educational discount is 15%.

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