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

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

Business news |
By Wisse Hettinga

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.

Supported application measurements currently include:

Spectrum analyzer mode – provides further insights into the device parameters to display the output spectrum along with S-parameters using the multichannel view function.

Time domain analysis (TDR) and extended time domain analysis – for efficient time domain analysis with enhanced resolution. Enhanced TDR reveals the transmission quality at a glance with rise time, skew and eye diagrams for different bit patterns.

Intermodulation Distortion – with up to four internal high quality RF sources it is possible to determine the intermodulation characteristics of amplifiers and mixers fast and with high accuracy.

Mixer measurements and arbitrary frequency converting measurements – allows measurements of magnitude and phase on frequency converters accurately and simply using internal sources and dual LO receiver technology.

Group delay measurements on frequency converters without LO access – unique two tone technique measuring group delay and relative phase on frequency converters where there is no access to the internal LO or the reference frequency.

Pulsed measurements – convenient pulse measurements with four Internal pulse modulators for pulse generation. Analysis with short point in pulse measurements or advanced pulse profile mode.

Millimeter wave extensions – using the external family of ZCxxx frequency converters the base frequency of the ZNA can be easily extended into the terahertz range.

Most features are software based and further features will be added in the near future. Users can add options as needed by purchasing an unlock optioin. Options can also be rented for a fixed period of time.

A Noise Figure option is slated for Q2 that will combine standard measurements along with the noise figure characterisation of the DUT to gain further understanding of device behaviour with one connection. Also expected at a later date is an integrated FFT analyser option.


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