2.7 GHz RF Signal Analyzer Dramatically Improves RF Test Speed and Flexibility

8/15/2002 - Engineers can now perform RF measurements up to 200 times faster using the new NI PXI-5660 2.7 GHz RF signal analyzer from National Instruments. The modular NI PXI-5660 is a powerful combination of spectral measurement software and a broadband 2.7 GHz RF digitizer with greater than 80 dB dynamic range. The virtual instrumentation architecture of the NI PXI-5660 delivers the full range of standard RF power, frequency, spectral, and vector measurements, yet it also gives customers the freedom to define unique applications using the advanced signal processing, visualization, and Internet capabilities of LabVIEW. Just as "software-radio" architectures are revolutionizing the communications industry, the new NI PXI-5660 brings the same benefits of software-based customization and modularity to the world of RF measurements.

The NI PXI-5660 achieves its revolutionary advances in throughput and size by leveraging the latest computer and communications technologies, such as GHz speed Pentium processors, digital downconversion ASICs, and ultra-miniature acoustic filters and oscillators. It consists of a broadband RF downconverter, a high spectral purity IF digitizer, and the Spectral Measurements Toolkit (SMT) for NI LabVIEW and LabWindows/CVI. The broadband RF front end acquires signals between 9 kHz and 2.7 GHz with up to 20 MHz real-time bandwidth, and has an onboard ultra-high-stability oven-controlled oscillator (OCXO) to provide the frequency accuracy and stability required for automated applications. The NI PXI-5660 features a spurious free dynamic range of greater than 80 dB for precise measurements, and squeezes all this functionality into a compact 3U PXI form factor.

The SMT provides common measurements such as power spectrum, peak power and frequency, power-in-band, adjacent channel power, and occupied bandwidth. The combination of the optimized algorithms in the SMT and GHz processing of the PC delivers unmatched measurement throughput. For example, a continuous power spectrum across a 20 MHz bandwidth is acquired 200 times faster on the NI PXI-5660 than on traditional instrumentation. Engineers and scientists can use the broadband capability and deep memory of the NI PXI-5660 to capture both instantaneous frequency and phase information, and then use the powerful analysis tools in LabVIEW to make advanced I/Q and modulation measurements.

For applications such as consumer electronics or avionics test that require a broad range of functionality, engineers can tightly integrate the NI PXI-5660 with other PXI system resources from NI or third parties such as RF switches, DMMs, signal sources, digitizers, motion control, and digital imaging. Engineers can leverage the system-level timing and synchronization capabilities of the PXI platform to easily coordinate system resources. The versatility of software-defined functionality and the breadth of the PXI hardware modularity make the RF signal analyzer ideal for a variety of frequency domain applications, including spectral analysis, EMC testing, and RF component testing.

About National Instruments (www.ni.com)
National Instruments leverages commercial technologies, such as industry-standard computers and the Internet, to deliver customer-defined measurement and automation solutions. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 2,900 employees and direct operations in 37 countries. NI increases the productivity of engineers and scientists worldwide by delivering easy-to-integrate software and modular hardware. In 2001, the company sold products to more than 24,000 different companies in more than 60 countries around the world. For the past three consecutive years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

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