Agilent Technologies' New Measurement Capability Expected to Transform the Way Mixers are Characterized

9/25/2002 - Agilent Technologies announced a new frequency-offset measurement capability for its vector network analyzer family that offers industry-leading accuracy and ease of use, while stripping away the limitations associated with prior mixer characterization methods.

While many techniques are available for evaluating amplitude response, evaluation of phase and group delay has always been time-consuming, cumbersome, and extremely difficult to accurately measure. The new capability allows manufacturers of components and subsystems for wireless and satellite communications, radar and electronic warfare systems to accurately characterize the conversion loss or gain, conversion phase and absolute group delay characteristics of mixers and other frequency-conversion devices. With the new frequency-offset capability, this characterization can now be done at high speeds and with less complexity than any other commercially available technique.

Agilent also introduced its E8361A vector network analyzer. Part of the Agilent PNA Series, the new analyzer extends the performance of the family to 67 GHz, and has expanded the frequency range of the Agilent ECal electronic network analyzer calibration system to all frequencies covered by the PNA Series.

Frequency-Offset Measurement Capability
The new capability is available as an option for Agilent's E8362B, E8363B, and E8364B vector network analyzers with measurement frequency coverage from 10 MHz to 20, 40 and 50 GHz respectively. The enhancement is also available for the new E8361A introduced today, which has coverage from 10 MHz to 67 GHz.

The frequency-offset capability is implemented as an integrated hardware and firmware solution. The hardware adds the ability to make offset frequency measurements, including intermodulation distortion, harmonic and spurious responses, and mixer conversion loss. The firmware automates mixer measurements and enables a graphical user interface that greatly simplifies the setup, calibration, and measurement process. In addition, it provides a host of features, including vector correction of conversion loss and match-corrected absolute power measurements, which increase the overall accuracy of mixer characterization significantly over previous methods. The firmware also controls external signal sources that are used for mixer local oscillators.

67 GHz Frequency Coverage
Agilent introduced the E8361A to meet the needs of designers and manufacturers of passive components and subsystems that are employed in millimeter-wave applications such as satellite communications, point-to-point microwave radio, broadband wireless access, and 40 Gb/s (OC-768) optical communications. The E8361A embodies the exceptional performance and features of the PNA Series, including the lowest trace noise (<0.03 dB at 1 kHz IF bandwidth), widest dynamic range (greater than 90 dB at 65 GHz), and fastest measurement speed (less than 26 microseconds per point). The E8361A and the entire series of PNA instruments are based on the Windows(r) 2000 operating system, which makes operation and programming simple, and provides a powerful environment in which easy-to-use measurement functions and PC capabilities are seamlessly linked.

ECal Enhancements
Agilent has enhanced its ECal electronic calibration kits to include all frequencies covered by the PNA series, including the 67 GHz E8361A. The new N4690A series of ECal modules brings the standard speed and simplicity advantages of ECal to higher frequencies. In addition to the 7 mm, Type-N and 3.5 mm connectors that were previously covered by the 85060 series, there are now 2.92 mm, 2.4 mm and 1.85 mm modules available. When compared to the 85060 modules, the new series offers the following improvements:

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent E8361A is priced at approximately $139,000; the frequency-offset measurement capability is approximately $19,500; and ECal prices vary with the frequency of the module. All three are expected to be available on Oct. 1, 2002.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics and life sciences. The company's 37,000 employees serve customers in more than 120 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $8.4 billion in fiscal year 2001.

Windows is a U.S. registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

If you found this page useful, bookmark and share it on: