Agilent Ensures Precision Wideband Signals for Radar, Communications

11/3/2004 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) introduced software for its ESG and PSG vector signal generators that ensures the highest possible quality of signals used to test radar, ultra wideband (UWB) communications and third-generation wireless power amplifiers. The Agilent N7622A Signal Studio toolkit is the first commercial product that provides error-correction capabilities at modulation bandwidths as high as 800 MHz.

Designers of all types of commercial and military communications and radar systems need to evaluate performance by exposing their systems and subsystems to signals that accurately reflect actual signal conditions. To accomplish this, designers typically create and send I/Q waveform signals to an arbitrary waveform generator (ARB), which converts them to analog signals. These signals are then fed to the I/Q modulator of a signal generator, which outputs them at the desired carrier frequency.

Ideally, RF signals at the signal generator's output have exactly the same amplitude flatness, phase and group delay as the original I/Q waveforms. However, as the signal passes through the signal translation and upconversion chains, distortion inevitably occurs that degrades these characteristics. Waveform distortion is somewhat manageable in narrowband systems with modulation bandwidths in the tens of megahertz, but it dramatically increases in severity as bandwidth increases. In some radar and UWB systems with RF bandwidths of 500 MHz or more, the distortions are major impediments to accurate component, subsystem and system evaluation.

Agilent's Signal Studio toolkit can remove the distortion errors before they are output from the signal generator to the device under test. Previously, designers had a choice of either not removing the errors or creating their own custom system with varying degrees of success and potentially high measurement uncertainty. Signal Studio toolkit eliminates these concerns by accurately correcting errors that occur in the signal path so that test signal characteristics are nearly indistinguishable from the original I/Q waveform.

Radar system designers benefit from Agilent's Signal Studio toolkit's ability to expand spurious-free dynamic range through improved image rejection. Signal Studio toolkit also enhances flatness, linearity and EVM for modulated pulses such as "FM chirps" and "phase coded" pulses to ensure accurate testing at wide bandwidths. Designers of chipsets for UWB and other wideband communications systems use Signal Studio toolkit's corrections capability to provide a nearly ideal signal for circuit design evaluation. In addition, designers of multicarrier power amplifiers (MCPAs) used in W-CDMA and other wideband signal formats use the corrected signal to calibrate the predistortion loop used to ensure amplifier linearity.

The standard components of Agilent's Signal Studio toolkit include Windows(-based software that translates waveforms created with MATLAB(r) or other common waveform-design environments to a format compatible with the ARB in Agilent's ESG and PSG vector signal generators. The ARB has a maximum RF bandwidth of 80 MHz. Agilent's Signal Studio toolkit also provides the ability to download signals to an external ARB to achieve higher RF bandwidths up to 800 MHz. The error-correction capability is available as an option.

Additional technical information about Agilent's Signal Studio toolkit is available at Images are available at

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The base function of the Agilent N7622A Signal Studio toolkit will be available as a free download from the Agilent website. The error-correction option for use with the internal baseband generator (option 196) is priced at $4,000, and the error-correction capability with an external wideband ARB (option 197) is $9,000. All products are expected to be available Nov. 15, 2004.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2003. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

Windows is a U.S. registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. MATLAB is a U.S. registered trademark of The Math Works, Inc.

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