Fastest 27 GHz PXIe vector signal analyser

March 05, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Agilent’s M9393A PXIe performance vector signal analyser (VSA), claims speed and accuracy previously unseen in modular instrumentation, up to 27 GHz

The M9393A packages Agilent’s microwave measurement technology in a PXI form-factor for manufacturing and design validation of transmitters and components for radar, military, satellite and commercial wireless communications.

The design of the M9393A offers engineers the ability to validate the true performance of leading-edge and legacy devices with frequency coverage from 9 kHz to 27 GHz and 160 MHz analysis bandwidth. In addition to performance—including ±0.15 dB absolute amplitude accuracy, -160 dBm displayed average noise level (DANL), with preamplifier, and +30 dBm third-order intermodulation (TOI)—the M9393A delivers frequency switching in less than 150 µsec, reducing test time to increase throughput.

The M9393A builds on Agilent’s X-Series measurement applications and 89600 VSA software, which offers programmatic compatibility with Agilent’s benchtop signal analysers to maximise test code reuse. It provides consistent, accurate results across instrument form-factor and product lifecycle. The 89600 VSA software’s stepped spectrum capability allows the M9393A to measure across 27 GHz in less than 1 second, with 10 kHz resolution bandwidth, for fast measurements of harmonics and spurs. The X-Series measurement applications for modular instruments can be used with the M9393A to simplify device conformance testing for LTE, WLAN and more.

Beyond the inherent flexibility and scalability of PXI, the M9393A is designed for extensibility. License-key upgradeable options for frequency, analysis bandwidth, preamplifiers and memory allow engineers to easily adapt to changing test needs with quick system updates. The truly modular architecture of the M9393A means that as hardware advances, a single module’s upgrade or replacement maximises reuse of existing equipment and reduces the cost of test.

Using the Agilent M9037A PXI embedded controller, the M9393A’s measurement capability speed is increased. A high-performance PC computer designed for complex or multi-chassis systems and secure environments, the M9037A features a 2.4 GHz quad-core processor with up to 12 GB/sec data bandwidth. The high-speed CPU is based on the Intel i7 4700EQ for fast computation speeds such as are needed