Latest in the PXIe format: high-performance multiport VNA

September 07, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Keysight Technologies’ M9485A is presented as the highest performance PXIe multiport vector network analyser (VNA) available; Keysight designed it for high-volume wireless component manufacturing of front-end modules, switches and filters used in mobile phones and base stations, to cut test costs for wireless component manufacturers.

The true multiport architecture provides measurement speed up to 30% faster than competing units, while maintaining high dynamic range. Frequency coverage is 1 MHz to 9 GHz. Users can configure exactly the port count they need, saving money and enabling fast re-configuration as test needs change. During volume manufacturing, test speed is critical and space is often limited. With its true multiport capability up to 24 ports, all receivers synchronise with a common source to measure all S-parameters at once. When measuring multiport devices, this configuration reduces the sweep time as compared to a switch matrix-based solution. These capabilities speed test by improving both productivity and throughput, while also minimising space.

“A true multiport PXI VNA provides higher throughput with fewer sweeps than a VNA with a switch matrix for the same multiport device,” said Akira Nukiyama, vice president and general manager, Keysight’s Component Test Division, Kobe. “For example, with our 24-port PXIe VNA, a 24-port device only requires 24 sweeps versus 264 sweeps with a 4-port VNA and a switch matrix. That reduces sweep time more than 10 times, and there is no degradation in performance.”

Claims include the industry’s best performance with a fast speed (5 msec at 201 points with 2-port calibration) and wide dynamic range (up to 142 dB dynamic range). The VNA also delivers low trace noise (0.001-dBrms at 10 kHz IFBW) and high stability (0.005 dB/°C). When coupled with the M9485A’s multiport and multi-site measurement capabilities, this level of performance helps decrease the cost of test.

The multiport PXIe VNA supports a frequency offset mode, time domain analysis, and N-port calibrated measurements based on the same measurement science and calibration science as trusted PNA/ENA network analysers. By using the PXI module concept, the VNA allows users to perform flexible upgrade and repair as necessary. Users also gain significant space savings as compared to bench-top type instruments with an equivalent number of ports.

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