PXI Express high-speed source/measure unit for RF PA tests

May 27, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Keysight Technologies has introduced a PXI Express source/measurement unit, the M9111A, purpose-built for design validation and production test of next-generation power amplifiers and front-end modules supporting cellular and wireless connectivity formats.

The high-speed M9111A can change voltage, stabilize its output and accurately measures micro-Amps, all in less than 1 msec. This, Keysight says, represents speeds 20 times faster than those for previous-generation, stand-alone Keysight SMUs at a fraction of the size.


“In power amplifier automated test environments, speed of test is critical,” said Giampaolo Tradioli, senior director for Chipset Mobile Test, Keysight Technologies. “The M9111A’s …. high-speed output and glitch-free operation, combined with the ability to remain stable, even with capacitances up to 150 µF, make it ideal for power-amplifier test of handsets and cell phones.”


Power amplifiers draw rapid pulses of current, that the M9111A has been designed to supply with fast transient response: it reduces voltage droop due to pulse loading and recovers quickly to its program voltage.


Under extreme, dynamic load conditions, Keysight asserts, traditional SMUs may prove unstable. The M9111A provides high levels of output stability, eliminating worry that the power source will interfere with measurements. Glitch-free operation ensures safe use with the device under test during output and measurement range changes, even with high capacitances. The output voltage and current remain steady and the DUT undamaged.


The one-slot, two-quadrant PXIe module delivers up to 18W at up to 13V, ±1A or up to 6V, ±3A. The M9111A combines the capabilities of a voltage source, a current source, an ammeter and a voltmeter. Measurement capabilities for the M9111A include:


High-speed changes in voltage with fast settling times

High-speed recovery and low-voltage drop when the DUT pulls pulses of current with sharp edges

High-speed, accurate low-current measurements, such as leakage currents


Keysight; www.keysight.com/find/m9111a