RF signal generator and analyzer add WLAN 802.11ac capability

June 20, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Aeroflex Limited has announced that it has added IEEE 802.11ac capability to its S-Series RF signal generator and analyzer product line. Designed for use by engineers in wireless local area network (WLAN) research, design, and manufacturing, the new 802.11ac capability is available for the SGD RF digital signal generators (Option 119) and the SVA vector signal analyzers (Option 110).

The S-Series product line’s standard features include a claim to the industry’s widest bandwidth at 200 MHz; level and frequency settling times that are 5x faster than competitors at 100 µs; as well as very low phase noise performance of -135 dB/Hz at 1 GHz, 20 kHz offset. The instruments feature a 4U height and half-rack width.

The wide bandwidth capability is ideal for WLAN R&D, far exceeding the standards widest bandwidth of 160 MHz. For manufacturing, the fast settling times enable rapid device throughput. The large touch-screen and innovative user interface make complex measurements quick and easy. Using Aerolock™, the S-Series instruments can be locked together to build complex test set-ups. Two instruments are combined within a width of 19”, allowing both transmit and receive functions in one small space.

SGD’s comprehensive WLAN signal generation suite is now updated for 802.11ac, supporting bandwidths of 20, 40, 80, 80+80 and 160 MHz and up to 8 spatial streams. Using an embedded version of Aeroflex’s IQCreator® waveform creation software, 802.11ac waveforms are quickly created and played from within the signal generator. Modulation schemes up to 256QAM are supported with excellent residual EVM (Error Vector Magnitude) to help customers pinpoint the exact nature of their signal degradation and identify the source of the problem.

Testing 256QAM modulation demands lower EVM within the test system. To achieve the best possible EVM, Aeroflex created a new type of factory calibration to maintain its orthogonality (the 90 degree relationship between I and Q) as the baseband frequency increases. The calibration mechanism creates an effective digital filter that pre-distorts the baseband signal before it is applied to the IQ modulator. This new method gives the SGD its 200 MHz of factory-calibrated signal bandwidth and enables testing of the very latest wireless devices.

The SVA offers high linearity, low noise, excellent level accuracy, and includes a built-in spectrum analyzer. Its comprehensive WLAN Measurement Suite with 802.11ac capability