Tektronix takes 802.11 WLAN test solutions to full 165-MHz b/w

November 19, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Tektronix has announced upgrades to its mixed domain oscilloscopes, performance oscilloscopes, spectrum analysers and analysis software with the aim of addressing a number of key aspects of testing WLAN integration in embedded systems.

In introducing the new features, Tek says that many companies are offering 802.11ac testing – but at 80-MHz bandwidth, and increasing demands for over-the-air bandwidth reflect directly on the capabilities needed of T&M hardware and software. Tek sees differing requirements in test of the RFICs that form the basis of the WLA designs; in the design of modules; and in the challenges facing embedded systems designers who can assume that the chipset is capable of doing its job but need to verify that the full connectivity is working in their design.

To meet these needs, Tek has produced the uprated RSA5000B real-time signal analyser (now claimed to have the widest-available bandwidth); the MDO4000B mixed-domain oscilloscope (positioned as the lowest-cost wideband solution for WiFi measurements) and SignalVu-PC Software supporting RF Measurements, with in-depth analysis software for complex RF signals and support for Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/j/n/p/ac tests.

The RSA5000B real-time signal analyser now series has up to 165 MHz acquisition bandwidth, expanding measurement capabilities for the 160 MHz bandwidth found in 802.11ac, up from 40 MHz in prior 802.11 versions. The minimum signal duration for 100% Probability of Intercept (POI) has improved 33% to 2.8 µsec. This ensures that even the briefest signals are discovered, triggered on and saved, minimising time to intercept in spectrum management applications.

Real-time features that were previously extra-cost options are now standard in RSA5000B instruments, including swept DPX, density trigger, time-qualified triggers and improved minimum signal duration. Spectrum processing rate has increased by 33%, to more than 390,000 spectrums/sec. The 5000B is not a swept spectrum analyser – taking that architecture to such a wide bandwidth would be very challenging, Tek says – but employs a very fast A/D front end with digitla processing. Example specifications for the RSA5126B variant include frequency range of 1 Hz to 26.5 GHz; EVM (preliminary) for 802.11ac 160 MHz of -42 dB; internal preamp to 26.5 GHz; and bandwidth up to 165