Agilent Claims Industry's Highest Performance Millimeter-Wave Signal Analyzer
News Release from:
08 April 2011
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced that its PXA signal analyzer is now the industry's highest performance millimeter-wave signal analyzer, covering frequencies up to 50 GHz. With external mixing, it can cover 325 GHz and beyond. The result is easier, more accurate millimeter-wave measurements.
The PXA delivers a level of performance at millimeter-wave frequencies that is unmatched by competing solutions, offering the industry's most accurate, sensitive and frequency-stable signal analysis. Its ability to measure small signals in the presence of very large signals is unparalleled and enables customers to develop the most advanced radar, surveillance and wireless communications systems. Extending this performance to 325 GHz and beyond allows customers to develop technology for advanced radio astronomy research and new imaging techniques used in the medical and air travel industries.
As frequencies move into the millimeter range, the ability to make good spectrum and other signal measurements gets significantly tougher, said Guy Séné, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Microwave and Communications Division. As the industry's highest performance millimeter-wave signal analyzer, the PXA is able to simplify these measurements, while ensuring our customers still get the accurate results they demand.
The robust hardware design of the PXA delivers outstanding sensitivity and wide dynamic range. To further enhance these inherent hardware capabilities, the PXA uses exclusive technologies like low noise path and Noise Floor Extension (NFE) to remove distortion noise and further widen dynamic range. This allows the PXA to measure the smallest of signals in the presence of very large signals, a task that has challenged test engineers and is critical to designing and testing leading-edge millimeter wave systems. As a result, the PXA allows customers to measure the most demanding devices and push their designs to unprecedented performance levels.
The lower noise offered in all measurement configurations, allows the PXA to achieve the same sensitivity as other analyzers at a resolution bandwidth that is 10 times greater, resulting in sweep times of 100 times faster or more. In many cases, this eliminates the need for the engineer to sacrifice test times for dynamic range. It also gives the engineer flexibility to trade off the PXA's performance gains to optimize an ideal combination of measurement speed, accuracy and measurement confidence level.
Using the low noise path, the PXA is able to realize a displayed average noise level (DANL) of -138 dBm at 50 GHz. In addition, utilizing NFE, the PXA is able to further improve DANL by approximately 6 dBm.
These performance characteristics, coupled with the PXA's extended frequency range, the industry's widest analysis bandwidth of 140 MHz, high-performance full-band preamplifier to 50 GHz, industry-best close-in phase noise of -110 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset, and third-order intercept of +13 dBm (nom) at 50 GHz, make it ideal for aerospace and defense engineers looking to extend operating frequency to millimeter wave. It can also be used by advanced research engineers operating in millimeter-wave frequencies in the commercial space.
Extending Frequency with External Mixers
For added flexibility, the PXA's frequency coverage can be extended to 325 GHz and beyond with external mixing.
The PXA supports Agilent's new M1970V/W waveguide harmonic mixers, which provide higher performance, up to 110 GHz, and dramatically improve ease of use in millimeter-wave measurements. These smart mixers use a simple USB plug-and-play connection to automatically configure the PXA for the specific mixer connected, including downloading conversion loss data. They also automatically compensate for local oscillator path loss for different cable lengths.
Together, Agilent's PXA and new smart mixers work to improve measurement performance and reliability, along with ease of use. The PXA also supports existing Agilent 11970 waveguide harmonic mixers (up to 110 GHz) and third-party mixers (up to 325 GHz and beyond).
X-Series Signal Analysis
The PXA is the highest-performance member of the Agilent X-Series signal analyzers, with frequency coverage from 3 Hz to 50 GHz. The X-Series is an evolutionary approach to signal analysis that spans instruments, measurements and software, including more than 25 industry-leading measurement applications that cover cellular communication, wireless connectivity, digital video and other purposes.