Test & Measurement

Analogue signal generator delivers 20Ghz

1st June 2017
Mick Elliott

Said to be the most powerful analogue signal generator on the market, the Rohde & Schwarz SMA100B features a frequency range up to 20GHz. It delivers signals with the lowest possible phase noise and the highest output power with extremely low harmonics. Engineers no longer need to compromise between output power and a spurious free dynamic range, says Rohde & Schwarz.

The instrument is designed for the RF semiconductor, wireless communications and aerospace and defence industries.

The R&S SMA100B provides purest signals with the lowest possible phase noise at all offset frequencies (1GHz, –152dBc/Hz, 20kHz offset).

A 6GHz instrument generates up to 38dBm RF output power, and a 20GHz instrument generates up to 32dBm in the microwave frequency range.

Harmonics are extremely low across the entire frequency range; above 6GHz they are even significantly lower than 70dBc at 18dBm output power.

Nonharmonics are below 110dBc at an output signal of 1GHz.

"The R&S SMA100B enables our customers to verify the true performance of their DUTs without the signal source affecting the results," says Andreas Pauly, Vice President Signal Generators, Audio Analysers and Power Meters at Rohde & Schwarz. "The R&S SMA100B offers unprecedented performance, giving our customers a technological lead in bringing products to the market."

State-of-the-art ADCs and DACs require absolutely pure signals with the lowest phase and wideband noise possible.

In addition to delivering extremely pure analogue RF signals, the analogue signal generator that can simultaneously provide a second, independently configurable, extremely pure and synchronised clock signal up to a frequency of 6GHz. As a result, users can characterise ADCs with a single analogue signal generator.

The extremely low wideband phase noise of the clock synthesiser output signal (100MHz, –175dBc/Hz, 30MHz offset) makes it possible to measure the true signal-to-noise ratio of modern ADCs.

"Rohde & Schwarz’s introduction of its low phase noise R&S SMA100A signal generator – the predecessor of the R&S SMA100B – nearly a decade ago has helped us evaluate, test and specify our world-class A/D converters to their maximum capabilities," said Ron Goga, Test Director of High Speed A/D Converters, Analog Devices. "The close cooperation between our two companies and the timely release of the R&S SMA100B with extremely pure analog RF signals up to 20 GHz coincides with the release of Analog Devices’ new RF series of converters, which includes the new AD9208 dual 3GSPS 14b A/D converter and AD9172 dual 12GSPS 16b D/A converter. The state-of-the-art performance of the R&S SMA100B allows us to continue to showcase our RF data converters in the best possible light."

The instrument is also a choice for a clock source when characterising DACs. The generatorʹs extremely low phase noise produces minimal signal jitter that does not influence the measurement results for the DACs.

It has a powerful pulse modulator and generates pulses with extremely short rise and fall times and an on/off ratio below 90dB.

State-of-the-art digital, high-precision automatic level control (ALC) ensures that the absolute top power levels of narrow pulses are output in a highly accurate, reproducible manner.

Closed loop level control is available for pulse widths starting at 100 ns. These characteristics make it possible to test advanced radar receivers with unmatched accuracy under demanding pulse scenario conditions.

Extremely pure local oscillator signals are often required to verify system performance before the overall integration of a radar system can take place.

The R&S SMA100B can provide high-level signals with extremely low, close-in phase noise (10GHz, –83dBc/Hz, 10Hz offset).

A base station receiver’s selectivity is evaluated by several criteria, including how well it suppresses strong interferers. When simulating in-band or out-of-band interferers with the R&S SMA100B, the instrument's ultra-low phase noise option of the instrument ensures that phase noise and wideband noise from the simulated interferer have a minimal impact on the wanted signal.

It is through the excellent signal quality of the R&S SMA100B that a base station’s true interference suppression performance can be demonstrated (e.g. wideband noise at 10GHz is below –160dBc/Hz at 30MHz offset).

The ultra high output power option enables the R&S SMA100B to provide up to 38dBm of output power, eliminating the need for external amplifiers in automated test environments.

With its integrated, wear-free electronic step attenuators now standard also in the 20GHz instruments, Rohde & Schwarz is maximising the operational life of test systems even with millions of level switching cycles, while ensuring zero wear on the instrument.

This solution also offers extremely fast level setting times for the first time ever in a microwave signal generator.

The generator is included in the R&S Legacy Pro program and can easily replace obsolete signal generators from Rohde & Schwarz and other manufacturers in automated test environments without the need to modify test software.


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