The instruments’ new RF list mode feature provides deterministic power and frequency sequencing functionality to help engineers make RF configuration changes more quickly during a test. Additionally, the new wide-loop bandwidth mode further improves measurement speed by reducing local oscillator settling times down to 300 microseconds or less.
“These new RF instruments illustrate our ongoing commitment to help test engineers save money by improving test times,” said Eric Starkloff, Vice President of Test Product Marketing at National Instruments. “The increased performance of our enhanced 6.6 GHz RF instruments directly addresses the need to perform automated RF tests faster than traditional solutions in high-volume production applications.”
Using RF list mode, engineers can configure the new NI 6.6 GHz PXI Express VSG and VSA to rapidly switch through a preprogrammed list of RF settings, including frequency and power level, at deterministic timing intervals. RF list mode also facilitates more accurate power measurements by helping engineers optimise the input reference level of the NI PXIe-5663E VSA.
In wide-loop bandwidth mode, the new VSG and VSA can settle to a centre frequency significantly faster than many traditional RF instruments. They achieve typical tuning times of 300 and 400 microseconds for frequencies between 800 MHz and 1,950 MHz. With faster settling times, engineers can significantly reduce overall measurement time within automated RF test applications.
The enhanced NI 6.6 GHz PXI Express RF instrumentation suite is based on the NI software-defined test platform, which incorporates industry-standard PC technologies such as multicore processors and PCI Express instrument bus connectivity. The software-defined nature of the NI PXI RF modular instruments helps engineers use NI LabVIEW graphical system design software to define measurement algorithms for testing a variety of wireless devices at up to five to 10 times faster than traditional RF instrumentation.