productronica: Switch matrix offers network analysis up to 48 ports

Posted By : Mick Elliott
productronica: Switch matrix offers network analysis up to 48 ports

Rohde & Schwarz used the productronica exhibition in Munich to debut the R&S ZN-Z84, an external switch matrix designed to complement the company’s ZNB network analyser. The matrix covers the frequency range from 10 MHz to 8.5 GHz, and the base model is equipped with six test ports.

When needed, the number of test ports can be increased in groups of six to provide a total of 24 ports. A four-port version with two 24-port matrices can support 48 test ports.      

The combination of the network analyser and the switch matrix targets users in R&D and production who test components for the wireless communications sector for example today's smartphones and tablets operating on multiple frequency bands and incorporate capabilities such as WLAN, Bluetooth and GPS.

Front-end modules that support this kind of functionality feature a large number of RF ports or port groups whose parameters need to be fully characterized. The R&S ZN-Z84 meets this requirement by allowing complete S parameter measurements on up to 48 ports.      

The network analyser's firmware supports and automatically detects the switch matrix, making it easy to integrate the switch matrix into test setups. Measurements can be configured flexibly and simply: Users set parameters such as the numbering of matrix ports or configure used, unused and balanced ports in intuitive dialog windows on the analyser's large touchscreen. No additional software is required. Automatic Rohde & Schwarz calibration units with up to eight ports perform the multiport calibration required for applications with up to 48 ports. The network analyser guides users through the individual calibration steps.      

The switch matrix is equipped with fast electronic switches with low attenuation that allow high output levels, wide dynamic range and fast measurements, even with a large number of ports. The test ports in a four-port network analyser that are not connected to the matrix can be incorporated into measurements. These two spare ports deliver the RF characteristics of the base unit such as maximum output level and maximum dynamic range to characterise the DUT's active components.    

With the switch matrix, users can measure the S-parameters of antenna I/O modules, multiband filters and splitters, especially those used in high-speed data communications systems. The test solution is also ideal for conducting phase measurements on multi-antenna arrays and for characterising common multiport DUTs such as multiple splitters, switch modules and multicore cables.  

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