Keysight Technologies launches new phase noise test system

31 May 2019

Keysight Technologies Inc. has introduced a new phase noise measurement system (PNTS) that enables power users to optimize and prove performance of new designs, meet operational requirements and remain on schedule and on budget.

Phase noise is an unwanted phase modulation noise that emerges in nearly all radio frequency and microwave devices including oscillators, mixers, dividers, multipliers and amplifiers. Power users, including professionals responsible for developing high-performance aerospace and defense applications as well as cutting-edge device characterization for 5G and other wireless communication systems, need to validate the phase noise performance of their designs.

Keysight's new N5511A phase noise test system models are available in three frequency ranges — from 50 kHz and going up to 3, 26.5 or 40 GHz with offsets from .01 Hz to 160 MHz internally. Each model can be configured for either single or dual-channel operation and offers the following key technology features:

  • Flexible architecture for easy integration of external reference sources enabling users to select from a variety of commercially available low-noise sources
  • Phase detector (quadrature) technique maximizes dynamic range
  • Best-in-class absolute and residual measurements on both continuous wave and pulsed signals
  • Cross spectral averaging (cross-correlation) to measure noise approaching the limits of physics, down to the kT (-177 dBm/Hz) thermal noise floor, by removing uncorrelated noise between two channels and enabling users to see the real performance of their device under test

Consisting of phase detector and data conversion modules housed in a custom, low-noise, single PXIe mainframe four units (4U) high, the N5511A occupies minimal rack space. The system software included runs on an integrated PC controller using the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system.

The N5511A phase noise test system is available now. More information is available online at and Keysight will demonstrate the N5511A phase noise test system at the International Microwave Symposium 2019, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Stand 606, June 4 to 6.

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