Semiconductor Value Chain

Vector signal generator for wireless technology’s next frontier

11 May 2022
The new M9484C VXG enables wide RF bandwidth in a single instrument. Source: Keysight Technologies Inc.

Applications testing for new 5G mobile communications, 6G research, satellite communications and radar requires signal generation equipment for a wide range of frequencies. That includes the extremely high frequency (EHF) band known as the millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum. Testing equipment must also account for applications adopting multi-antenna techniques to ensure high-throughput and robust communications, such as spatial diversity, spatial multiplexing and beamforming.

Enter the M9484C VXG vector signal generator from Keysight Technologies Inc., which expands the company's VXG series portfolio with real-time capabilities. The four-channel vector signal generator offers frequency up to 54 GHz and up to 5 GHz of radio frequency (RF) bandwidth and low phase noise in a single instrument. When used with a V3080A vector signal generator frequency extender, its frequency range can be expanded up to 110 GHz to address the needs for the latest and evolving standards.

Here's an overview of some of the benefits:

Scalable architecture enables wideband and multichannel test signals with frequencies up to 110 GHz.

  • Generates test signals with an RF bandwidth up to 5 GHz
  • Covers frequency ranges from 9 kHz to 54 GHz, and up to 110 GHz with a V3080A vector signal generator frequency extender
  • Enables multi-antenna test applications such as MIMO and beamforming with precise phase coherence and timing synchronization

Fully integrated, calibrated and synchronized signal generator delivers low phase noise and minimizes measurement uncertainty.

  • Overcomes the excessive path loss experienced at mmWave frequencies with low error vector magnitude (EVM) and distortion at high output power
  • Delivers advanced RF performance with direct digital synthesis (DDS) technology for accurately characterizing devices under test (DUTs)
  • Enables precise multichannel/multi-instrument synchronization and triggering test applications

Real-time signal processing and comprehensive signal creation enables complex test scenarios and simplifies test complexity for receiver and performance tests.

  • Supports MIMO real-time fading for all 3GPP 5G new radio (NR) required base station conformance tests with PathWave Signal Generation software
  • Streamlines complex receiver test scenarios with 8-virtual-signal emulation per RF channel, up to 32 signals in one instrument
  • Simplifies test workflow with predefined compliance test setups, auto-configuring signal analysis and graphic user interface

According to Keysight, the new vector signal generator’s capability to generate high-frequency, wide-channel bandwidth signals in multiple coherent channels enables engineers to:

  • Innovate designs that enable higher frequencies, wider bandwidths and multichannel applications, and ensure that the latest and evolving standard test requirements are met.
  • Simplify measurement setup and complex calibration routines associated with multi-box solutions with a one-box approach, saving time and reducing measurement errors related to changing equipment configuration and cabling.
  • Eliminate signal impairments caused by traditional analog I/Q modulators with a new DDS architecture and deliver advanced signal fidelity for wideband signal generation.

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