PXIe vector signal instruments have faster RF signal generation and analysis

August 28, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Agilent's M9391A will, the company says, significantly improve test throughput for power amplifier front-end module test.

M9391A is a 1-MHz to 3- or 6-GHz PXIe vector signal analyser, with up to 160-MHz bandwidth designed to test the latest wireless standards. Used in combination with Agilent's modular X-series applications, the M9391A delivers a consistent user interface, common measurement consistency, and backward-compatible APIs to accelerate test development and throughput.

The M9391A is a complementary product to the M9381A PXIe VSG (vector signal generator) for testing and design validation of wireless power amplifiers, transceivers and cellular base stations, primarily picocell and femtocell. The new analyser performs more tests in less time, reducing costs. It features Fastune technology that enables reduced servo-loop test times through rapid frequency and amplitude adjustments. Plus, its hardware-accelerated power measurements maximise throughput while retaining measurement integrity.

Agilent X-Series measurement applications for modular instruments support a common set of standard measurements for wireless communications signals. By using established X-Series software with the new PXI VSA, engineers can increase measurement speed while ensuring code compatibility and measurement continuity. X-series measurement applications enable the testing of major wireless communications and connectivity formats, such as LTE, GSM, W-CDMA and 802.11ac right from the start, and ensure easy access to emerging standards without returning or replacing hardware.

Engineers can use the M9391A PXIe VSA with the M9381A and modular X-Apps to test wideband power amplifiers, front-end modules, transceivers and more. The PXI VSA comes with 40-MHz RF bandwidth and can be upgraded to 100- or 160-MHz bandwidth supporting extremely fast modulation analysis by real-time hardware resampling. The hardware is license-key upgradeable to adapt to new and changing requirements.

Agilent's calibration core-exchange strategy maximises system uptime by providing fast repairs. In addition Agilent offers one-day start-up assistance. The M9391A PXIe vector signal analyser consists of the following: M9350A downconverter, M9301A synthesiser, M9300A frequency reference, and M9214A digitiser. The base configuration sells for $25,215. License key software upgrades are available for increased analysis bandwidth, frequency range, memory, and faster switching. Four PXI