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Lightwave analyzer tests high-speed electro-optical components

Posted: 28 Sep 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:agilent technologies? lightwave component analyzer? lca? lan? local area network?

Lightwave component analyzer

Test-and-measurement house Agilent Technologies is debuting a lightwave component analyzer (LCA) that's slated to accelerate broadband infrastructure build-out, as well as lower design and manufacturing costs of high-performance network components. It includes LAN, usb and IEEE-488/GPIB (general purpose interface bus) instrument control and data interfaces.

Designed for emerging applications such as passive optical networks (CATV, 10GE and 40G in high-speed telecommunications and computer networks, Agilent's new N4373A LCA provides analysis for E/O, O/E, and O/O (electrical-to-optical, optical-to-electrical, and optical-to-optical) network component categories.

Devices that can be tested include PIN diodes, laser drivers, receivers, amplifiers, sensors, lasers, transmitters, optical modulators, photodiodes, optical passive components and fiber waveguides.

Source characterization
You can perform lightwave source characterization using the N4373A LCA to do source slope responsivity tests, modulation bandwidth tests, and modulated output power flatness evaluations. It will also check modulation signal group-delay and differential phase, distance-time response, CMRR (common-mode rejection ratio), electrical reflection tests, and port impedance or return loss tests.

For receiver characterization, the LCA can make a variety of slope responsivity tests, checking modulation bandwidth, modulated output-power flatness, and modulation signal group-delay and differential phase. It will also measure CMRR and make electrical reflection tests, as well as impedance and return loss tests.

For optical device characterization, you can check for insertion loss or gain, modulation characteristics, modal dispersion, and reflection and return loss tests.

Microwave devices
For microwave devices, the LCA will make electrical transfer function tests, checking for insertion loss or gain, output-power flatness, and group delay and deviation from linearity. You can also test microwave devices for electrical reflection response and measure port impedance and return losses.

The analyzer also offers special probe calibration features for testing these components over full product life cycles, from wafer to subassembly status.

Low measurement uncertainty
The N4373A is expected to improve production yields, thanks to its low measurement uncertainty through specified NIST traceability. This leads to lower investment cost, and faster development cycles and time-to-market.

The N4373A LCA extends Agilent's portfolio with NIST-traceable opto-electrical converters at wavelengths of 850nm (multi-mode), 1,310nm and 1,550nm (single-mode) for optical interfaces; and with differential and single-ended electrical interfaces for microwave test at 3GHz, 8.5GHz, 20GHz and even up to 67.5GHz.

Linear transmission and reflection characteristics measurements are based on Agilent's existing network analyzer families, providing full S-parameter analysis with calibration up to the probing pins.

Benefits of the N4373A include a four times faster measurement speed than previous approaches, 40dB more sensitive conversion efficiency measurement, standardization of uncertainty by NIST traceability, and on-chip testing with 2dB better relative accuracy.

The N4373A LCA is available now at a starting price of about $80,000.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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