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PXI RF test modules go to 6GHz

Posted: 05 Oct 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:aeroflex? pxi? pci extensions? rfic? radio frequency ic?

New PXI modules

Adding 6GHz capability to provide seamless coverage of mobile device testing, test-and-measurement house Aeroflex has released two new PXI (PCI Extensions for Instrumentation) modules to its product line-up.

These modules address the need for high-speed testing of RFICs and other devices designed for wlan (wimax apps" target=_blank>wireless local area network) and WiMax (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) applications.

Three slots

The new 6GHz modules are designated the 3025, a digital signal generator, and the 3035, a wideband RF digitizer. Occupying just three slots when used with Aeroflex's existing 3010 RF synthesizer, these new modules provide wideband coverage while saving real estate and cost.

The 3025 digital RF signal generator follows on the heels of the recent introduction of the 3020A digital RF signal generator.

The 3020A introduced new features for Aeroflex's PXI RF signal generators that improve range, speed, accuracy, and flexibility in both RF manufacturing and design verification applications. The existing 3010 RF synthesizer and the 3025 form a 3U-high digital RF signal generator system with integrated dual-channel AWG (arbitrary waveform generator).

Large-capacity AWG

The AWG has a capacity of 32Msamples, and can be used to store either a single long waveform or a collection of smaller waveforms up to the limit of the sample memory. Transfer of waveforms between the controller and the AWG is fast, by virtue of the wide bandwidth of the PXI backplane. The 3025 accepts a low noise, agile local oscillator input from the 3010 RF synthesizer module. Finally, the system occupies just three PXI slots.

The 3025's modulation modes include internal AM/FM, and external IQ (in-phase and quadrature) vector modulation. A List Mode and AWG file sequencing modes enable you to rapidly set frequency, level, and AWG waveforms, a feature that's important in high-speed manufacturing. AWG sequencing enables long files to be generated.

An option that offers analog IQ inputs and outputs also lets the 3025 be used for baseband stimulus generation, as well as modulated RF generation. An external TTL-level trigger input is also available.

Realtime measurement, system emulation

For realtime measurement or system emulation applications, the 3025 signal generator supports an LVDS (low voltage differential signaling) IQ interface. Digital IQ samples can be directly modulated onto the RF carrier. By preserving the waveform information as digital IQ data, no analog impairments are added.

Now let's look at the complementary 3035 RF digitizer. It's what provides wideband high dynamic-range A/D conversion of RF input signals up to 6GHz. Together with the 3010 RF digitizer and measurement application software, the system provides vector signal analysis of RF signals.

The 3025 digital RF signal generator is priced at about $15,000, and the 3035 RF digitizer is priced at $18,000.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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