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NI unrolls new RF analyzer, IF digitizers

Posted: 25 Aug 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:National Instruments? PXI-5661? NI 5142? RF analyzer? IF digitizer?

NI's PXI-5661 RF analyzer and NI 5142 IF digitizer

National Instruments (NI) has announced three new products that extend high-speed DAQ and data streaming into RF and communications applications. With the company's new RF vector signal analyzer and two new IF digitizers that include advanced FPGA-based signal processing, NI said engineers can continuously stream high-bandwidth RF data across high-speed buses, such as PCI and PXI, directly to a PC for processing and analysis. With PC processing and open software tools, engineers can create systems with flexibility to address emerging standards or to prototype next-generation RF systems, the company added.

The PXI-5661 2.7GHz RF vector signal analyzer features 20MHz of real-time signal or modulation bandwidth, frequency-selective burst triggering and onboard signal processing for streaming data to a PC at full bandwidth. The new analyzer implements an onboard quadrature digital downconverter in an FPGA to significantly reduce the amount of data to transfer to the host PC so that high-bandwidth RF signals can directly transfer across the high-speed PXI backplane. After the data is on the host PC, engineers can manipulate it in open software tools to make custom measurements, or even to emulate emerging communications standards as a software-defined radio. The new module also includes a built-in burst trigger that engineers can use to trigger RF acquisitions based on a user-programmable power level and bandwidth.

NI 5142 communications digitizers, the IF components of the NI PXI-5661 analyzers, are available separately in PXI or PCI for addressing a broad set of IF applications. The digitizers feature dual 14bit, 100MSps simultaneous-sampling channels with onboard signal processing. Onboard processing features include a 40MHz programmable digital downconverter and general-purpose alias-protected decimation, which tracks with the sample rate to protect sample data from higher-frequency aliases. Engineers can combine the digital downconverter with third-party RF-to-IF downconverters for RF streaming applications.

"These new RF and IF products represent a shift in the way communications systems are designed and tested," said Tim Dehne, NI senior VP of engineering. "By streaming RF or IF data across high-speed buses directly to a PC for processing, the challenge of developing a communications system now falls on software. Users can define their communications systems with open software, such as NI LabVIEW."

The new modules complement a variety of NI modular instruments including arbitrary waveform generators and digital waveform generator/analyzers to build a complete custom mixed-signal application.

Pricing information can be obtained directly from the company.

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