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Vector signal generator addresses EVM price barrier

Posted: 05 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:signal generator? signal generators? RF vector signal generators? RF generator? precisionWave?

Test equipment maker precisionWave Corp. has rolled out a follow-up to its p1411A signal generator. Priced at $11,500, the p1511A RF vector signal generator compares favorably with instruments costing several times more.

In operation, the p1511A generates digitally modulated and CW signals in the 800MHz through 1GHz band, and in the 1.7-2.2GHz cellular band. As such, it may be just the ticket for developers and testers of cellular-based products. The instrument's I/Q (in-phase and quadrature) generator produces high-accuracy signals for any digital modulation scheme used in these bands.

As examples, EDGE average RMS EVM (error vector magnitude) is typically less than 0.8%, and GSM phase error is below 1. That's significant, as EVM is a standard for modulation quality of digitally modulated signals, and EVM measurements can reveal digital signal problems. Signal sources must have low EVM output so you can properly evaluate the performance of chips, modules, and other devices for reception and transmission.

With a wide -100dBm to 20dBm (1pW to 100mW) power output range, harmonic suppression is better than -40dBc (at 13dBm). Spurious signals are below -80dBc.

The source's 1GHz CW phase noise is less than -100dBc/Hz (at 20kHz offset), and at 2.2GHz it's better than -92dBc/Hz (at 20kHz offset).

Rack or bench
The 3U-sized instrument also lends itself to benchtop use, measuring 19-by-17 inches. The p1511A is also suited to ATE applications, having frequency and power switching times of 15ms and 2.5ms, respectively.

Included are instrument libraries and application programming interfaces for Microsoft Visual Studio. This is for development of LAN-based instrument control software.

precisionWave also offers Web-based waveform download capability to customize the p1511A with standard and custom waveforms. You can also develop your own I/Q waveforms.

As with other precisionWave instruments, the source is CE certified, and is warranted for one year.

The p1511A is available with an eight week delivery time.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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