Vector signal generator for wideband multichannel mmWave applications

Vector signal generator for wideband multichannel mmWave applications

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Delivering low phase noise, the vector signal generator addresses 5G, 6G research, satellite communications and radar systems
By Jean-Pierre Joosting


Keysight Technologies as launched a new four-channel vector signal generator, with frequency up to 54 GHz, extendable to 110 GHz, that offers up to 5 GHz of bandwidth and low phase noise in a single instrument. 

The Keysight M9484C VXG vector signal generator, expands the company’s VXG series portfolio with real-time capabilities to support demanding wireless industry applications. The M9484C VXG signal generator, with a V3080A vector signal generator frequency extender, expands the frequency range up to 110 GHz to address the needs for the latest and evolving standards.

New 5G mobile communications, 6G research, satellite communications and radar applications use a wide range of frequencies, up to and including millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum. Testing these applications requires signal generation equipment capable of creating millimeter-wave signals at extremely high bandwidth. These new applications also adopt multi-antenna techniques, such as spatial diversity, spatial multiplexing and beamforming to achieve diversity,

The M9484C VXG signal generator enables customers to reduce test system setup complexity and achieve accurate and repeatable multi-channel measurements in a single instrument.

A key benefit is the scalable architecture, which enables the most demanding wideband and multichannel test signals with frequencies up to 110 GHz. The scalable architecture enables test signals with a bandwidth up to 5 GHz to be generated; covers frequency ranges from 9 kHz to 54 GHz and up to 110 GHz with a V3080A vector signal generator frequency extender; and enables multi-antenna test applications such as MIMO and beamforming with precise phase coherence and timing synchronization.

The fully integrated, calibrated and synchronized signal generator delivers low phase noise and minimizes measurement uncertainty, overcoming the excessive path loss experienced at mmWave frequencies with low error vector magnitude (EVM) and distortion at high output power.
It also delivers advanced RF performance with direct digital synthesis (DDS) technology for accurately characterizing device under tests (DUTs) and enables precise multi-channel / multi-instrument synchronization and triggering test applications.

Real-time signal processing and comprehensive signal creation enables complex test scenarios and simplifies test complexity for receiver and performance tests. This ability supports MIMO real-time fading for all 3GPP 5G new radio (NR) required base station conformance tests with PathWave Signal Generation software. It also streamlines complex receiver test scenarios with 8-virtual-signal emulation per RF channel, up to 32 signals in one instrument. Further, simplified test workflow is realised with pre-defined compliance test setups, auto-configuring signal analysis and graphic user interface.

The M9484C VXG signal generator generates high frequency, wide channel bandwidth signals in multiple coherent channels. These capabilities enable engineers to:

Innovate designs that enable higher frequencies, wider bandwidths and multichannel applications, and ensure they meet the latest and evolving standard test requirements.

Simplify measurement setup and complex calibration routines associated with multi-box solutions with a one-box approach, saving time and reducing measurement errors related to changing equipment configuration and cabling.

Eliminate signal impairments caused by traditional analog I/Q modulators with a new DDS architecture and deliver advanced signal fidelity for wideband signal generation.

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