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Test and Measurement

Agilent Technologies Introduces True-Mode Stimulus Application for Accurate Characterization of Balanced Devices in Wireless Communications, R&D and Component Test Applications

March 19, 2007
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SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 19, 2007 Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today introduced the True-Mode Stimulus Application for outputting true-balanced signals using a dual-source 4-port PNA-L or PNA-X microwave vector network analyzer. This first-of-its-kind capability enables component test, wireless communications and R&D engineers to accurately and confidently characterize the performance of 3-port, single-ended-to-balanced, and 4-port, balanced-to-balanced devices while operating under true-mode stimulus. Up to now, RF and microwave engineers have measured balanced devices using only single-ended stimulus. In contrast, Agilent's True-Mode Stimulus Application controls the phases and amplitudes of two internal sources to provide the user with true differential or true common mode stimulus (e.g., two signals with balanced or equal amplitude, but with phase that is 180 or 0 degrees apart, respectively). For imbalanced measurements, the application also allows users to enter arbitrary amplitude and phase deviation between the two signals. This true-mode functionality offers engineers a number of key benefits, including the ability to test devices under real-world operating conditions and to stress test devices using imbalanced stimulus. Additionally, since the differential sources are fully corrected for device mismatch, the engineer is able to maintain a precise differential- or common-mode drive at the reference plane of the device-under-test (DUT) or wafer probes to ensure accurate characterization, even in cases where fixturing is used. Agilent's new True-Mode Stimulus Application is an elegant solution that is both simple to set up and easy to operate. It runs on the dual-source 4-port versions of the PNA-L or PNA-X vector network analyzer. These units are members of the PNA Series of solutions, which offer an unsurpassed combination of speed and precision to meet the challenges of component testing from 300 kHz to 110 GHz. Covering the 300 kHz to 6, 13.5 or 20 GHz and 10 MHz to 20, 40 or 50 GHz frequency ranges, PNA-L is designed for general-purpose network analysis needs. PNA-X is the new industry standard for microwave network analysis from 10 MHz to 26.5 GHz. It offers a unique single-connection solution for two-tone and swept LO measurements, featuring an integrated second source and signal-combining network. U.S. Pricing and Availability Agilent's True-Mode Stimulus Application is currently available at no charge. It comes with any dual-source, 4-port PNA-L (N5230A Option 146 or 246) or PNA-X (N5242A Option 400, 419 or 423) vector network analyzer. For information about Agilent's True-Mode Stimulus Application, go to A photo of the application is available at Link:

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