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Industry News

Tektronix Real-time Spectrum Analyzer Addresses Explosion of Digital RF Technologies

September 11, 2006
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Tektronix Inc., a worldwide provider of test, measurement and monitoring instrumentation, announced the Tektronix RSA6100A Series of Real-Time Spectrum Analyzers that provides an unmatched combination of real-time performance, capture bandwidth and dynamic range to meet the needs of a broad range of digital RF applications. DPX™ waveform image processor technology transforms volumes of real-time data to produce a live RF spectrum presentation that reveals previously unseen RF signals and signal anomalies. Live RF is achieved by improving the spectrum measurement rate nearly 1000 times compared to the fastest swept spectrum and vector signal analyzers (VSA).


The rapid expansion of digital RF applications has driven the measurement needs of many applications including radar, mobile communications, software defined radio (SDR), cognitive radio and surveillance beyond the capabilities of swept spectrum and vector signal analysis. Digital RF signals carry complex modulation and change from one instant to the next, hopping frequencies, spiking briefly and then disappearing. These transient and time varying transmission techniques help RF devices avoid interference, maximize peak power and, oftentimes, evade detection.

Test instruments for digital RF require wide bandwidth with high dynamic range, fast signal capture, and the ability to fully correlate the time, frequency and modulation domains. The first offerings in the new RSA6100A series of Real-Time Spectrum Analyzers - the 6.2 GHz RSA6106A and 14 GHz RSA6114A - provide industry-leading 110 MHz real-time bandwidth simultaneous with 73 dB spurious-free dynamic range. The RSA6100A series provides world-class capabilities ideally suited to the needs of a broad range of digital RF applications, from power amplifiers for advanced cellular radios to the latest pulsed radar signal.

“The combination of exploding technical capabilities brought about by digital RF combined with an equal increase in demand for more functionality and mobility has created unprecedented innovations in wireless communications,” said Rick Wills, CEO and chairman, Tektronix. “Tektronix recognized several years ago that digital RF creates a highly complex technical environment and the emerging need for test tools whose capabilities mirror the time-varying nature of today’s signals. The RSA6100A series of Real-Time Spectrum Analyzers are the most capable and effective instruments available for solving even the most demanding digital RF test challenges.”

“Tektronix’ Real-Time Spectrum Analyzers are the first and only analyzers designed specifically to solve digital RF problems,” said Rick King, vice president, Real-Time Spectrum Analyzer product line, Tektronix. “The RSA6100A Series is the first RF analyzer to simultaneously deliver 110 MHz real-time bandwidth and 73 dB spurious-free dynamic range, enabling the design of advanced and next generation RF systems with wide capture bandwidth and no sacrifice in dynamic range. The live RF spectrum display provided by DPX waveform image processing provides engineers a view into signal instabilities and transients that they never knew existed. The RSA6100A is a perfect fit for the measurement needs of digital RF and will become a fundamental test instrument fueling the expansion of wireless communications.”

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