Rohde & Schwarz has released the world's first network analyzer with 24 integrated test ports: the R&S ZNBT. The instrument allows users to characterize devices under test with multiple test ports and enables production lines to maintain high throughput by measuring multiple DUTs in parallel. It also offers the high RF performance of a two-port network analyzer at each of its test ports.
The instrument covers the frequency range from 9 kHz to 8.5 GHz, and the base model is equipped with four test ports. Depending on application requirements, the analyzer can be enhanced to include 24 ports. The R&S ZNBT is primarily used in the development and production of active and passive multiport components such as frontend modules for multiband mobile phones.
When fitted with its maximum number of test ports, the R&S ZNBT is capable of determining all 576 S-parameters of a 24-port DUT. It requires no switching, and therefore carries out multiport measurements faster than switch matrix-based multiport systems. For example, the R&S ZNBT can cover all 576 S-parameters at 201 frequency points in less than 260 ms. Alternatively, the R&S ZNBT can also measure multiple DUTs in parallel. Previously, users had to operate several network analyzers in parallel to achieve such high throughput.
The R&S ZNBT also does away with the loss introduced by matrix switches, making it possible to deliver measurements with the instrument's full dynamic range of 130 dB, a high output power level of 13 dBm and low trace noise. This makes multiport measurements with the R&S ZNBT highly stable, reproducible and precise.
The network analyzer has no display – a space-saving feature that is especially beneficial in automated production. It can be controlled via an external monitor, mouse and keyboard or via an external touchscreen. It features the same intuitive operation as the R&S ZNB, and all of its functions can be accessed in no more than three operating steps. As a result, defining even complex multiport measurements is just as fast and easy as configuring conventional two-port measurements.