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Test and Measurement Channel / Industry News

Agilent Technologies enhances X-Series signal analyzers

May 9, 2014
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Agilent Technologies Inc. announced a series of enhancements for its MXA and EXA X-Series signal analyzers. The enhancements are ideal for engineers performing wireless communications and general-purpose testing at various phases of the product life cycle, from R&D and design verification to manufacturing and installation.

Agilent's MXA signal analyzer now offers best-in-class sensitivity, along with higher frequency stability and coverage—effectively raising the bar on the level of performance expected of traditional midrange instruments.

The MXA achieves best-in-class sensitivity through a new Noise Floor Extension (NFE) feature. With this optional capability, the analyzer yields up to a 9-dB sensitivity improvement over MXA models without NFE, without having to compromise the third-order intercept. This capability is based on the latest advanced noise modeling technology and can be accessed with just a license key. The higher sensitivity enables RF engineers to more accurately measure weak signals in the presence of larger ones. A set of new USB “smart” external preamplifiers, available for all X-Series signal analyzers, further improves sensitivity and noise figure.

The MXA and EXA achieve higher frequency stability with a new atomic frequency reference (AFR) option. The option builds on a previous improvement in the analyzers’ short-term frequency stability by offering a 100X improvement in long-term frequency stability. The increased frequency stability allows base-station installers to verify the synchronization of signals transmitted within a multiple antenna system at the highest precision, thereby providing the best possible quality of service.

Higher-frequency coverage for the MXA is possible via an external mixing option. The option covers frequencies beyond 26.5 GHz and up to 110 GHz with Agilent M1970 smart mixers, and to 1.1 THz with VDI’s frequency extender. The option allows engineers to measure millimeter-wave signals and up to terahertz without having to buy a separate high-end analyzer. With carrier frequencies moving toward millimeter-wave and higher in modern applications like backhaul connections for wireless communications, this capability is now more essential for accurate signal analysis.

 “Engineers are facing a number of challenges as they begin working in millimeter-wave and higher frequencies, including more accurately identifying and measuring weak or previously unknown signals, as well as achieving a higher level of frequency stability,” said Jim Curran, marketing manager for Agilent’s Microwave and Communications Division. “Each of the enhancements offered by Agilent provides engineers new insight to keep pace with evolving wireless industry requirements.”

The MXA and EXA signal analyzers also now support an option that enables the fastest-in-class power measurements. This fast power option speeds power measurements made by the MXA or EXA, such as adjacent channel power ratio (ACPR) and band density, by up to 4X, saving significant test time and increasing productivity.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

 The new enhancements to the MXA and EXA X-Series signal analyzers are available worldwide. Pricing is as follows:

 N9020A-NFE       Noise floor extension for MXA                       $5,000

 N9020A-EXM      External mixing for MXA                                   $2,805

 N9020A-FP2        Fast power for MXA                                         $5,125

 N9010A-FP2        Fast power for EXA                                         $5,125

 J7203A                 Atomic frequency reference                          $6,900

 U7227A               USB preamplifier, 10 MHz to 4 GHz             $4,500

 U7227C              USB preamplifier, 100 MHz to 26.5 GHz     $7,000

 U7227F              USB preamplifier, 2 to 50 GHz                      $13,000

 More information on the new MXA and EXA enhancements is available at www.agilent.com/find/X-series_enhancements. Photos of the enhanced capabilities are available at www.agilent.com/find/X-Series_enhancements_images. Information on Agilent’s X-Series, an evolutionary approach to signal analysis that spans instrumentation, measurements and software, can be found at www.agilent.com/find/X-Series.

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