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Industry News / Test and Measurement

Agilent’s MXG ATE Signal Generators Target Production Environments

June 26, 2008
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Agilent Technologies Inc. announced new N5161A and N5162A MXG ATE analog and vector RF signal generators for the cost-sensitive automated test equipment (ATE) environment. In addition to these new models, Agilent announced a series of enhancements to the MXG RF signal generators designed to deliver up to +23 dBm output power, extend the industry-leading distortion performance, and provide phase coherency support for MIMO and beamforming applications. Such enhancements make the MXG RF signal generators the ideal solutions for R&D and manufacturing engineers defining, developing, and optimizing wireless network and mobile communications test systems.

New MXG ATE RF Signal Generators

The MXG ATE RF signal generators provide the same industry-leading capabilities, performance and form factor of the popular MXG RF platform — all at a reduced price. These signal generators have been streamlined for ATE needs with removal of the front-panel display and all connectors relocated to the rear panel for convenient and secure rack configurations.


The N5161A MXG ATE analog signal generator provides CW and analog modulation, while the N5162A MXG ATE vector signal generator supports a multitude of digital modulation types up to 6 GHz. Combining the outstanding MXG performance, in two rack-unit heights, with a base price reduction over the N5181A and N5182A MXG products, makes the MXG ATE RF signal generators ideally suited for today’s demanding production environment.

Enhanced Power and Distortion Capabilities

A key enhancement to the MXG is a hardware change that results in the best combination of high output power and low distortion performance:

• Output power — increased from +13 to up to +23 dBm (20 MHz to 3 GHz), and from +11 to +16 dBm (3 to 6 GHz) with Option 1EA. With its best-in-class output power, the MXG RF signal generators are able to overcome losses and drive high-power devices without an external amplifier, thereby simplifying test setup.

• Distortion — specified ACPR performance of -71 dBc for single-carrier W-CDMA up to +5 dBm. Greater test margins and increased measurement accuracy stem from the signal generators’ low distortion performance at high power levels. This performance not only improves test yield, but also allows the engineer to test higher-performance components.

MIMO and Beamforming Capabilities

Thanks to its new enhancements, the MXG RF signal generators now offer complete solutions for WLAN, WiMAX™ and LTE MIMO test, in as little as four rack units. The MXG offers a compact, easy-to-use phase coherent test solution for 2xN MIMO and beamforming, and also enables system expansion to support up to 4xN. When combined with the flexibility of Signal Studio software for signal creation, engineers now have a lower price alternative for beamforming and MIMO applications.

The MXG RF signal generators, available in two rack units, offer scalable performance that can be tailored to meet the stringent test requirements for components and devices used in cellular communications and wireless networking. With options for frequency range, modulation, enhanced dynamic range and an internal baseband generator up to 125 MSa/s, the MXG can be configured to fit needs in R&D and manufacturing.

The N5181A comes in 1/3/6 GHz frequency ranges, while the N5182A, N5161A and N5162A come in 3/6 GHz frequency ranges. The optional 100 MHz (125 MSa/s) bandwidth arbitrary waveform generator in the vector version supports W-CDMA/HSDPA, cdma2000, WLAN, LTE, WiMAX, GSM/EDGE, and more general and format-specific arbitrary waveforms.

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