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Characterization of digital communication systems and related RF hardware relies on complex test systems. These systems play a critical role in design and production performance evaluation. The building blocks of a digital communication system often require simultaneous time and frequency domain analyses, blurring the lines between the dedicated functions associated with traditional stand-alone scopes and analyzers. Designers must also investigate nonlinear behavior and the response to infrequent events. In turn, test and measurement equipment is evolving drastically. Test equipment manufacturers are providing more capability by relying on the latest hardware and software for feature-rich and easy to use solutions with impressive raw performance. To understand how test equipment is evolving, Microwave Journal editors talked to representatives from Agilent Technologies, Anritsu, Keithley Instruments, Rohde & Schwarz and Tektronix. The following are some of their impressions on the state of RF test solutions in 2009. p>
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