Anritsu Co. introduces a nonlinear measurement system comprised of its award-winning VectorStar® broadband vector network analyzer (VNA), hardware and powerful nonlinear software that addresses the market demand for precise nonlinear vector analysis. The system allows engineers to accurately characterize the nonlinear behavior of RF devices, such as power amplifiers, used in emerging wireless communications designs.

The nonlinear analysis system offers the widest variety of configurations, provides the fastest measurement capabilities through real-time tuning, eliminates hours of load pull tuner calibration time, and performs accurate load pull measurements. Additionally, it is compatible with customer-owned tuners for low-cost upgrade paths, and can be incrementally configured for true balanced differential measurements of active devices, making the system cost-efficient.

The system achieves industry best performance because it integrates the performance of the VectorStar and special software to establish a new approach for acquiring data necessary to design and optimize nonlinear devices. The software was developed with High Frequency Engineering Sagl (HFE) and provides nonlinear information in a variety of formats to facilitate analysis, and simplify evaluating and designing RF devices. The hardware configuration provides the best nonlinear load pull data by offering passive or active tuners or a combination of both. This alternative also provides the lowest cost upgrade paths.

The Anritsu nonlinear system inserts a low-loss coupler between the device under test (DUT) and tuner to achieve industry best measurement accuracy of the source and load impedances at the DUT. VectorStar provides immediate display of the DUT’s performance based on changes in impedance, allowing for real-time tuning. The unique approach also eliminates the need for precalibrated tuners, and reduces the importance of tuner repeatability since the impedance can be monitored while the DUT is being measured.

The OpenWave Forum (OWF) is an alliance of RF and microwave companies that collaborate, create, and promote a unified and transparent data exchange format for large-signal nonlinear simulations, measurements, and models. As a founding member of the OWF, Anritsu contributes to the definition of the open standard data format and incorporates it into the MMSNT_LP software. The software can acquire a large number of data files while still providing a user-friendly environment for analysis. Structured as a multi-document, multi-view application, the software allows power sweep curves, time domain waveforms, load pull contour maps, eye diagrams, and I/V parameters to be displayed simultaneously on one screen.

The VectorStar nonlinear analysis system provides measured data of a nonlinear DUT, which can be used to design an optimum impedance matching network or exported to an electronic-design-automation (EDA) program, such as AWR’s Microwave Office®, for model simulation and development. The choice of immediate design or model simulation is superior to the black-box-only approach used by other solutions that always require an EDA program.

Existing VectorStar VNA users can easily upgrade to a nonlinear system by simply adding the software, test set and components. The only requirement is that the external loop and receiver offset options are installed in the VectorStar VNA.

US pricing starts at $231,875 for the 20 GHz nonlinear system. Delivery is 12 to 16 weeks.