Microwave Journal

Anritsu Co. Redefines Broadband VNA Market

June 8, 2011

Anritsu Co. introduces the ME7838A broadband vector network analyzer (VNA) system that provides single-sweep coverage from 70 kHz to 110 GHz with operation from 40 kHz to 125 GHz, and utilizes an advanced design that eliminates the need for large, heavy millimeter wave (mmWave) modules and coax combiners. The ME7838A provides engineers, designers, and researchers with a system that conducts highly accurate and efficient broadband device characterization of active and passive microwave/mmWave devices, including those designed into emerging 60 GHz wireless personal area networks (WPAN), 40 Gbps and higher optical networks, 77 and 94 GHz automotive radar, digital radio links, 94 GHz imaging mmWave radar, and Ka-Band satellite communications.

The ME7838A is also well suited for conducting signal integrity measurements on emerging high speed designs, such as 28 Gbps serializer/deserializer (SerDes) transceivers used on servers, routers and other networking, computing and storage products. The ME7838A, equipped with the 3743A mmWave module, can accurately measure 28 Gbps SerDes transceivers at the higher frequencies required for proper analysis.

Among the many advantages of the ME7838A is improved RF performance, due to an industry first, real-time power leveling control that provides the best power accuracy and stability to power levels as low as -55 dBm. The approach employed in the ME7838A takes less time, is less tedious, and more accurate than the conventional method of adjusting power level in the millimeter band through the use of electronically controlled mechanical attenuators and power linearity correction tables. The VectorStar® broadband system provides an accurate and fast real-time method to sweep power for compression measurements. The result is that the ME7838A performs the most accurate gain compression measurements on high frequency active devices in the industry.

With the ME7838A design, mmWave modules can be mounted close to or directly on the wafer probe. This advantage, as well as the fact that the ME7838A transitions at 54 GHz, gives the broadband VNA the widest dynamic range in its class – 107 dB at 110 GHz and 92 dB at 125 GHz.

The ME7838A is the first broadband VNA to provide good raw directivity throughout the entire frequency range, due to its innovative design and elimination of the MUX combiners used in traditional systems. Best-in-class raw performance allows the ME7838A to offer engineers and designers improved calibration and consistent measurement stability of 0.1 dB magnitude and 0.5° phase across the entire 70 kHz to 110 GHz frequency range over a 24-hour period. Measurement speed is 55 ms for 201 points at 10 kHz IF bandwidth, 10 times faster than comparable broadband VNA systems.

The design of the ME7838A provides users with configuration advantages, as well. Its use of smaller, lighter RF and mmWave modules reduces the need for large bulky positioners that add expense. The modules are also more cost-efficient, and free bench space that can be used for other probes and devices necessary for wafer measurements.

In addition to characterizing high-frequency devices for communications designs, the overall performance of the ME7838A makes it well suited for many other applications. It is an excellent tool for analyzing devices used in spectroscopy based homeland security systems, as well as radio astronomy. Additionally, the ME7838A is a highly accurate tool for passive device designers in need of broadband coverage, such as connector and test fixture designers.

Delivery of the ME7838A is scheduled for Q3 of 2011.