Microwave Journal

National Instruments to Demonstrate PXI Test Solution for RF Power Amplifiers

October 11, 2011

National Instruments announced that it will demonstrate a complete PXI-based solution for RF power amplifier (PA) validation and production test at European Microwave Week (booth 517) in Manchester, England. The PXI solution exemplifies the NI commitment to meeting engineers’ needs for fast, efficient and accurate test and measurement solutions. It also comes at a time when, according to Frost & Sullivan, a leading global market research firm, the PXI market is expected to cross the $1 B mark by 2017, and NI is paving the way with its continuously advancing PXI modular instrumentation.

“The PXI market is growing, gaining share over rack-and-stack instruments, and National Instruments is the undeniable leader in PXI-based test and measurement equipment,” said Jessy Cavazos, Industry Manager for Measurement and Instrumentation at Frost & Sullivan. “This is not surprising considering the breadth and depth of its PXI product portfolio.”

The NI PXI solution for power amplifier test integrates a variety of mixed-signal, high performance instruments to meet the demanding requirements for fast and precise PA test in validation and production environments. The demonstration features the latest NI PXI instruments including the NI PXIe-5665 14 GHz vector signal analyzer, the NI PXIe-6556 digital per pin parametric measurement unit (PPMU), the NI PXIe-4154 battery simulator and the NI PXIe-5186 12.5 GS/s, 5 GHz digitizer. With these PXI-based modular instruments, engineers can perform a wide variety of PA tests and measurements such as power versus time (PVT), error vector magnitude (EVM), adjacent channel leakage ratio (ACLR), current leakage, harmonics and open-shorts tests.

The solution joins an expansive selection of NI PXI tools, which currently includes more than 450 different PXI modules to address virtually any engineering challenge. It builds on this success and on the technical advantages of the PXI platform, including advanced timing and synchronization capabilities, which make it possible for engineers to share triggers and clocks between instruments. Such features, combined with the solution’s high speed PXI Express bus, result in test speeds that are up to 10 times faster than traditional box solutions. National Instruments also provides software to address the wide variety of RF standards including LTE, GSM/EDGE, W-CDMA, WLAN, WiMAX, ZigBee and Bluetooth.

Additionally, in July 2011, National Instruments completed its acquisition of AWR, a leading supplier of electronic design automation (EDA) software, including AWR Microwave Office, for designing RF and high frequency components and systems. The acquisition strengthens both the NI PXI and AWR Microwave Office platforms as complementary solutions for the entire RF development spectrum, helping increase productivity from design through production test, including power amplifier design and test applications. AWR will be demonstrating its latest design tools at European Microwave Week booth 103.