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White Papers

Increase Power Amplifier Test Throughput with the Keysight PXIe Vector Signal Generator and Analyzers

August 18, 2014
Read this application note for an overview of the key challenges in testing power amplifiers and front end modules with envelope tracking. Learn about how to reduce test cost, achieve fast throughput, and maintain high test quality using the modular Keysight M9381A PXIe VSG, and the M9391A or M9393A PXIe VSA, as well as how to perform high speed harmonic test using the M9393A PXIe VSA.

Simplified Millimeter Wave Intermodulation Distortion Measurements

July 16, 2014
The theories and operations of intermodulation distortion (IMD) are well understood. It is one of the key metrics in categorizing the linearity of active and passive electronic components and devices. There are various instruments available from leading equipment manufacturers to perform IMD measurement in the RF and microwave region - two signal generators, a power combiner and a spectrum analyzer; a vector network analyzer with a signal generator and a power combiner. However, extending the IMD measurement to the millimeter wave and sub-millimeter wave frequency ranges is quite another matter.

Cryogenic Probing Advances Development of New Technologies and Materials

July 16, 2014
A newly developed superconducting RF MEMS varactor provides additional capabilities for digital transmission, including tunable filters for improved signal selectivity and noise rejection. Development of the superconducting circuitry at cryogenic temperatures takes advantage of advanced probe station technology from Lake Shore.

Practical Considerations for Low Noise Amplifier Design

July 16, 2014
Low noise amplifiers (LNAs) play a key role in radio receiver performance. The success of a receiver's design is measured in multiple dimensions: receiver sensitivity, selectivity, and proclivity to reception errors. The RF design engineer works to optimize receiver front-end performance with a special focus on the first active device. This paper considers device- and board-level variables that affect LNA performance and confront the engineer at each level of design in accommodating the various requirements of specific applications.

Thermal Management of High Frequency Circuits by Blind Hole Technology

July 16, 2014
In this paper, we present a versatile and robust fabrication method to build circuit boards used for RF and microwave telecommunication devices over a large frequency of interest from MHz up to several tens of GHz range.

Output Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) Test Using the TEGAM 1830A RF Power Meter

June 17, 2014
Do you have confidence that your 50 MHz reference port Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) is within specifications? It is important to have this confidence and by adhering to these procedures, you can be certain that your 50 MHz reference is within the manufactures tolerance!

Radar Waveforms for A&D and Automotive Radar

June 17, 2014
This White Paper provides a view on radar waveforms for Aerospace and Defence and commercial radar systems. Waveforms such as pulse and pulse-Doppler signal, continuous wave and frequency shift keying waveforms are described. It also shows continuous waveform trends designed for specific needs and application differences of continuous wave radar compared to pulse radar systems.

An IQ Demodulator-Based IF-to-Baseband Receiver with IF and Baseband Variable Gain and Programmable Baseband Filtering

June 17, 2014
A direct conversion architecture for a receiver is presented in this paper. Direct conversion radios perform just one frequency translation, compared to a superheterodyne receiver that can perform several frequency translations. One frequency translation is advantageous because it reduces receiver complexity and power consumption, it avoids image rejection issues and unwanted mixing products, and it offers high selectivity (ACRR).

Techniques for Precise Cable and Antenna Measurements in the Field Using Agilent FieldFox Handheld Analyzers

June 17, 2014
This application note introduces the practical aspects of cable and antenna testing. It covers interpreting measurement results and instrument operation including calibration options such as CalReady and QuickCal using FieldFox configured as a cable and antenna analyzer. Measurement examples are provided showing techniques for measuring insertion loss, return loss, and locating faults in a transmission system.

Assessing the Parameters that Influence Reliability in GaN-Based Solid-State Power Amplifier Architectures

May 19, 2014
Accel-RF Instruments President, Roland Shaw, addresses the significant parameters that affect the reliability assessment of solid state power amplifiers utilizing GaN HEMT semiconductors. This tradeoff study contrasts three architectures of SSPA designs to demonstrate how a chosen topology may affect the mean time to failure of the resulting amplifier module. The example details the decision process for a multi-stage GaN HEMT Ka-band frequency SSPA utilizing the following topologies: Septum binary combiner, Waveguide radial combiner and Parallel-plate combiner. These architectures are viable candidates for Ka-band SSPA designs due to the low-loss combining techniques used in the implementation of the balanced output stage.

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