National Instruments (NI), a software solution and hardware supplier targeting engineers and scientists for measurement, automation and embedded applications, successfully optimized the performance of a 20 Hz to 3.6 GHz downconverter, a key element used within NI’s PXIe-5665 Vector Signal Analyzer (VSA). Using AWR Corp.'s Microwave Office® and Visual System Simulator™ (VSS) software solutions, NI was able to optimize this downconverter and adhere to specific space constraints to successfully develop this high performance VSA.

As a key design challenge in this project, footprint limitations typically compromise performance parameters such as isolation and RF power, which were not options for development of the 5665 VSA. AWR’s software solutions allowed NI to model the downconverter within VSS and then select various components from the Modelithics library in Microwave Office.

“We have used AWR’s Microwave Office and Visual System Simulator throughout the process of developing the PXIe-5665 VSA,” said Jin Bains, R&D HW Director of RF Products, National Instruments. “The tools are extremely intuitive and they allow us to do critical RF design with a minimum number of iterations. We have also been very impressed with AWR’s level of support and documentation.”