With a frequency range up to 20 GHz the R&S SMA100B from Rohde & Schwarz is not only claimed to be the most powerful analog signal generator on the market, it is also the Most Valuable Product (MVP) in the June issue of Microwave Journal. The in-depth feature that starts on page 36 outlines how the R&S SMA100B is said to deliver signals with the lowest possible phase noise and the highest output power with extremely low harmonics. It is designed for the RF semiconductor, wireless communications and aerospace and defense industries.

The R&S SMA100B provides pure signals with low phase noise at all offset frequencies (1 GHz, -152 dBc/Hz, 20 kHz offset). A 6 GHz instrument generates up to 38 dBm RF output power, and a 20 GHz instrument generates up to 32 dBm in the microwave frequency range. Harmonics are extremely low across the entire frequency range; above 6 GHz they are even significantly lower than 70 dBc at 18 dBm output power. Nonharmonics are below 110 dBc at an output signal of 1 GHz.


R&S SMA100B high-end analog RF and microwave signal generator.

When launching the signal generator Andreas Pauly, Vice President Signal Generators, Audio Analyzers and Power Meters at Rohde & Schwarz, said, "The R&S SMA100B enables our customers to verify the true performance of their DUTs without the signal source affecting the results." He added, "The R&S SMA100B offers unprecedented performance, giving our customers a technological lead in bringing products to the market."

State-of-the-art ADCs and DACs require absolutely pure signals with the lowest phase and wideband noise possible. In addition to delivering extremely pure analog RF signals, the R&S SMA100B is said to be the world's only analog signal generator that can simultaneously provide a second, independently configurable, extremely pure and synchronized clock signal up to a frequency of 6 GHz.

As a result, users can characterize ADCs with a single analog signal generator. The extremely low wideband phase noise of the clock synthesizer output signal (100 MHz, -175 dBc/Hz, 30 MHz offset) makes it possible to measure the true signal-to-noise ratio of modern ADCs. In conjunction with the excellent wideband noise of the RF signal, this makes the new R&S SMA100B a suitable reference for characterizing high-quality ADCs.

"Rohde & Schwarz's introduction of its low phase noise R&S SMA100A signal generator - the predecessor of the R&S SMA100B – nearly a decade ago has helped us evaluate, test and specify our world-class A/D converters to their maximum capabilities," said Ron Goga, Test Director of High Speed A/D Converters, Analog Devices, Inc. "The close cooperation between our two companies and the timely release of the R&S SMA100B with extremely pure analog RF signals up to 20 GHz coincides with the release of Analog Devices' new RF series of converters, which includes the new AD9208 dual 3GSPS 14b A/D converter and AD9172 dual 12GSPS 16b D/A converter. The state-of-the-art performance of the R&S SMA100B allows us to continue to showcase our RF data converters in the best possible light."

Other applications include: as a clock source when characterizing DACs, to test advanced radar receivers and the evaluation of a base station's true interference suppression performance.

Also, the ultra high output power option enables the R&S SMA100B to provide up to 38 dBm of output power, eliminating the need for external amplifiers in automated test environments, while integrated, wear-free electronic step attenuators are now standard in the 20 GHz instruments.

Finally, the R&S SMA100B is included in the R&S Legacy Pro program and can easily replace obsolete signal generators from the company and other manufacturers in automated test environments without the need to modify test software.

For more information on the R&S SMA100B read the Most Valuable Product (MVP) in the June issue of Microwave Journal.