Microwave Journal

Tektronix SignalVu Analyzes RF Signals Up to 20 GHz Bandwidth

October 28, 2008

Tektronix Inc., a leading worldwide provider of test, measurement and monitoring instrumentation, announced SignalVu™ vector signal analysis software for DPO7000 and DPO/DSA70000 digital oscilloscope series, enabling engineers to easily characterize and validate wideband and microwave spectral events.

One of the paramount trends in today's communications and radar systems is the need for increased information bandwidth and accurate phase and magnitude characterization of wideband signals. SignalVu combines the signal analysis engine of the RSA6100A real-time spectrum analyzer with the powerful triggering capabilities of the industry’s widest bandwidth DPO7000 and DPO/DSA70000 digital oscilloscope series, enabling designers to evaluate complex signals up to 20 GHz without a need for an external down converter. The unique combination provides the functionality of a vector signal analyzer, a spectrum analyzer, and the powerful Pinpoint™ trigger system capabilities of a Tektronix oscilloscope — fully integrated within a single RF test package at a lower price than alternative solutions. SignalVu advances productivity for engineers working on wideband RF components and system design, integration and performance verification, or operations engineers working in networks or spectrum management.

“The Tektronix SignalVu software rapidly displays RF characteristics in the frequency, time, phase, and power domains without the need for manual setups,” said Lynne Camp, vice president, Performance Plus Instruments, Tektronix. “The software works with the oscilloscope user interface to provide the best of both worlds: market-leading real-time bandwidth and triggers from the oscilloscope and a simple user interface for RF measurements. SignalVu running on DPO7000 and DPO/DSA70000 digital oscilloscopes provides engineers with improved time to insight while validating digital RF circuits and systems.”

Both terrestrial and satellite communications systems are driven by demands for greater and greater data rates, which drive bandwidth. Wideband signals have real-time or information bandwidth greater than 500 MHz and cannot be demodulated with traditional spectrum analyzers. Typical bandwidths for wideband signals range from 500 MHz to 4 GHz and carrier frequencies that extend well into the microwave region. Tektronix oscilloscopes provide real-time acquisition of signals up to 20 GHz. SignalVu vector signal analysis software shows time variant behavior of these signals, speeding design validation for applications such as wideband radar, high data rate satellite links, or frequency hopping communications.

“Engineers designing radar systems need to make a lot of standard pulse measurements on test waveforms,” said David Erisman, chief technology officer, X-COM Systems. “Tektronix SignalVu can make 21 automated measurements on every pulse. This compares favorably to alternatives that offer only manual measurements, forcing users to locate and mark each pulse individually. Making traditional measurements readily available allows the engineer to verify the integrity of the data-set prior to post-processing. SignalVu running on a Tektronix scope will significantly improve ease of use and productivity for radar designers.”