#NIWeek: PXI RF test performance extended

New vector signal analyser delivers industry’s best performance and surpasses box instrumentation

We attended a press event organised by National Instruments and held in the Royal Society’s historic headquarters in London. It was entitled Tools should not limit discovery and innovation. There were a number of product releases made under embargo at that event as the products were to be launched during the NI Week in early August, some two weeks later.

National Instruments has introduced a 14 GHz version of its NI PXIe-5665 high-performance RF vector signal analyser (VSA) to its RF and Wireless Test Products range. This delivers best-in-class dynamic range and accuracy in a cost-effective PXI form factor. The new VSA features industry-leading phase noise and dynamic range, regardless of form factor, including traditional rack-and-stack instruments. Because of its PXI platform, the VSA can deliver measurement speeds up to 20 times faster than box instruments and for less cost. Additionally, it takes advantage of multicore computing architectures and parallel programming capabilities through NI LabVIEW system design software. It also offers peer-to-peer data streaming for signal processing and a flexible multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) architecture for phase-coherent measurements. Such features make it ideal for demanding RF test applications including radio detection and ranging (RADAR), satellite, radio and harmonic testing.

“The new NI PXIe-5665 VSA gives ST-Ericsson the performance and accuracy we need for 3GPP RF IC design validation in our characterisation labs,” said Sylvain Bertrand, RF Broadband Validation Manager at ST-Ericsson. “At the bottom line, the VSA reduces our system cost while increasing flexibility and decreasing physical bulk compared to our previous box solutions.”

NI releases best on class 14GHz VSA!

The VSA offers the same industry-leading performance as the 3.6 GHz version of the NI PXIe-5665 while extending the capabilities into the 14 GHz frequency range. The VSA consists of the new NI PXIe-5605 downconverter, the NI PXIe-5653 local oscillator synthesiser and the NI PXIe-5622, a 150 MS/s intermediate frequency (IF) digitiser. This combination creates an ideal solution for spectrum and wideband vector signal analysis over a frequency range of 20 Hz to 14 GHz with analysis bandwidths up to 50 MHz. It features the industry’s best third-order intercept point at +24 dBm with an absolute amplitude accuracy of ±0.10 dB as well as an impressive error vector magnitude of 0.33 percent for a 256 QAM modulated signal. It also delivers an exceptionally low phase noise of -129 dBc/Hz at a 10 kHz offset at 800 MHz and an average noise level of -165 dBm/Hz.

Because the new 14 GHz NI PXIe-5665 joins an industry portfolio of more than 1,500 software-defined PXI modular instruments, engineers can mix and match the VSA with a variety of modules and control an entire automated test system with LabVIEW system design software. Engineers can take advantage of the VSA’s software-defined performance with RF software toolkits for LabVIEW, NI LabWindows™/CVI and .NET to test the latest RADAR, satellite, radio and numerous RF and wireless communication standards including GSM/EDGE, WCDMA, LTE, WLAN and WiMAX.

The 14 GHz NI PXIe-5665 VSA will be available for shipping October 2011.

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About Eoin Ó Riain

Sé Read-out iris uaithoibríoch, ionstraim agus stiúradh na hÉireann agus an "Signpost" a áit ar an idirlín! Read-out is Ireland's journal of automation, instrumentation and control and the Instrumentation Signpost is it's web presence.
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