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Agilent Technologiesí New Source-Corrected Noise-Figure Measurement Option Extends Single-Connection Multiple-Measurement Capabilities of the PNA-X Network Analyzer


Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced the availability of source-corrected noise-figure measurements for the premier-performance PNA-X network analyzer. This high-performance noise-figure measurement technique is the most accurate available today, and expands Agilentís leadership and excellence in noise-figure analysis. With this option built directly into the Agilent PNA-X, the solution provides a complete single-connection, multiple-measurement package for R&D and manufacturing engineers developing and testing low-noise transistors, amplifiers and transmit/receive (T/R) modules up to 26.5 GHz.

Noise-figure measurements are required to test devices in aerospace/defense and wireless communications systems. Often these measurements can be difficult to obtain, especially when the noise source cannot be directly connected to the device under test. This scenario creates a number of problems for todayís automatic test equipment and on-wafer/in-fixture test systems. Agilentís new source-corrected noise-figure option eliminates these problems by providing a unique single-connection solution for S-parameter and noise-figure measurements, along with many other measurements, including harmonics, compression and intermodulation distortion. The convenience of having a single connection for all measurements results in faster test setup, faster time-to-market, improved throughput in manufacturing, reduced wear on connectors and probes, and minimized risk of wafer damage.

Agilentís source-corrected noise-figure solution builds on the integrated, vector-error-corrected cold-source technique pioneered by the Agilent 8510 network analyzer. Using the PNA-X and an Agilent ECal module configured as an impedance tuner, the effects of imperfect system source match are removed, greatly improving the accuracy of the cold-source technique. This approach surpasses the accuracy provided by todayís Y-factor-based noise-figure analyzers or spectrum analyzer solutions.

The integrated source-corrected noise-figure option also offers excellent test times of 42 milliseconds per point, which can significantly reduce overall test times and further improve manufacturing throughput.

The release of high-performance, network-analyzer-based noise figure measurements reinforces Agilentís commitment to providing the widest range of noise-figure-measurement choices to meet a broad range of customer requirements. Agilentís noise figure portfolio includes PNA-X, Noise Figure Analyzer (NFA), and spectrum-analyzer-based solutions.

The Agilent PNA-X is the industry standard for microwave network analysis from 10 MHz to 26.5 GHz. This 2- or 4-port network analyzer offers a unique single-connection solution for two-tone and pulsed-RF measurements. An integrated second source, signal combining network, and internal pulse generators and modulators transform it from a pure network analyzer to an RF measurement hub for amplifiers and frequency converters. It leverages all existing features and capabilities of the PNA Series of network analyzers, including advanced connectivity via LAN, USB and GPIB; an easy-to-use Windows(tm)-based open architecture; an extensive embedded help system; and an advanced frequency converter measurement application (FCA).


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