Keysight Technologies Inc. today announced new X-Series signal analyzers (including UXA, PXA, MXA, EXA, and CXA models) that provide enhanced capabilities for developers creating next-generation devices. In addition, X-COM Systems today introduced the IQC5255B RF record and playback system that combines with the new N9040B UXA Series or N9030B PXA-B Series analyzers to form an integrated system for capturing, analyzing, and characterizing signals over periods from seconds to days with 16 bits of resolution at carrier frequencies up to 50 GHz with 100% probability of intercept.
Cherisa Kmetovicz, product manager for communications measurement solutions at Keysight, said the new analyzers are targeting “accessible performance” to help users easily link cause and effect. A notable feature is the multitouch user interface (UI), which streamlines measurement setup. The instruments retain the familiar X-Series menu structure but provide optimization for touch to allow completion of most operations in two touches or less.
Support for gesture-driven controls, such as pinching, dragging, and swiping, makes analysis more immediate and intuitive. The interface offers consistent operation across the UXA, PXA, MXA, EXA, and CXA (with the UXA being the highest performance instrument while the CXA offers the lowest cost), so learning one means knowing them all.
The new instruments also offer performance improvements and feature enhancements address emerging needs in aerospace, defense, and wireless communications.
In the wireless space, Kmetovicz said, the instruments help meet challenges related to moving to new frequency bands, managing dynamic signal environments in a crowded spectrum subject to interference, and assuring spectral purity by reducing interference between subcarriers in complex OFDM signals.
For aerospace and defense applications, she said, the instruments can accommodate frequency-hopping signals and help test radar systems aiming to locate small, low-mobility targets in dense urban environments.
To help developers create next-generation devices, the flagship UXA now offers frequency coverage to 44 or 50 GHz and integrated 1 GHz analysis bandwidth. The PXA now offers benchmark phase-noise performance of -136 dBc/Hz at 1 GHz, 10 kHz offset, and real-time bandwidth of 510 MHz with spurious-free dynamic range greater than 75 dBc over the full span. Kmetovicz said external mixers can extend performance up to 1.1 THz.
“These advances in usability and performance show that Keysight is once again affirming its leadership in signal analysis,” said Mario Narduzzi, marketing manager of Keysight’s Communications Solutions Group. “When engineers choose the X-Series, they get accessible performance that puts them closer to the answers they need to achieve their own breakthroughs at RF, microwave and millimeter-wave frequencies.”
To characterize signal interactions in dense radar environments, the UXA and PXA support real-time data streaming at up to 255 MHz with 16-bit resolution at 300 MS/s. When coupled with a data recorder from solution-partner X-COM Systems, the analyzers support real-time acquisition with up to 15 TB (> 3 hours) of capture memory.
X-Series applications with multitouch simplify complex operations with ready-to-use measurements for pulse analysis, analog demodulation, noise figure, phase noise, LTE/LTE-Advanced, and W-CDMA. Kmetovicz said the applications for wireless support LTE and LTE-Advanced FDD and TDD as well as W-CDMA/HPSA+ while providing flexible downlink and uplink measurement flexibility; the UI simplifies manipulation of EVM traces. Updates to the LTE/LTE-A application simplify characterization of systems that use carrier aggregation by supporting 256QAM and providing visible configuration of all component carriers.
The new pulse application accelerates the development and verification of chirped wideband signals, such as those used in advanced radars. Kmetovicz said the application helps identify specific in complex environments with real-time frequency-mask, time-qualified, or level triggering. The application automates the analusis of power, time, frequency, and phase and supports autodetection of modulation per pulse (CW, LFM, triangular FM, and Barker code).
Keysight also introduced the N897xB NFA X-Series noise figure analyzer, which builds on the functionality of the X-Series. It includes a larger display, multitouch UI, and improved performance compared with its predecessors. These capabilities enhance a user’s ability to make fast, accurate and repeatable noise-figure measurements up to 40 GHz with a dedicated solution.
X-Series signal analyzers with multi-touch are available now with list prices ranging from $13,284 for a 3-GHz CXA (N9000B) to $115,743 for a 50-GHz UXA (N9040B). Pricing for NFA X-Series models starts at $39,371 for the 3.6 GHz model (N8973B).
The new X-Series analyzers are the first Keysight instruments based on a new design, also announced today. The design offers advances in multitouch user interfaces and an environmentally responsible build and re-use model.
“We are excited about the modern design and enhanced user experience now available in our products,” said Jay Alexander, senior vice president and chief technology officer for Keysight. “From the Keysight racing stripe that makes our products stand out, to the advanced technology behind our new multitouch user interface, this is yet another important step in demonstrating our dedication to worldwide communications, semi-conductor and aerospace design and test leadership.”
The design enhancements include
- application of leading edge materials, including anodized metal exterior, chamfered edges, precision machining;
- benchtop instrument migration to dynamic interactive display with multi-touch (pinch/zoom) graphical user interface replaces dominance of keypad for modern measurement experience;
- efficient, streamlined measurement set-ups speed time to measurement;
- 100% recyclable packaging, now labeled for more efficient recycling;
- take-back programs available for product reuse and recycling; and
- minimized waste, with current production inventory to be depleted before new products roll out.
X-COM RF record and playback
The new IQC5255B from X-COM Systems LLC, a subsidiary of Bird Technologies, expands the signal-capture bandwidth of the company’s IQC5000 Series of RF record and playback systems to 255 MHz to address the increasingly-demanding requirements for evaluating the performance of electronic-warfare, radar, and communication systems. In addition, the IQC5255B combined with the new Keysight N9040B UXA Series or N9030B PXA-B Series signal analyzers forms an integrated, comprehensive solution for capturing, analyzing, and characterizing signals over periods ranging from seconds to days with 16 bits of resolution at carrier frequencies up to 50 GHz with 100% probability of intercept.
The compact IQC5255B is designed to be used in the field or in laboratory and production environments, where its signal-capture files can be analyzed using signal-analysis and characterization tools from X-COM and Keysight. Typical applications include recording, storing, and playing back RF signals for threat analysis and to build libraries and system validation in electronic warfare systems, as well as radar system validation in the laboratory or on a radar test range. It is also suited for interference analysis as well as spectrum monitoring and management.
When combined with the Keysight UXA signal analyzer, the IQC5255B provides spurious-free dynamic range (SFDR) of 78 dB in 255 MHz of bandwidth, making it possible to detect weak signals in the presence of stronger ones. When recording a single channel at its full 255-MHz bandwidth, the system can continuously record, store, and play back more than 50 minutes of uninterrupted IQ data in a single channel or two time-synchronous channels of 160-MHz bandwidth. By adding external data packs up to a total of 15 TB, the IQC5255B will continuously record or play back a single channel for more than three hours at full bandwidth. Dual-channel record and playback makes it possible for users to note differences in timing between the two data streams to evaluate overall system performance.
The IQC5255B is designed to work seamlessly with the Keysight UXA Series signal analyzers to create a turnkey system with the analyzer acting as a single point of control for both instruments. The signal analyzer controls all IQC5255B functions directly, so there is no need for an external controller such as a laptop computer along with associated cables. This not only simplifies system setup and operation but eliminates issues associated with bringing an unsecured computer into a secure location.
The computer in the UXA Series instruments can also incorporate X-COM’s Spectro-X signal-analysis software and RF Editor drag-and drop graphical editing tool, as well as Keysight’s 89600B vector signal analysis software and Mathworks’ MATLAB. Spectro-X can simultaneously analyze up to four files of any size over any range of frequencies with file alignment of ±1 sample, allowing the user to zoom in on signals of interest contained within files containing hundreds of thousands of emitters.
Among the other features of the IQC5255B are the ability to offload signal files to the UXA Series via eight lanes of PCIe 2.0 at greater than 800 MB/s; precise event triggering with markers of time and location that makes it easy to locate signals of interest in a large data files; pulsed signal characterization for quickly finding signals of interest; measurement tools that enable rapid characterization of CW, linear FM, and custom waveforms; and GPS and IRIG-B event stamps that add situational awareness to the data.
The IQC5255B is available from X-COM Systems and is priced from $65,000.