Anticipation of 5G was evident throughout the 2017 IMS show floor in the form of a number of new instruments reaching into the millimeter-wave range. Keysight Technologies (booth No. 848) made a splash in the 5G wave with their introduction of the M9383A PXIe signal generator (see photo), an instrument as capable of generating aerospace and defense waveforms as creating wideband 5G signals. With a frequency range extending to 44 GHz and modulation bandwidth of 1 GHz, the scalable signal generator provides 1% error vector magnitude (EVM) performance in keeping with expectations set by Verizon pre-5G standard waveforms. The signal generator teams with Keysight’s Signal Studio or SystemVue software to create advanced custom waveforms as needed for 5G and for aerospace and defense applications at higher frequencies.
Not to be outdone, Rohde & Schwarz showed its new R&S SMA100B analog signal generator with outstanding spectral purity at booth No. 1348. Available in versions covering frequency ranges of 8 kHz to 3 GHz, 6 GHz, 12.75 GHz, or 20 GHz, the signal generator features phase noise of a mere −152 dBc/Hz offset 20 kHz from a 1-GHz carrier. It delivers as much as +38 dBm output power at 6 GHz and still +32 dBm output power at 20 GHz with low harmonic and spurious signal levels for testing the latest commercial communications and military radar systems.
On the analysis side, Anritsu at booth No. 1116 introduced the MS2850A signal analyzer, with two models reaching top frequencies of 32.0 and 44.5 GHz with EVM performance of better than 1%. The signal analyzer features a 1-GHz analysis bandwidth for handling the complex modulated signals associated with 5G, along with low phase noise and noise figure for emulating receiver performance. The analyzer maintains amplitude flatness of ±1.2 dB at 28 GHz with spurious-free dynamic range (SFDR) of −70 dBc. As with the signal generator, this signal analyzer is supported by a number of software packages to help automate complex measurements.