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September 20, 2007 Measurement Solutions Series Newsletter

Sept. 21, 2007
Microwaves & RF UPDATE | September 20, 2007 Jack Browne, Technical Director Improve Noise-Figure Measurement Accuracy Use ...
Microwaves & RF UPDATE | September 20, 2007

Jack Browne, Technical Director

Improve Noise-Figure Measurement Accuracy

Use Agilent Technologies' PNA-X vector network analyzer with source-corrected noise-figure measurement capability to surpass the accuracy of traditional "hot-cold" Y-factor measurements with a noise-figure analyzer or spectrum analyzer. Read all about it in the White Paper, "Making Source Corrected Noise-Figure Measurements," sponsored by Agilent Technologies and written by Agilent's David Ballo, in the September issue of Microwaves & RF. Or simply click on the link below for a free copy:




What's All The Noise About?
By Jack Browne, MWRF Technical Director

Noise is a part of every electronic device and circuit. Electrons do not travel in perfectly controlled paths, and these random electron motions, along with the effects of temperature, result in a certain level of noise. Of course, noise can spring from outside sources, including the radiated electromagnetic forms from power lines that anyone with a car radio has suffered through while driving under or near those power lines. Noise can't be avoided, but it can be characterized. Knowing the level of noise in a device or circuit helps to work around it in a final design, and Agilent Technologies has made great strides recently in improving the quality of the measurements used to characterize noise.

Agilent author David Ballo has detailed these advances in noise-figure measurements in the latest addition to the company's Measurement Solution Series of educational White Papers. Entitled "Making Source-Corrected Noise-Figure Measurements," the four-page White Paper appears in both the September issue of Microwaves & RF as well as on the white-paper section of the magazine's website at www.mwrf.com. It discusses the use of an Agilent PNA-X vector network analyzer with an ECal calibration module. By essentially using the ECal module as an impedance tuner, and applying vector error correction, it is possible to use the analyzer for making source-corrected noise-figure measurements.

Since the impedance match at the source of a device under test (DUT) is critical to the accuracy of noise-figure measurements, this new approach can deliver accuracy that exceeds even dedicated noise-figure measurement receivers. It can't get rid of the noise, but knowing how much noise is there certainly helps in the overall design process. For more information, visit the white paper section of www.mwrf.com.

Looking For A Specific Product?

Whether its an amplifier, attenuator, filter, mixer, or switch, or any other RF/microwave component, or printed-circuit board (PCB), or transistor, or software, or test equipment, you'll find a source in the Microwaves & RF Product Data Directory. Whether in print, or online, the Microwaves & RF Product Data Directory will help you find the best products and suppliers for your application.

Start your search online at www.mwrfpdd.com



Agilent Improves Noise-Figure Measurements

Agilent Technologies has developed an improved approach to noise-figure measurements. By applying the new source-corrected noise-figure (NF) measurement capability of the Agilent PNA-X vector network analyzers (VNAs), the benefits of vector error correction enjoyed for years by those making S-parameter measurements can also be shared by those making noise-figure measurements. The technique combines the VNA with the company's ECal electronic calibration module as an impedance tuner, allowing the analyzer to make vector-error-corrected noise-figure measurements based on the highly accurate cold-source technique. The ECal module helps the analyzer find the optimum source impedance for noise measurements on a device under test, such as a low-noise amplifier (LNA), at frequencies from 10 MHz to 26.5 GHz. It also enables measurements with a single connection, saving measuring time and wear on test connectors. The error-corrected approach features fast measurement time of 42 ms/point and surpasses the accuracy provided by Y-factor-based NF analyzers or spectrum analyzers used for NF measurements. The PNA-X can also be specified with an integrated second source, signal combining network, and internal pulse generators for a variety of measurements on amplifiers and frequency-translation devices.

Agilent Technologies

Free Handbook Helps Test Engineers

Agilent Technologies has announced the availability of a new 200-page, full-color technical guidebook for test engineers. It provides an overview on building test systems, including a strong emphasis on the local-area-network (LAN) based LAN Extensions for Instrumentation (LXI) standard. The handbook covers test system design, instrumentation and software selection, how to maximum system throughput, and networking options. To download a free copy of literature number 5989-5367EN, click on the link below:


More News

Genesys2007.08 Software Is Shipping

Agilent Technologies has announced that the latest version of the Genesys computer-aided-engineering (CAE) software, Genesys2007.08, is now shipping. The software provides realistic statistical component variations as part of its simulations, along with yield optimization at a price that is comparable with consumer-oriented computational software. According to Daren McClearnon, Product Marketing Manager with Agilent's EEsof EDA Division, "The inspiration for our enhanced statistical capability originated with one of our larger customers using six-sigma design techniques." The new software allows RF and microwave companies to adopt high-yield techniques for their own design and manufacturing processes.

Agilent EEsof

AVX Releases High-Rel Catalog

AVX Corporation has made available its high-reliability catalog of passive components and interconnects for defense, aerospace, and space applications. The catalog showcases the company's comprehensive range of rugged, military-qualified products including ceramic capacitors, resistors, filters, integrated passive components, timing devices, modules, and connectors. All of the products are designed for use at wide temperature extremes and in harsh environments.

AVX Corporation

Narda Introduces LNA Modules To 18 GHz

Narda Microwave-East has introduced a comprehensive line of low-noise-amplifier (LNA) modules with frequency coverage to 18 GHz and noise figures as low as 1.8 dB. The LNA modules are suitable for a wide range of applications, including broadband test equipment and aerospace and defense systems. They meet MIL-STD-883 requirements. As an example of the new LNA module line, model NEL-0618T620-5MH provides at least +20 dBm output power at 1-dB compression from 6 to 18 GHz with at least 28 dB gain and noise figure of 4 dB. The temperature-compensated LNA module operates from a single +12-VDC supply and draws less than 150 mA current.

Narda Microwave-East

MITEQ Adds Broadband PA

MITEQ has augmented its line of broadband power amplifiers with the model AMF-2B-00030300-15-32P, which provides 2 W (+33 dBm) output power from 30 MHz to 3 GHz with 20 dB gain. The compact amplifier measures 2 x 2 x 0.5 inches and runs on a +24-VDC supply. It is supplied with SMA connectors and can be bolted onto a heatsink for proper thermal dissipation. It has a typical noise figure of 8 dB and maximum input VSWR of 1.50:1. The PA draws 600 mA maximum current.


Check Out The Latest On Components and Test

Read Microwaves & RF's blogs on components and test and measurement to get the latest on technical details and product news. Each blog highlights new product developments as well as new white papers, application notes, and useful (usually free) design software. See for yourself, and read them today.

Visit www.mwrf.com

Microwave Meetings

First-Pass System Success Application Workshops
(Sponsored by Ansoft)
October 19, 2007
Newton Marriott Hotel
Newton, MA

70th ARFTG Microwave Measurement Symposium
November 27-30, 2007
Tempe Mission Palms Hotel
Tempe, AZ

2007 Asia-Pacific Microwave Conference
December 11-14, 2007
Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel
Bangkok, Thailand

2008 IEEE Radio and Wireless Symposium (with WAMICON)
January 22-24, 2008
Orlando, FL

2008 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC)
February 3-7, 2008
San Francisco Marriot Hotel
San Francisco, CA

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