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Rohde & Schwarz is extending the frequency range of its SMA100B RF and microwave signal generator up to 67GHz – and even to 72GHz in overrange operations, the company announced on 2 July.

The analogue SMA100B generates signals with low single sideband phase noise and high output power while simultaneously generating extremely low harmonics. With the new frequency options, it covers ranges up to 31.8, 40, 50 and 67GHz, supporting all relevant applications in the aerospace and defence, wireless communications and semiconductor industries. The SMA100B is a future-proof investment for all microwave applications and an ideal instrument for the characterisation of microwave components, devices and systems.

The 40 GHz instrument covers all major radar bands, and with the 67 GHz instrument, engineers now have a signal source that covers the emerging Q/V band used for very high throughput satellite feeder links. With the introduction of the 5G mobile network standard, initial commercial deployments will use frequencies up to 39 GHz or beyond, while the use of frequencies over 40 GHz is under investigation. The 67 GHz instrument also supports component testing in the 60 GHz frequency range for non-cellular standards such as IEEE 802.11ad, and in overrange operation for standards such as IEEE 802.11ay.

Thanks to its ultra-low phase noise option, the SMA100B can output the purest RF signals with a single sideband phase noise of –120 dBc/Hz and can act as an ideal local oscillator (LO) during radar system integration or in radar test systems. With the increase in sample rates of analogue to digital (ADC) and digital to analogue converters (DAC), clean RF carriers with low phase noise and low wideband noise are required. Low wideband noise of –150 dBc/Hz helps to measure the true performance of a device. With this ding instrument, operators can ensure their products and devices have a technological lead and a clear competitive advantage.

At microwave frequencies, attenuation from cables and test fixtures is usually a concern. The SMA100B offers different output power stages to compensate for these losses. Users can upgrade their 31.8, 40, 50 and 67 GHz instrument to ultra-high power performance via a keycode, without having to send the instrument back for service. With the ultra-high output power option, the instruments provide sufficient output power with extremely low harmonics, eliminating the need for external amplifiers and filters and simplifying setup at the same time. Equipped with the ultra-high output power option, a 40 GHz instrument delivers up to 27 dBm at 25 GHz, while a 67 GHz instrument provides up to 23 dBm at 40 GHz and up to 17 dBm at 67 GHz.

The signal generator provides more than 70 dB of uninterrupted RF level sweep without glitches or signal blanks. With an ultra-high output power option installed, the SMA100B is ideal for measuring the gain transfer curve or output saturation point of high power devices, such as amplifiers based on gallium arsenide (GaN) technology or traveling wave tube amplifiers (TWTA) used in modern satellites.

With the Scan AM software option istalled, the SMA100B can simulate amplitude variation from scanning radar antennas in order to perform receiver tests with modulation depths of more than 70 dB.

The SMA100B is included in the LegacyPro programme and can easily replace obsolete signal generators from Rohde and Schwarz or other manufacturers in automated test environments without the need to modify the test software.

The R&S SMA100B RF and microwave signal generator with all new options is now available. (Photo: Rohde & Schwarz)

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