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Reference measurement system to characterise next-generation RF PA modules

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By eeNews Europe

The reference solution, which performs S-parameter, harmonic distortion, power and demodulation measurements, enables rapid, full characterisation of next-generation power amplifier modules, such as a power amplifier-duplexer (PAD). The Reference Solution is optimised for high throughput and highly accurate measurement quality. Keysight says it is only small footprint, full characterisation solution for design validation and product test of the RF power amplifier, as well as all of the passive devices surrounding the power amplifier, such as filters and duplexers.

The digital pre-distortion (DPD) algorithms it employs are built cooperation with wireless manufacturing customers and insights gained from Keysight’s SystemVue simulation and N7614B Signal Studio for Power Amplifier Test software applications. This enables it to provide consistent measurements, from simulation to manufacturing, for next-generation power amplifier modules.

Proven DPD algorithms, with lookup table (LUT) and memory polynomial capability, complement the solution’s envelope tracking (ET) test capability. The solution includes fast waveform download, tight synchronisation and automated calibration, which are critical for ET test. The Reference Solution supports multiple vendors, such as the Signadyne SD AOU-H3353 single-slot, high-speed PXIe AWG and enables the fastest envelope generation available while reducing the test footprint.

Keysight comments that PADs are an increasingly popular alternative to more traditional power amplifier architecture because along with lower power consumption and greater efficiency and value, they allow device designers to save and optimise space by replacing multiple, discrete components with a single, compact module. PADs are also rapidly gaining in popularity with device designers because of the trend toward increasing band counts due to the implementation of new LTE networks.

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In the PXI configuration, the M937xA PXIe vector network analyser and the M9393A PXIe performance VSA, enable the full characterisation capability, including key high-density, high-speed S-parameter measurements and high-speed harmonics distortion testing up to 27 GHz.

The solution’s open source example code is optimised for PA characterisation. Its design facilitates rapid evaluation of the test configuration and reduces time to first measurement. With these new capabilities, engineers can improve device performance with DPD and ET; decrease device size and cost amidst increasing device complexity and test requirements; integrate more capabilities in PAD-type devices; and reduce the size of test stations used to test multiple or complex devices.

Keysight [formerly Agilent] Technologies; www.keysight.com/find/solution-padvt

Signadyne is a company based in Barcelona, specialised in control, test and measurement solutions. With a strong focus on high-performance and real-time systems, Signadyne provides FPGA-based generators and digitisers for applications where speed and synchronisation is critical.


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