Rohde & Schwarz: High-End MW-RF Signal Generator offers High Output Power

Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) have released a new flagship high-end signal generator product which has a frequency range up to 20GHz. The new instrument covers the frequency ranges of both the existing SMA100A, which covers the RF range up to 6GHz, and the 20GHz microwave frequency SMF100A, in a single unit.

“The SMA100B is going to redefine what high end means in this industry,” said Andreas Pauly, Vice President of signal generators, audio analysers and power meters at R&S. “[It] has unique performance, lowest phase noise, no spurs at highest output power... it helps our customers to have a technological lead and to be able to lead the design of high end products.”

The performance of the SMA100B is certainly industry-leading, featuring high and ultra-high output power options. A 6 GHz instrument can generate up to 38 dBm RF output power, while a 20 GHz instrument can generate 32 dBm. In order to achieve this, R&S developed brand new internal components, saying that no off-the-shelf parts could achieve their high standards.

Phase noise performance features include improved close-in phase noise and an ultra low phase noise feature (100 MHz, –175 dBc/Hz, 30 MHz offset) that is ideal for measuring the signal to noise ratios of modern analogue to digital converters (ADCs). The SMA100B can also provide a second, independently configurable synchronised clock signal up to 6 GHz, such that ADCs can be characterised with this single analogue signal generator.

Harmonics are extremely low across the entire frequency range; above 6 GHz they are lower than 70 dBc at 18 dBm output power. Nonharmonics are below 110 dBc at an output signal of 1 GHz.

The high output power available means the SMA100B can be used to replace external amplifiers in automated test equipment (ATE) applications. For older ATE systems, the SMA100B has a built-in legacy program which can emulate legacy generators, including those from other vendors; it’s as simple as selecting the legacy model from a list and loading your same test program. The high output power can be limited in software on the SMA100B in order to avoid damage to the device under test (DUT). Both the 6GHz and 20GHz instruments integrate an electronic step attenuator which maximises the lifetime of the systems, even when millions of test cycles are required.

There is a 2U high version available for ATE environments, or a 3U high version for use on the desktop, which features a bigger 7” touch screen display and more front panel connectors for ease of access. A personal user menu is also available which lists frequently used functions in order to cut configuration times.

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