Keysight Launches Next-Generation Vector Signal Generator for Dense Wideband Multichannel Applications

  • World’s first vector signal generator with an embedded reflectometer delivers extremely accurate signals
  • Compact 2U design with up to four channels of signal generation saves up to 75% of rack height
  • Signal generation up to 8.5 GHz with 960 MHz of modulation bandwidth per channel with best-in-class error vector magnitude and adjacent channel power ratio performance

SANTA ROSA, Calif. September 18, 2023 

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) introduces a new compact, four-channel vector signal generator (VSG) capable of signal generation up to 8.5 GHz with 960 MHz of modulation bandwidth per channel. The N5186A MXG is the next-generation high-performance VSG in Keysight's X-Series signal generator portfolio, offering the multiple, individually complex signals needed for dense wideband multichannel applications. 

Evolving technologies in wireless communications and radar applications demand higher frequency coverage using complex modulation schemes like MIMO, beamforming, and multiplexing to maximize data throughput. Testing these applications requires signal generation instruments that maintain excellent modulation quality when working with greater bandwidths. To achieve higher frequencies, greater bandwidths, and more complex modulation schemes, network and design engineers typically need more bench space for additional test equipment and fixtures.

The Keysight N5186A MXG addresses this challenge by simplifying complex setups with reduced external connections and up to four channels in a compact 2U form factor. As the world's first signal generator to feature an embedded reflectometer, the N5186A MXG delivers extremely accurate signals to the device under test (DUT).

The N5186A MXG offers the following benefits:

  • Compact design – Delivers multichannel capabilities in a 2U size that saves up to 75% of rack height.
  • High-performance capabilities – Employs direct digital synthesis (DDS) digital-to-analog converter (DAC) proprietary technology for bandwidth coverage up to 960 MHz with best-in-class error vector magnitude (EVM) and adjacent channel power ratio (ACPR) performance for lower signal distortion.
  • Testing convenience – Features an embedded reflectometer delivering accurate signals while enabling faster time-to-test and simplifying test setups.
  • Exceptionally low phase noise – Produces pure signals enabling high resolution radar system designs and high-throughput, next-generation communications systems.

By providing consistent and repeatable results, the N5186A MXG vector signal generator is an ideal solution for a broad range of commercial and aerospace defense applications. The MXG's custom DAC application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) use DDS to deliver precise signals to minimize distortion and meet the evolving standards for component and module design. In addition, the embedded reflectometer expedites the setup process to correct for the match of the DUT, enabling a faster time-to-test.

Joe Rickert, Vice President and General Manager, Keysight High Frequency Measurements Center of Excellence, said: "The groundbreaking N5186A MXG vector signal generator is a leap forward in terms of the performance and simplicity it offers design and network engineers. As the world's first signal generator with an embedded reflectometer, the high-performance MXG delivers powerful, precise signals. In combination with PathWave Signal Generation software, the MXG is optimized to be your ideal signal generator with the outstanding performance you desire, all in one easy-to-use solution."

Keysight will be demonstrating the high-performance vector signal generation capabilities of the N5186A MXG at EuMW 2023, Booth #107A.


About Keysight Technologies   

At Keysight (NYSE: KEYS), we inspire and empower innovators to bring world-changing technologies to life. As an S&P 500 company, we're delivering market-leading design, emulation, and test solutions to help engineers develop and deploy faster, with less risk, throughout the entire product lifecycle. We're a global innovation partner enabling customers in communications, industrial automation, aerospace and defense, automotive, semiconductor, and general electronics markets to accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Learn more at Keysight Newsroom and

Keysight Contact:

Paul Erwin, Americas/Europe
+1 248 430–9075

Fusako Dohi, Asia 
+81 42 660–2162

The new Keysight N5186A MXG Vector Signal Generator offers four channels of signal generation up to 8.5 GHz with 960 MHz of modulation bandwidth in a compact 2U design for dense wideband multichannel applications.