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N5511A Phase Noise Test System, 50 kHz to 40 GHz

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Prices for: United States

* Prices are subject to change without notice. Prices shown are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP). Prices shown are exclusive of taxes.

Key Features & Specifications

Frequency range

  • RF input frequency range: 50 kHz to 40 GHz (>100 GHz with external mixers)
  • Carrier offset frequency range: .01 Hz to 160 MHz (up to 3 GHz with external signal analyzer)

Noise measurement functions

  • Absolute and residual phase noise using the phase detector (quadrature) method and cross-spectral averaging (cross-correlation) for sensitivity down to the kT thermal phase noise floor (-177 dBm/Hz)
  • AM noise from 10 MHz to 40 GHz
  • Baseband noise measurement from .01 Hz to 160 MHz
  • Pulsed measurements with both internal and external PRF filters

Additional capabilities and benefits

  • Designed for phase noise “Power Users” at the high-end of the market
  • Multi-segment hardware cross-correlation in Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)
  • Uses external references
  • Replacement for Keysight E5505A (familiar user interface that is fully SCPI code backwards compatible)
  • Extremely Fast and Flexible


The Keysight Technologies, Inc. N5511A Phase Noise Test System (PNTS) is a replacement for the gold-standard Keysight E5500 phase noise measurement system. PNTS is the foundation of test setups that can measure down to kT (-177 dBm/Hz). This is the theoretical limit for any measurement at room temperature –PNTS can measure at the limits of physics.

PNTS is designed for phase noise “Power Users” at the high-end of the market. These are phase noise experts that would like to fully characterize the phase noise (and AM noise and baseband noise) emerging from their radio frequency and microwave devices including oscillators, mixers, dividers, multipliers and amplifiers. Power users, including professionals responsible for developing high-performance aerospace and defense applications as well as cutting-edge device characterization for 5G and other wireless communication systems, need to validate the phase noise performance of their designs.

The N5511A’s flexible architecture lets you integrate exceptional reference sources—yours or ours—and confidently solve specific challenges faster. PNTS can accept any reference source that is electronically frequency tunable. This allows the use of the best available signal generators today (or even use copies of the DUT as references) and get better performance down the road as newer and higher performance signal generators come to market. The user can now start out with reference performance equal to or better than their device and add to test margin with the cross-correlation process.

PNTS performs multi-segment hardware cross-correlation in a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). This means the PNTS suppresses excess noise from the system itself or from reference sources and test accessories (amplifiers, attenuators etc.) through a computational process called cross-spectral averaging, or cross-correlation. This is done in FPGA hardware, rather than in software on a microprocessor (CPU) and is therefore much faster. The computations are performed on all segments of the trace in parallel and display this in real time on the display.

Beyond speed of measurement (with exceptional references and hardware cross-correlation), the PNTS is also extremely flexible. It can measure many types of noise (AM noise, baseband noise, pulsed, residual and absolute phase noise) and accept many different test accessories. The system gives access to both channels via an external power splitter -allowing the user to add test accessories for signal conditioning (i.e. amplifiers and attenuators) to each channel independently. This enables the N5511A PNTS to suppress any additive noise from these test accessories with cross-correlation. This allows the user to see only the true performance of their device on the system display.