Vector Network Analyzer

Technical Overviews

Make linear and nonlinear device characterizations in BOTH frequency and time-domain measurements with confidence. To achieve the most accurate results using Keysight vector network analyzers (VNA). Select from Keysight’s broad offering of VNAs for the performance and form-factor that best meet your application needs.

Gain Deeper Confidence

Whether you’re testing active or passive components, the right mix of speed and performance gives you an edge. In R&D, Keysight’s vector network analyzers (VNAs) provide a level of measurement integrity that helps you transform deeper understanding into better designs. On the production line, our cost-effective VNAs provide the throughput and repeatability you need to transform parts into competitive components.

Keysight VNA Solutions

Keysight offers a variety of vector network analyzers with frequency, performance, and versatility to meet your measurement needs.

To help you determine which solution is right for you, this selection guide provides an overview and side-by-side comparison of all Keysight network analyzers. In addition, you will find typical network analyzer applications, the measurement needs for those applications, and how Keysight’s network analyzers meet those needs.

Active Component Evaluation and Test

Measurement challenges

Use Keysight vector network analyzers to characterize and test active components, such as amplifiers, mixers, and frequency converters. They can easily measure commonly specified amplifier parameters such as gain, gain and phase compression, isolation, return loss, and group delay. Analysis of harmonic distortion helps to understand an amplifier’s nonlinear behavior and requires the receiver to be tuned at a different frequency from the source. Frequency-translating devices, such as mixers and frequency converters present unique measurement challenges because their input and output frequencies are different. Network analyzers used for testing these devices need to have a frequency-offset mode (FOM) to detect output frequencies different from the input.

Using additional instruments and signal conditioning devices for testing for two-tone, higher input and output power, or for other types of measurements including noise figure, EVM and phase noise often results in a more complicated test system that requires multiple stations.

Keysight solutions

Keysight offers a wide range of flexible and affordable test solutions for vector network analysis of active components. Keysight’s VNAs include the ability for linear and nonlinear characterization with the highest accuracy. In addition to high performance, a variety of measurement applications simplify setup, reduce test time, and improve measurement accuracy.

Measurement challenges

General-purpose vector network analyzers are essential in education institutions and many other RF labs. Users typically require measurements of S-parameters, power, and sometimes material parameters, for a broad range of passive and active components, with both single-ended and differential inputs and outputs. Devices typically have 2-, 3- and sometimes 4-ports, and must be measured in coaxial, in-fixture, or on-wafer environments. Active devices like amplifiers, mixers, and frequency-converters often require considerable time to measure all necessary parameters. Test equipment is not used every day and is often shared with other groups.  

Manufacturing

Measurement challenges

Driving down the cost of test is the key challenge in manufacturing, and there are multiple factors that influence this. One key factor is throughput. You can divide the measurement time of a VNA into several different contributions such as sweep speed, data analysis, display processing, and data transfer. In many cases, the analyzer must send pass/fail results to an automated system. The sweep speed and data-analysis speed are critical for high-volume manufacturing. Being able to minimize the amount of operator intervention, as well as connection and calibration times will also affect measurement throughput. Initial procurement cost, system uptime, maintenance costs, and future performance upgrade costs for test stations also affect total cost of ownership.

Keysight solutions

Keysight offers a broad range of VNAs with very fast data-acquisition speeds and excellent repeatability due to low trace noise and high temperature stability – essential elements to optimize manufacturing test. Many VNAs have a parts-handler interface to achieve fast throughput on an automated production line. Discover the optimal VNA for your manufacturing environment and pay for only for the capabilities you need to minimize your initial procurement costs.

High-Speed Digital Interconnect Analysis

Measurement challenges

As data rates of digital systems increase, signal integrity of interconnects drastically affects system performance. The effects of physical layer components such as printed circuit board traces, connectors, cables, and IC packages require engineer’s attention. Fast and accurate analysis of interconnect performance in both time and frequency domains become critical to ensure reliable system performance. Because managing multiple test systems becomes difficult, a single test system that can fully characterize differential high-speed digital devices is a very powerful tool.

Keysight solutions

N1930xB Physical Layer Test System (PLTS)

Installation and Maintenance

Measurement challenges

Network analyzer measurements made in the field are fundamentally the same as measurements in the lab, users need to test S-parameters of devices such as cables and filters to determine their performance. The main difference is the requirements placed on the network analyzer hardware. Portability is a big challenge in the field. Carrying benchtop instruments on a cart or trying to fit a benchtop instrument in a tight space like an aircraft is difficult. Locating AC power can also be difficult, so a portable and battery-operated analyzer is often vital for field test.

In addition, while indoor temperatures may be stable, outdoor weather conditions are quite variable. Managing temperature extremes requires specially designed equipment. Use of VNAs outdoors requires a ruggedized structure, as it is moved around often. Finally, the measurements made in the field need to correlate with measurements made in the lab and have similar accuracy.

Keysight solutions

FieldFox analyzer family

Related Network Analyzer Products and Accessories

Electronic calibration (ECal) modules

Keysight ECal modules bring calibration to your vector network analyzers with just a single connection from DC up to 67 GHz. Control ECal modules directly from the Keysight network analyzers; does not require an external PC. Electronic calibration replaces traditional mechanical standard calibration and provides consistent calibration and eliminating operator error while bringing convenience and simplicity to your calibration routine.

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