Millimeter-Wave Network Analyzers 10 MHz to 110 GHz, with Extensions to 1.1 THz

Technical Overviews

Millimeter-Wave Network Analyzers

10 MHz to 110 GHz, with Extensions to 1.1 THz

Single Sweep 10 MHz to 110 GHz Measurement Solution

Keysight Technologies, Inc. currently offers the N5251A single sweep 10 MHz to 110 GHz vector network analyzer solution.

The N5251A solution uses a millimeter-wave test controller and a combination of broadband frequency extenders that provide a male 1.0 mm test port output connector. Users can purchase the N5251A as a single product solution or configure using separate components. This allows for existing N5227A PNA users the capability to add the N5261A or N5262A test controller and broadband frequency extenders to make measurements from 10 MHz to 110 GHz.

For users that have or wish to purchase the N5247A 67 GHz PNA-X, you can also extend these to cover a single sweep 10 MHz to 110 GHz measurement by adding the N5261A / 62A test set controller and a set of broadband frequency extenders.

The Keysight 110 GHz solution is the only broadband solution with integrated tri-axial bias tees that provide accurate control of device bias through its force/sense ability. This solution is ideal for device characterization, modeling and parameter extraction in coaxial or on-wafer. The broad frequency coverage down to 10 MHz offers superb time domain resolution. With the introduction of the N5251A, accurate leveled power can be applied to the device being measured providing the ability to sweep the power at the 1.0 mm port.

N5251A Single Sweep Solution (10 MHz to 110 GHz)

This configuration of the millimeter network analyzer is based on the N5227A PNA network analyzer. It allows both a single sweep measurement solution that starts at 10 MHz and goes to 110 GHz. This solution is intended as a replacement for the HP 8510XF solution and has improved performance capability. In particular it adds the capability to control and use receiver leveling to set the power accurately at the 1.0 mm test port. Architecturally very similar to the existing N5250C but allows for the configuration of either a 2 or 4 port 10 MHz to110 GHz measurements.

N5251A source power accuracy

This solution provides the most complete and highest performance network analysis capability for frequencies from 10 MHz to 110 GHz.

N5251A application support

The N5251A architecture is based on the N5227A PNA platform, this allows for several new measurement applications such as, true differential measurements, pulsed measurements, and scalar mixer measurements. The flexibility of the system measurement capabilities enables a single touchdown for on-wafer components that will completely characterize the behavior of the device being measured.

The ability to accurately control power makes gain-compression measurements at millimeter-wave frequencies much simpler.

Pulse measurements

With the integrated pulse modulators and receivers of the N5227A PNA, pulse measurements can be easily achieved.

True mode measurements

With the integrated true differential application, true mode signals can now be applied to devices all the way to 110 GHz.

Mixer measurements

In addition to the above application measurements at millimeter-wave frequencies, this solution also offers the capability to easily make mixer measurements.

Power spectral measurements

Using the built-in IM spectrum option on the PNA or PNA-X, you can now measure the spectral power of components all across the frequency range from 10 MHz to 110 GHz.

On-wafer measurements

The N5251A is currently the first system to have been fully integrated into a Cascade probe station and provide a single sweep 10 MHz to 110 GHz using the Cascade 1.0 mm Infinity probes. The broadband extenders have built-in bias-tees that are close to the DUT, greatly improving the stability for on-wafer and in-fixture measurements.

Banded Measurement Solutions to 1.1 THz

Keysight offers a variety of banded millimeter-wave solutions that enable the PNA/PNA-X network analyzers to make S-parameter measurements up 1.1 THz. These solutions are easily configurable and the frequency extenders used are from OML Inc and Virginia Diodes Inc. as well as Farran Microwave. The currently supported solutions through Keysight may be configured with or without a test set controller depending on the measurements required and the frequency extenders being used.

Test Set Controller Solutions

Test set controller based solutions performance

The test set controller based solutions offer not only the highest frequency coverage up to 950 GHz but have also shown the best dynamic range in the industry.


The banded millimeter-wave system uses built-in firmware, allowing you to leverage software between PNA and PNA-X Series network analyzers. Regardless of the frequency range of your measurements, you can manually control the instrument from the front panel or use a mouse to access the simple pull-down menus.

Test Set Controller Solutions

A number of different configurations can be setup for different frequency bands. In addition, for the N5261A and N5262A there is the added capability to turn on and off the test set controller ALC for pulse measurements. Also available, is the ability to enable mixer sweep for scalar mixer measurements. This interface allows for ease of switching from one configuration to the next without restarting the PNA/PNA-X or reconfiguration of connections.

Direct Connect Solutions

These solutions do not require a millimeter-wave test set controller and connect directly to the front panel of a dual source PNA or PNA-X.

The direct connection configuration is currently supported using the frequency offset mode of the PNA/PNA-X and requires at least two sources to be able to do complete 2-port S-parameter measurements. The RF signal for the frequency extenders are supplied via the PNA/PNA-X port 1 and port 2 while the LO is supplied with the second source that drives the PNA/PNA-X ports 3 and 4. With this hardware configuration, the frequency offset mode can be used to set the RF source to sweep the frequency range of the waveguide band while the LO sweeps the mixers in the extenders to produce the IF signals required to make S-parameter measurements. The external power supply is required for allowing the frequency extenders to operate.


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