Nonlinear Vector Network Analyzer (NVNA)


Keysight Technologies, Inc. Can Help You Meet Challenges with the Award-Winning NVNA…

Designed specifically for:

– Semiconductor foundries and IC designers

– Base station power ampliier designers

–  Active device military component designers

–  Research centers and universities


Innovative Technology to Go Beyond Linear S-parameters

NVNA provides the critical leap in technology to go beyond linear S-parameters, allowing you to efficiently and accurately analyze and design active devices under real world operating conditions.

Nonlinear component characterization

Nonlinear component characterization provides strong insight into the nonlinear behavior of your device under test (DUT). Now you can quickly and easily measure and display the calibrated, vector corrected waveforms of the incident, reflected and transmitted waves of the DUT. With this capability, you can know explicitly the amplitude and phase of each distortion product of interest. All measured spectra is traceable to the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST).

Easily move between domains

Displayed data can be represented in frequency, time or power domains to fully analyze and develop a deeper understanding of device behaviors. Each domain provides its unique insight into what is contributing to the current state of the device operation so that designs can be optimized. Absolute amplitude and relative cross frequency phase of all the measured spectra enables you to tell which spectral components are creating problems so you can design matching circuits to cancel these signals.

Introducing X-Parameters: The “New S-parameters” for Nonlinear Components

Nonlinear X-parameters

X-parameters are the mathematically correct extension of S-parameters to large-signal conditions. This provides a device independent, black-box framework whose coefficients are identifiable from a simple set of physical measurements on the device under test.

X-parameters are a fully nonlinear framework that provides both the magnitude and phase of the fundamental and harmonics. They can be cascaded in simulation and produce the correct behavior in mismatched environments. Researchers and designers can now measure match, gain, group delay and more for driven components.

X-parameters in conjunction with ADS design and simulation tools minimize design iterations, speed simulation and deterministically model the nonlinear behavior of your active components. This can significantly reduce the time to market for component, module, and system design. Additionally, because Keysight’s X-parameters are a measurement-based, black-box representation of the DUT, they can be used to distribute more complete device operating characteristics than traditional datasheets, and at the same time protect the device IP.

Capture Complete Nonlinear Behavior at All Load Impedances

X-parameters with arbitrary load impedances

X-parameters provide a powerful, yet simple and automated process for capturing nonlinear component behavior over arbitrary complex impedances, input powers, input frequencies, DC biases, and more. X-parameters fundamentally unify, for the first time, scattering parameters, scalar and vector load-pull data, and device generated harmonics. Full load-dependence also enables immediate X-parameter applications to transistor characterization, modeling, and circuit design.

Capture Large Signal Waveforms Under Active Loads for Compact Model Generation

Arbitrary load control-device characterization

–         For modeling, design and validation scientists/engineers who work with 2-port nonlinear active devices with optimal output impeda n c e s f a r f rom 50 Ohms, (predominantly power transistors)

–         Simplified, integrated interface to setup and measure large signal waveforms for device modeling. Active source control of RF stimulation and dc bias at both input and output ports simultaneously.

–         Interactive NVNA GUI optimizes measured data in NVNA. Generated data can be passed to ICcap to extract Keysight’s powerful DynaFET compact model. Model contains RF and DC behavior including memory effects and load sensitivity. Model can then be used in ADS to optimize circuit design.

–         Alternatively, NVNA large signal data can be used to generate customers own compact models.

–         Additionally, you can use data to fit any existing compact model to the large signal waveforms.


Device characterization (ALC) setup

The device characterization application provides a powerful, yet simple and automated process for capturing nonlinear device behavior over active, arbitrary complex load impedances, input powers and DC biases. When used for Keysight’s DynaFET compact model extraction, the measured device data must be for on-wafer III – V semiconductor FET transistors, GaN and GaAs. On-wafer power should be limited to 5 watts or less due to CW RF stimulus. For general use, the large signal waveforms can be measured for any 2-port device. Available on both the “A” and “B” model PNA-X running NVNA.


Two-Tone X-Parameter Measurements

Extract X-parameters with two-tone stimuli

X-parameter measurements have been expanded to include two-tone large signal stimuli to a device. When a two-tone signal is applied to a nonlinear device, it produces a number of mixing products which occur around the fundamental frequency as well as the harmonics. The NVNA has the ability to measure all these mixing products providing a much richer characterization of the device’s nonlinear behavior.

Multi-Tone Waveform Measurement and Analysis

Evaluate device behavior with multiple large signal stimuli

An arbitrary number of large signal stimuli can be applied to a device for waveform measurement and analysis. Any multi-tone stimuli ranging from a simple two-tone stimulus to an arbitrary number of large signal tones can be applied to the DUT to simulate conditions analogous to a variety of modulation stimuli. This allows analyzing a device’s behavior under conditions very similar to modulated signals.


Simulate complex modulation signals

Since many system designs operate with complex modulation signals, it is desirable to evaluate components and system designs with complex signals that are similar to these modulation signals. An external arbitrary waveform generator and microwave source can be utilized to generate a desired complex multi-tone signal to stimulate the device.

When a multi-tone signal is applied to a nonlinear device, a variety of mixing products from all the tones appear at the output of the device. The NVNA has the ability to measure the amplitude and phase of each of these mixing products, and characterize the behavior of the device to this complex multi-tone signal. This type of information can provide insight into the behavior of the device or system under complex modulation conditions.


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