Active-Device Characterization in Pulsed Operation

Application Notes


Vector network analyzers (VNA) are the common tool for characterizing RF and microwave components in both continuous-wave (CW) and pulsed operations. Some external equipment may be used in conjunction with a VNA to modulate the stimulus or DC bias, and to perform accurate S-parameter measurements in pulsed operation. However, components that need to be characterized in pulsed operation mode are often active devices such as amplifiers or converters, and many active parameters are characterized in addition to S-parameters. For amplifiers as an example, 1 dB compression (P1 dB), intermodulation distortion (IMD), and third-order intercept point (IP3) are commonly measured, and many parameters such as noise figure, higher-order distortion products, harmonics, etc. are characterized depending on their intended application needs. These active parameters are power-dependent,

so additional factors must be considered for precise characterization.


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