With the rapid proliferation of digital communication techniques, the complexity in wireless and communications devices has significantly increased. To meet the performance and functionality requirements of new and emerging wireless standards, Agilent Technologies has readied a signal analysis platform, labeled MXA, that allows flexible signal and spectrum analysis. It seamlessly integrates a range of standards-based measurements, such as WiMAX, with Agilent's 89601A vector signal analysis (VSA) software — in a single instrument. In addition to the use of an open Windows XP Professional operating system, the MXA provides an advanced signal analysis user interface. All measurement features and functions are intuitively grouped and accessible from the front panel or via a USB keyboard and mouse.

The instrument is designed to offer a complete set of one-button power measurements, which include ACPR, channel power, occupied bandwidth, spectrum emissions mask, CCDF, burst power and spurious emission. While optional measurement application software provides pre-configured test routines for testing 802.16e WiMAX, WCDMA, HSDPA/HSUPA and phase-noise applications. Running the 89601A VSA software application in the MXA enables advanced signal modulation analysis and troubleshooting of the industries broadest selection of formats including: 2G, 3G, 3.5G, WiMAX, WLAN, digital video, and private mobile radio. Other formats supported are: CDMA (base and mobile), CDPD, GSM, EDGE, NADC, PDC, PHP (PHS), WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, HSDPA, 1xEV-DO, 1xEV-DV, Bluetooth, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/j/p, ZigBee, APCO 25, DECT, TETRA 1, TETRA 2 (TEDS), VDL mode 3, FSK: 2, 4, 8, 16 level (including GFSK), MSK (including GMSK), BPSK, QPSK, OQPSK, DQPSK, D8PSK, π/4-DQPSK, 8PSK, πp/8-8PSK, 16/32/64/128/256/512/1024 QAM, 16APSK, 32APSK, 8VSB and 16VSB.

Because speed is an important characteristic of the MXA platform, it produces a WCDMA ACLR fast-mode measurement at <14 ms, marker peak search at <5 ms, RF center frequency tune and transfer over GPIB at <51 ms. Measurement mode-switching speeds are typically <75 ms. This speed enables a fast and seamless change between WiMAX, WCDMA, HSDPA/HSUPA, phase noise measurements, and 89601A VSA software. Additionally, the MXA platform supports multiple frequency ranges from 20 Hz to 3.6, 8.4, 13.6 and 26.5 GHz, internal pre-amplifiers up to 26.5 GHz, and analysis bandwidths of 10 MHz or 25 MHz. This fully scalable performance is complemented by MXA's 15 dBm third-order intercept, -151 dBm/Hz displayed average noise level and 72 dB WCDMA ACLR dynamic range, as well as 0.3 dB total absolute amplitude accuracy, which is made possible by the all-digital, 14-bit ADC IF section. The dynamic range is maximized with a built-in 2 dB mechanical step attenuator over the full frequency range and an available 1dB electronic attenuator to 3.6 GHz. Plus, it offers an enhanced version of Agilent's familiar intuitive user interface. Its new functionality includes six trace displays, 12 markers, trace math to manipulate measurement data, and an auto-tune capability that eases measurement setup.

The MXA platform is part of the Agilent Open program, and is fully compliant with the LXI Class-C specification. The N9020A MXA is now available. Pricing starts at $25,900 for N9020A-503 with a frequency range of 20 Hz to 3.6 GHz. At the upper end, the N9020A-526 with a range of 20 Hz to 26.5 GHz goes for $42,900.
Agilent Technologies Inc.
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