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TRADE NEWS: Keysight Technologies Introduces Cost-Effective, General-Purpose Software Test Suite For Improving Power Amplifier Efficiency

Keysight Technologies, Inc. today introduced the N7614B Signal Studio for Power Amplifier (PA) Test; an all-in-one, general-purpose test suite designed to help engineers improve PA efficiency through support for crest factor reduction (CFR), envelope tracking (ET) and digital pre-distortion (DPD) technologies.

Modern mobile communication devices use wider bandwidths, multi-input multi-output technology, and higher order orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) modulation, which place added demands on power consumption in wireless components. One of the most power hungry and nonlinear components in a mobile terminal is the PA. Technologies like CFR, ET and DPD are often used to minimize PA power consumption and reduce nonlinearity. By supporting these technologies, the new N7614B software provides engineers with an easy-to-use and performance validated solution for PA test.

Keysight’s general-purpose MXG, EXG and ESG vector signal generators; PXA, MXA and EXA signal analyzers, and 33522B and 33622A arbitrary waveform generators are all supported by the N7614B. This makes the N7614B especially cost-effective for Keysight’s customers since they can now perform PA test within hardware, rather than having to acquire new software. The N7614B software also supports API programming, enabling it to be easily integrated into a customized PA test system.

The N7614B software provides a flexible I/Q waveform interface that can be Signal Studio generated waveforms, or customer-provided MATLAB waveforms. Engineers use these waveforms as input into the PA when making measurements during test. Based on the results, the PA can then be adjusted to improve its output signal quality using CFR, ET and DPD technologies. Keysight’s signal generator and signal analyzer help to simply this process, as necessary, to ensure optimal PA performance.

“PA test is a critical step during R&D and the manufacturing of wireless mobile devices; one that’s made more complicated by the introduction of technologies designed to improve power efficiency like ET,” said Kurt Philipsen, applications marketing manager for Keysight’s Microwave and Communications Division. “While most PA test solutions require the engineer to purchase new test equipment and create their own custom RF test signals, Keysight’s new N7614B allows them to use their existing equipment. The result is a flexible, cost effective, chipset vendor-independent test solution for CFR, ET and DPD power amplifiers.”

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