Industry-Leading RF Performance in PXI Form Factor

February 22, 2011

National Instruments' new PXI RF vector signal analyzer's performance surpasses traditional rack-and-stack instrumentation.

AUSTIN, TX /PRNewswire/ -- National Instruments (Nasdaq: NATI) introduced the NI PXIe-5665, a 3.6 GHz RF vector signal analyzer (VSA) that delivers best-in-class RF performance in a cost-effective PXI form factor. The new VSA features industry-leading phase noise, average noise level, amplitude accuracy and dynamic range. The VSA's PXI platform also facilitates peer-to-peer streaming; includes a flexible multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) architecture for phase-coherent measurements; and offers measurement speeds that are at least five times faster than traditional rack-and-stack instruments—all of which make it ideal for demanding automated RF test applications.

"Not only is the NI PXIe-5665 VSA the highest performing instrument in its class, but it is available at a fraction of the cost of traditional rack-and-stack instruments," said Phil Hester, senior vice president of research and development at National Instruments. "Because our new PXI RF analyzer combines high-end performance with modular flexibility into one compact, affordable package, engineers now can use the same instrument from design to production."

The VSA combines the new NI PXIe-5603 downconverter with the new NI PXIe-5653 local oscillator synthesizer and the NI PXIe-5622, a 150 Msps intermediate frequency (IF) digitizer. This combination creates an ideal solution for spectrum and wideband vector signal measurements over a frequency range from 20 Hz to 3.6 GHz with analysis bandwidths up to 50 MHz. The new VSA features an exceptionally low phase noise of –129 dBc/Hz at a 10 kHz offset at 800 MHz, an average noise level of –165 dBm/Hz, a third-order intercept point of +24 dBm and absolute amplitude accuracy of ±0.10 dB. These specifications make the NI PXIe-5665 the highest performing instrument in its class.

For modulated signal analysis, the VSA's unique onboard self-calibration tool makes it possible to achieve an IF amplitude response of ±0.15 dB and IF phase linearity of ±0.1°. This accuracy facilitates exceptional error vector magnitude performance of <0.21% for a 256-QAM signal. The VSA's flexible, modular architecture expands to provide phase-coherent acquisition for MIMO test, as well as a 20 GHz/s scan rate and peer-to-peer streaming for efficient spectrum monitoring. Additionally, engineers can operate the NI PXIe-5665 using its RF list mode function to deterministically step through a user-defined set of RF configurations using internal timing or an external trigger to significantly reduce test time.

Because the NI PXIe-5665 joins a product line of more than 1,500 software-defined PXI modular instruments, engineers can mix and match the VSA with a variety of modules and control an entire automated test system with NI LabVIEW graphical system design software. This makes PXI systems ideal for a multitude of automated test applications. Engineers also can fully take advantage of the VSA's software-defined performance with RF software toolkits for LabVIEW, NI LabWindows/CVI and .NET to test the latest RF and wireless communication standards including GSM/EDGE, WCDMA, LTE, WLAN and WiMAX.

About National Instruments
National Instruments is transforming the way engineers and scientists design, prototype and deploy systems for measurement, automation and embedded applications. NI empowers customers with off-the-shelf software such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware, and sells to a broad base of more than 30,000 different companies worldwide, with no one customer representing more than 4 percent of revenue and no one industry representing more than 15 percent of revenue. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 5,200 employees and direct operations in more than 40 countries. For the past 12 years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

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