Palo Alto, Calif.Instrumentation house Agilent Technologies Inc. announces that six of its microwave synthetic instruments are the first Class A LXI (LAN eXtension for Instruments) products to achieve certification from the LXI Consortium.
The firm’s building-block modules are expected to lower cost and extend the longevity of automated test systems. That’s due to the ability to re-use or replace functional modules to suit present and future measurement scenarios. In addition to lowering the total lifetime cost of so-called ATSs (automated test systems), the approach can provide obsolescence protection.
A word about LXI. It’s a LAN-based modular architecture standard for automated test systems. The LXI Consortium, a not-for-profit corporation comprised of test-and-measurement companies, develops, supports, and promotes the LXI standard.
Agilent's devices also support the U.S. DoD (Department of Defense) NxTest vision of modular and compact instrumentation systems. The synthetic instrument concept involves the linking of individual hardware and software modules to emulate standard test instruments in a compact form-factor.
The result is a common system architecture that enables DoD prime contractors to design scalable and morphable ATSs.
The LXI standard includes a variety of form-factors, including small modular instruments that use low-cost open-standard Ethernet as the system backbone. One goal of the standard is to offer the size and integration advantages of modular instruments without the cost and constraints of cardcage-based architectures.
The standard is also anticipated to evolve to take advantage of future LAN capabilities that go beyond legacy test-and-measurement connectivity capabilities.
Agilent's six modules are also part of the company's Agilent Open thrust. It provides system-ready connectivity using a combination of test-system hardware, I/O, and software tools.
Agilent Open also can accelerate the creation of streamlined test systems that can be enhanced and maintained by providing choice in measurements, connectivity, and programming.
Agilent's N8201A is a 26.5-GHz down-converter. It provides IF (intermediate frequency) outputs at 7.5-MHz, 21.4-MHz, and 321.4-MHz, enabling three different signal-bandwidth capabilities. External mixing can be used to down-convert microwave signals as high as 110-GHz.
The company's N8211A is a 20/40-GHz analog up-converter module. It generates a stimulus signal with AM, FM and pulse-modulation capabilities (using either external or internal modulation). The N8211A provides high output-power, exhibits low phase-noise, and ensures level accuracy.
I/Q Microwave Source
Agilent is also offering its N8212A 20-GHz vector up-converter. It can function as a microwave source with greater than 2-GHz I/Q (in-phase and quadrature) modulation bandwidth. It too features AM, FM and pulse modulation (external or internal modulation), and has multi-source coherent carrier capability.
Next in the line-up is the N8221A. It's a 30-Msample/s IF digitizer with a 21.4-MHz IF input. This module has 80-dB of dynamic range, converts with 14-bit resolution, and has 8-MHz of modulation bandwidth.
The N8241A is an ARB (arbitrary waveform generator). It features simultaneous 1.25-Gsample/s sampling and 15-bit resolution. It has dual-channel single-ended and differential outputs, with 500-MHz of instantaneous analog bandwidth/channel.
The final item in the run-up is Agilent's new N8242A waveform generator. It features a choice of either 1.25-Gsample/s or 625-Msample/s sampling rates, with 10-bit resolution. Like the N8241A, this ARB also comprises a dual-channel instrument, with single-ended and differential output operation. It can provide 500-MHz or 250-MHz of instantaneous analog bandwidth/channel.
Click here for details on these instruments and links to technical docs.
Price And Availability
Available now, modules are priced from $8500 to $100,000, depending on options.
For more information, contact Agilent Technologies Inc., 395 Page Mill Rd., Palo Alto, Calif. 94303. Phone: 800-829-4444. Fax: (650) 752-5300.
Agilent Technologies, (650) 752-5000, www.agilent.com