Some 600 companies exhibited at the recently concluded International Microwave Symposium in Phoenix. Microwave design is an instrumentation-intensive endeavor, so a lot of show floor space was devoted to new developments in test gear. Here are a few things in that area that caught our attention.
Garbled signals, instruments to the rescue
National Instrument’s RFIC Reference Solution demo showed what could happen when RF amplifiers weren’t optimized properly. A video loop of a local TV show (top left) stuttered and stopped when booth personnel disabled DPD features on an RF amp carrying the video feed. The read out of instrument readings (top right) helped debug the problem. The NI instrument suite included the NI vector signal transceiver (VST), arbitrary waveform generator (AWG), high-speed digitizers, precision power supplies, and high speed digital I/O. LabVIEW software provided the interface to control each of these instruments to characterize the performance of PAs.
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