Home Featured Articles New Anritsu VNA Solution Delivers 43.5 GHz Guaranteed Specified Performance in K Connector Environment for Cost, Performance Efficiencies

New Anritsu VNA Solution Delivers 43.5 GHz Guaranteed Specified Performance in K Connector Environment for Cost, Performance Efficiencies

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by Anritsu Company

Emerging 5G, satellite and signal integrity applications are extending frequencies beyond 40 GHz. Verifying these designs at higher bands using existing test configurations has posed a challenge for engineers. New technology developed by Anritsu allows vector network analyzer (VNA)-based test systems to deliver 43.5 GHz guaranteed specification using Extended-K™ connector technology and calibration kits, for greater cost and operational efficiencies. 

These systems, featuring 2- and 4-port ShockLine™ VNAs, are the first in the industry to support 43.5 GHz traceable measurements in a K-connector form factor. They eliminate the need for engineers to transition from proven configurations to more expensive and less robust 2.4 mm connectors. Using the new Extended-K components and accessories with the ShockLine VNAs supporting 43.5 GHz, engineers can expand the frequency of their K connector compatible test environment by a critical 3.5 GHz to cover emerging applications without making a significant investment. 

Extended-K Connector Design 

Anritsu is able to extend the K connector frequency performance using an advanced design and characterization capabilities. Extended-K components (Figure 1) have mode-free performance and traceability to 43.5 GHz. These new components are agnostic to test equipment and can address any engineering environment that has test equipment up to 43.5 GHz. 

The new calibration kits come with .s1p characterization data to support data-based calibrations. The data-based calibration method uses .s1p files to describe the characteristics of each of the calibration standards in the kit. The .s1p files are derived from data measured with a VNA calibrated using physical standards like an LRL calibration kit.  Using a data-based calibration will result in superior VNA accuracy, providing lab-accurate measurements in a production environment.

Anritsu Extended-K components achieve 43.5 GHz mode-free performance via careful management of mechanical specifications on the connector design, including placement and tolerances of the support bead and pin depth. For the Extended-K components, Anritsu uses the mechanical airlines when characterizing the various components that establish traceability through a national standards body. Traceability helps establish measurement credibility to give engineers greater confidence in the performance of their products. 

Bridging the Coverage Gap

The Extended-K cal kits and accessories are compatible with the MS46122B, MS46322B, MS46522B, and MS46524B ShockLine models (Figure 2). The development of the software option for the ShockLine VNAs and the Extended-K cal kits and components meets a growing demand for testing devices with K (2.92 mm) connectors above 40 GHz. When the VNAs are configured to support 43.5 GHz, they bridge the coverage gap created by emerging technologies, particularly 5G that includes a 37 GHz to 43.5 GHz frequency allocation.

Previously, engineers had to select one of two options for guaranteed 43.5 GHz measurement performance, but both had trade-offs. One alternative was to use 2.92 mm to 2.4 mm adapters, but that meant unspecified performance. The other option was to completely change the device under test (DUT) connector environment to accommodate 43.5 GHz and use higher frequency VNAs, such as those operating at 50 GHz or above. While this guaranteed coverage at 43.5 GHz, it also increased the cost-of-test significantly. 

ShockLine VNAs Bring Test Efficiencies 

The ShockLine VNAs with the Extended K connectors eliminate having to choose between these unsatisfactory options. The 2-port MS46122B, MS46322B, and MS46522B VNAs provide three distinct configurations to meet the needs of a wide variety of applications. The MS46122B USB VNAs are packaged in a compact 1U chassis and are externally controlled via USB from a user-supplied PC. The MS46322B is designed in a self-contained, compact, and rugged 2U chassis that includes the power supply and computer. The MS46522B Performance ShockLine VNA delivers value and performance in numerous test applications up to 92 GHz.

For 4-port test environments, there is the ShockLine MS46524B series. The VNAs deliver economical and performance efficiencies in a multiport VNA to lower the cost-of-test and speed time-to-market. The MS46524B can support frequencies up to 92 GHz, with options, making it well suited for a variety of other high frequency applications, including E-band. Performance specifications of the ShockLine VNAs can be seen in Table 1

Conclusion

The development of components, devices and systems for emerging 5G, signal integrity and satellite applications has extended operating frequency ranges beyond 40 GHz. To address these environments, Anritsu has designed Extended K-connector technology that creates a VNA-based system with K connectors that guarantees 43.5 GHz specifications. The result is lower cost-of-test and guaranteed coverage in a more cost-efficient configuration.  

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