Source/measurement unit speeds production test for RF power amplifiers

May 30, 2016 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Providing industry-leading output stability under extreme, dynamic load conditions, the M9111A PXI Express source/measurement unit from Keysight Technologies is purpose-built for design validation and production test of next-generation power amplifiers and front-end modules supporting cellular and wireless connectivity formats.

The high-speed M9111A changes voltage, stabilizes and accurately measures micro-Amps, all in less than 1 ms. The PXIe entry achieves speeds 20 times faster than those for previous-generation, stand-alone Keysight SMUs at a fraction of the size.

“In power amplifier automated test environments, speed of test is critical,” said Giampaolo Tradioli, senior director for Chipset Mobile Test, Keysight Technologies.

“The M9111A is a welcome addition to the PXI family to address this challenge. Its high-speed output and glitch-free operation, combined with the ability to remain stable, even with capacitances up to 150 µF, make it ideal for power-amplifier test of handsets and cell phones.”

Power amplifiers draw rapid pulses of current, a challenge that the M9111A easily manages with transient performance unmatched in the industry. The M9111A SMU dramatically reduces voltage droop due to pulse loading and recovers quickly to its program voltage.

Under extreme, dynamic load conditions, traditional SMUs may prove unstable. The M9111A provides industry-leading output stability, eliminating worry that the power source will interfere with measurements. Glitch-free operation ensures safe use with the device under test during output and measurement range changes, even with high capacitances. The output voltage and current remain steady and the DUT undamaged.