Known to be a pioneer in developing instruments for spectrum analysis, Rohde & Schwarz recently added a new product to its portfolio with the launch of its FSW signal and spectrum analyser. The product is designed to meet the requirements of development laboratories in aerospace, defence and communications industries. In a conversation with Rahul Chopra of Electronics Bazaar, Josef Wolf, director, spectrum analysis, network analysis and EMC subdivision, Rohde & Schwarz, speaks about the unique features of the firm’s latest launch and how significant India’s T&M market is for the company
EB: How important is the Indian market for Rohde & Schwarz (R&S)?
India is a significant market for us. We are seeing growth of our T&M product segment in India, but yes, the country is not amongst our top five markets in terms of revenue. Our product development team does keep travelling to India frequently to understand the needs of the Indian customers better and to train our team and customers.
EB: HAMEG had its own distribution channel, which was separate from R&S’. After the acquisition, have these been merged?
We do not want to make abrupt changes to the two firms’ respective distribution strategies just because R&S acquired HAMEG, else it can affect HAMEG’s business and its customers. We are continuously evaluating areas where both brands can operate within a common framework, without compromising on the growth potential of either brand.
EB: When R&S reports T&M numbers, do they include products sold under the HAMEG brand, too?
Yes. HAMEG was acquired by R&S for strategic reasons and the sale of its products is now reported as part of R&S balance sheet.
EB: Of the four products recently launched, is the launch of FSW the most important?
You’re absolutely correct. We believe that R&S’ FSW is a state of the art product with many cutting edge features, which are not available in any product offered by our competitors. It outperforms all comparable high end instruments in the market in both RF performance and bandwidth.
EB: What is the most important feature of FSW for engineers working in the aerospace and defence segments?
Its low phase noise, bandwidth and efficient spurious measurement will benefit them.
EB: Why is there such an emphasis on these features?
That is because when designing systems like radars, the biggest challenge for engineers is to pick up weak signals. FSW, with its low phase noise, will not confuse them with any noise. FSW, in fact, has the lowest phase noise in the market. At 10 kHz carrier offset, FSW achieves a phase noise specification of less than –137 dBc (1 Hz), which is up to 10 dB less than comparable instruments in the market. Close in to the carrier, it is even more. This is especially important for developers of RF components and complete systems for radar applications. By taking advantage of the analyser’s excellent phase noise specification, engineers can achieve more stable radar signals.
EB: And what would the most significant feature be for those designing telecom solutions?
It’s the ability to see and measure multiple signals within the same screen and to watch how one signal affects the other. We call it multi-standard radio analyser (MSRA). This is a very important feature for engineers working on base stations in wireless communication technologies. For example, you can watch a 3G signal, an LTE signal and a CDMA signal, simultaneously, on the same test and measurement (T&M) equipment and figure out the impact of one standard on the others sent over the transmitter.
EB: When can customers start ordering FSW? How does the pricing of FSW compare with FSU or FSV?
We are ready to take orders now. The pricing of FSW is almost the same as the comparable model of the FSU. FSV is a mid-range analyser with a lower performance and a lower price. However, for the same pricing, customers get a much better feature set in FSW, and that is what our sales team is going to pitch to customers.
EB: You had mentioned that FSW marks the end of the road for the FSU models. But these models were going up to 67 GHz, while FSW peaks at 26.5 GHz. So are you not leaving a gap?
We will keep manufacturing FSU for another couple of years and at the same time enhance the spectrum range of FSW. We will continue to invest in enhancing features in FSU to protect our customers’ investments.