Vector network analysers rule the market


Today, most new launches and significant technological advancements in the network analyser segment are happening mainly in the vector network analyser space

By Sneha Ambastha

Network analysers are a combination of the software and hardware used to measure the parameters of any electrical network. They are usually of two types—vector network analysers (VNA) and scalar vector analysers (SNA). A VNA measures both the phase properties and amplitude of a network, and a SNA measures only the amplitude properties. This makes VNAs the more popular in the industry today. VNAs have become the choice of many passive component manufacturers because of their cost-effective performance and results.
The small-sized VNAs are used for engineering bench applications and in rack mount test stations.
Here we feature a few of the recently launched products in this segment.

Model: MS46524B, Brand: Anritsu, Manufacturer: Anritsu Company, USA
The MS46524B is a series of Performance ShockLine 4-port vector analysers launched in May 2015. The company claims that the products in this series have an incomparable level of performance and value. This series has the configuration options of 10Hz, 20Hz and 40Hz, which helps to include frequencies that range from RF to microwave to the Performance ShockLine family. Depending upon the different configurations and the quantity of the device ordered, it may cost about US$ 70,000 – US$ 80,000. The increased use of coaxial cables in the automotive industry with RF technology has made the MS46524B series suitable for testing automotive connectors and cables. The series is ideal for testing single-ended multi-port RF devices like mobile handsets (front-end modules), connectors like mini SAS and USB devices, as well as differential data cables. The MS46524B comes with a three-year warranty and worldwide technical support.


MS46524B_ AnritsuKey features:

  • Has a dynamic range of 140dB
  • Enables measurement of very low reflection artifacts in filters, attenuators and high isolation switches
  • Allows measurement of high attenuation devices
  • Allows simultaneous sweep using independent sources
  • Enables multi-site testing and faster S-parameter measurements, and reduces overall measurement time
  • Is a high performance device, available at a low price
  • Covers the complete range of passive device testing applications, up to 8.5GHz
  • Has a compact 3U package
  • Has a common graphical user interface (GUI) in all models
  • Cost of switching to newer models is low
  • Can be controlled over a local area network (LAN)
  • The LAN interface for the remote control is faster than the general-purpose interface bus (GPIB)

USP: Lowers the cost-of-test and speeds up the time to market in numerous test applications up to 43.5GHz
Contact details: Ph:+91-80-40581300, [email protected],
Indian branch: Anritsu India Pvt Ltd

tabl 1

Model: ZNB40, Brand: Rohde & Schwarz, Manufacturer: Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG
Launched in 2015, the ZNB40 is a 2-port vector network analyser from the R&SZNB series that operates up to the 40GHz frequency range. The series combines high measurement accuracy with speed that the company claims to be exceptionally better than 5μs per point. It has R&SZNB receivers that combine a high power handling capacity with low trace noise and high sensitivity. Although the base model of this device is priced at US$ 67,136, the fully loaded machine would cost around US$ 104,663. Depending upon this VNA’s capabilities, engineers in base transceiver stations (BTS), R&D and involved in manufacturing duplex filters, IF/RF filters, isolators, couplers, low power amplifiers, receivers and mixers, will find this device useful. Engineers from mobile phone R&D and in the manufacture of SAW filters for receivers, power amplifiers, mixers/receivers, as well as those in general-purpose R&D and involved in the production of cables and connectors, low and medium power amplifiers, receivers and mixers will also find the ZNB40 attractive.

ZNB40_R&SKey features:

  • Has a wide dynamic range from 9kHz, for fast measurements on high-blocking DUTs
  • Provides excellent raw data to achieve high basic accuracy
  • Has high temperature stability for long calibration intervals
  • Has fast synthesisers for high speed measurements
  • Has a handler I/O interface that controls external parts handlers
  • Its front-end modules are directly controlled by the RFFE GPIO interface
  • The number of ports in this device has been expanded to 48, using the switch matrices
  • The S-parameters have been redefined in this series for flexible test set-up configurations
  • Has fast embedding and deembedding capabilities for impedance matching using the virtual networks
  • Carries out amplifier measurements with its wide power sweep range and receiver step attenuators
  • Can handle time domain analysis for distance-to-fault (DTF) measurements and filter adjustments
  • Can also handle fast and simple frequency-converting measurements on mixers and amplifiers using two independent internal generators

USP: Wide dynamic range, starting from 9kHz, for fast measurements on high-blocking DUTs
Contact details: Ph: 01142535400, [email protected],
Indian branch: Rohde & Schwarz India Pvt Ltd

tbl 2

Model: C1209, Brand: Copper Mountain, Manufacturer: Copper Mountain Technologies
C1209, or the Cobalt vector network analyser, has been designed to operate with any Windows laptop or PC. It has about 16 independent channel windows, each displaying up to 16 data traces. It also has a large frequency range, with the frequency scan segmentation option for the optimal use of the device. One key feature of the analyser is its ‘half rack’ width that enables faster production without any need for a lot of space. The C1209 also has a special feature called ‘power sweep’ that converts the fundamental and complex amplified measurements into an accurate and simple operation. Another feature of this analyser is its built-in time domain analysis that allows users to detect any physical damage in a cable. Its features and functions make it suitable for the tuning and measurement of high performance filters.

C1209_CobaltKey features:

  • Adjusts frequency offset automatically to compensate for the defects of internal lower settings
  • Uses the vector method to measure both the phase and the magnitude of the mixer transmission coefficient
  • Comes with time domain gating to mathematically remove the unwanted responses
  • Is compatible with COM/DCOM clients, which means that the analyser can be connected either directly to a PC or indirectly via LAN
  • Fully compatible with LabView applications
  • Has the limit testing feature to automatically trace the testing results
  • Has the auto scaling option for the most effective display of the trace
  • Represents phase offset in degrees

USP: Allows fast production in less space
Contact details: Ph: 7-31-2422330/33, [email protected],
Indian branch: Scientific Mes-Technik Pvt Ltd

tabl 3

Model: M9485A, Brand: Keysight, Manufacturer: Keysight Technologies, USA
The M9485A PXI multi-port vector network analyser from Keysight Technologies was launched in 2015 with a flexible and scalable configuration to address the increasing test challenges. The company claims that it offers the best measurement performance in multi-port network analysis by adapting an independent source and receiver configuration. It also offers comprehensive functions to test multi-port components like front-end modules, filters, and switches. Key features of the VNA include a fast measurement speed along with a wide dynamic range, high stability and low trace noise that helps it to achieve low cost testing with fast throughput, high accuracy and less downtime with better yields. The M9485A is used in the manufacture of high volume front-end modules, switches and filters used in mobile phones and base stations.

M9485A_KeysightKey features:

  • Has up to 24 ports in two chassis with 12 ports in each chassis
  • Reduces the cost of testing with full N-port calibration, FOM, pulse, time-domain and gain compression analysis capabilities
  • Has an improved accuracy with good yield and margins at the best PXI VNA speed
  • Has an improved dynamic range, trace noise and stability
  • Comes with an improved throughput
  • Has a fast cycle time of about 5ms at 201 points, 2-port calibration
  • Has various configurations with standard test sets and configurable test sets

USP: Best-in-class performance for multi-port testing
Contact details: Ph: 1800 11 2626 (toll-free) or 0124 229 2010, [email protected],
Indian branch: Keysight Technologies India Pvt Ltd

tabl 4