The Focus Microwaves Group has introduced a noise parameter measurement system that can extract accurate noise parameters of a given Device Under Test (DUT). The parameters include minimum noise figure, equivalent noise resistance and optimum noise reflection factor (Gamma and phase). The measurement system is designed to accommodate both connectorized and bare die devices, while offering fast, precise and stable measurements. The noise measurement system, along with its dedicated software (Requires option NPEx), is specifically optimized for system calibration, DUT measurement, and DUT noise parameters extraction. The resulting system enables wideband noise parameter extraction over a very wide frequency range from 1 to 170 GHz.
The noise measurement system comprises three main components: the input noise module (INM), the output noise module (ONM), and the noise module controller (NMC). The modules are designed to enhance the precision and sensitivity of the noise receiver while also simplifying the system calibration and DUT measurement process.
Using Spectrum Analyzers for Noise Parameter Measurements
Noise Measurements Using PNA-X
Focus microwaves’ unique noise parameter measurement method leverages the Keysight PNA-X’s dedicated noise receiver (option 029). This specific technique requires a noise source to determine the Gain-Bandwidth constant (KBG) of the system and a passive mechanical tuner is used to characterize the noise receiver across both the impedance and frequency space. This step is imperative to obtain fully vector-source-corrected measurements. An RF down conversion stage is required when the measurement frequency range exceeds the receiver’s bandwidth. Focus microwaves offers noise modules that include down conversion for optimal speed and performance.
Noise Measurements Using ZNA
The Focus noise parameter measurement system is also compatible with the Rohde & Schwarz ZNA (Requires options K30 and B16). The system calibration and measurement procedures are similar to the setup with the PNA-X. Currently, the noise measurement system with ZNA can be operated up to 40 GHz.
Key Features of the Software Interface
The Focus Device Characterization Suite (FDCS) is a software that is used in conjunction with the setup to analyze the noise parameters over the frequency range. It supports three types of noise measurement setups: Hot-Cold Noise, Cold-In Noise and Cold-Out Noise setups. A specialized calibration wizard is implemented in FDCS. It guides the user to set up and calibrate the system efficiently and ensure that accurate measurements can be obtained. Additionally, to enhance the productivity of wafer measurement, the automation feature is available for the user to create and execute a personalized sequence of measurement operations.
Noise Measurements Using Other Noise Receivers
The architecture of Focus microwaves’ noise measurement system is designed to be compatible even with other spectrum analyzers, including the most popular modern models on the market, such as the Keysight X-series signal analyzer, Rohde & Schwarz FSV/FSW, and National Instrument PXI Vector Signal Analyzer. Furthermore, it is also engineered to provide compatibility with discontinued models, such as the N897XA family of noise figure analyzers and FSU.
Focus Microwaves offers multiple Noise Measurement System (NMS) input and output noise modules along with popular tuners operating over different frequency ranges. Both the modules and tuners are available in various connector as well as waveguide interface configurations for different integration purposes.