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Optimizing VNA Settings for Testing of Next-generation Wireless Components

Optimizing VNA Settings for Testing of Next-generation Wireless Components

LTE represents the best in wireless communications, enabling the high data rates consumers need to fully experience the mobile apps that run on their smartphones and tablets. Anytime, anywhere, they want a fast, dependable connection that lets them make video calls, play games, stream music, and more.

Meeting those expectations requires the use of high-performance RF components in base transceiver stations (BTS) and handsets. As a result, test requirements are very stringent for devices such as BTS filters and handset filters, and this makes it difficult to ensure fast, accurate testing in manufacturing. For example, measurements of filter devices need much wider dynamic range—at least 10 dB more than currently available—to enable fast, accurate measurements in the deep rejection bands of steep- skirted filters. In high-volume manufacturing, significant improvements in throughput are needed to meet aggressive ramp-up schedules.

The essential measuring instrument is a vector network analyzer (VNA). This application note offers suggestions for optimizing analyzer settings and ensuring better measurements of BTS and handset filters. It covers basic settings such as intermediate frequency bandwidth (IFBW) and power levels, and it also describes how operators can utilize advanced features such as segment sweep to help increase testing yields.

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