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Keysight Launches Next-Generation Vector Signal Generator


Keysight Technologies, Inc. has introduced a new compact, four-channel vector signal generator (VSG) capable of signal generation up to 8.5 GHz with 960 MHz of modulation bandwidth per channel. The N5186A MXG is the next-generation high-performance VSG in Keysight’s X-Series signal generator portfolio, offering the multiple, individually complex signals needed for dense wideband multichannel applications.

Evolving technologies in wireless communications and radar applications demand higher frequency coverage using complex modulation schemes like MIMO, beamforming, and multiplexing to maximize data throughput. Testing these applications requires signal generation instruments that maintain excellent modulation quality when working with greater bandwidths. To achieve higher frequencies, greater bandwidths, and more complex modulation schemes, network and design engineers typically need more bench space for additional test equipment and fixtures.

A World’s First with a Range of Benefits

The Keysight N5186A MXG addresses this challenge by simplifying complex setups with reduced external connections and up to four channels in a compact 2U form factor. As the world’s first signal generator to feature an embedded reflectometer, the N5186A MXG delivers extremely accurate signals to the device under test (DUT).

The N5186A MXG offers the following benefits:

  • Compact design. Delivers multichannel capabilities in a 2U size that saves up to 75% of rack height.
  • High-performance capabilities. Employs direct digital synthesis (DDS) digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) proprietary technology for bandwidth coverage up to 960 MHz with best-in-class error vector magnitude (EVM) and adjacent channel power ratio (ACPR) performance for lower signal distortion.
  • Testing convenience. Features an embedded reflectometer delivering accurate signals while enabling faster time-to-test and simplifying test setups.
  • Exceptionally low phase noise. Produces pure signals enabling high resolution radar system designs and high-throughput, next-generation communications systems.

By providing consistent and repeatable results, the N5186A MXG vector signal generator is an ideal solution for a broad range of commercial and aerospace defense applications. The MXG’s custom DAC application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) use DDS to deliver precise signals to minimise distortion and meet the evolving standards for component and module design. In addition, the embedded reflectometer expedites the setup process to correct for the match of the DUT, enabling a faster time-to-test.

Joe Rickert, Vice President and General Manager at Keysight High Frequency Measurements Center of Excellence, said: “The groundbreaking N5186A MXG vector signal generator is a leap forward in terms of the performance and simplicity it offers design and network engineers. As the world’s first signal generator with an embedded reflectometer, the high-performance MXG delivers powerful, precise signals. In combination with PathWave Signal Generation software, the MXG is optimized to be your ideal signal generator with the outstanding performance you desire, all in one easy-to-use solution.”

Keysight will be demonstrating the high-performance vector signal generation capabilities of the N5186A MXG at EuMW 2023, Booth #107A.