National Instruments is announcing joint development on load pull systems from Anteverta Microwave, Focus Microwaves, Maury Microwave and Mesuro. These load pull solution vendors are combining their expertise with NI PXI hardware and LabVIEW system design software to overcome the increasingly difficult source and load pull characterisation requirements placed on microwave power amplifiers for aerospace and defence and wireless infrastructure applications.
Load pull characterisation is an essential tool to increase the efficiency of power amplifiers. Due to time and cost, vendors have historically performed load pull during design. Today, however, the speed and flexibility of a PXI-based system make it possible to verify power amplifier performance during production test.
NI PXI is part of the LabVIEW reconfigurable I/O (RIO) architecture, which includes computing technologies such as multicore CPUs and FPGAs, and a single, common development language. Anteverta Microwave, Focus Microwaves, Maury Microwave and Mesuro are using this architecture to help their customers simplify test and decrease time to market.
Mauro Marchetti, Anteverta Microwave CEO, says: “The high-speed and modulated impedance capabilities we get from using the NI PXI form factor have helped us create a solution that is ideal for power amplifier characterisation during development, pre-production and production testing. LabVIEW greatly simplifies the user-programmability of our system.”
Steve Dudkiewicz, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Maury Microwave comments: “Modular PXI products such as the NI vector network analyser simplify the load pull setup by merging all instruments into a convenient low-cost chassis, which improves overall measurement speed and usability. The system guarantees adaptability as new technologies and modulation schemes emerge because we can add PXI modules ad hoc, and users can modify and script custom load pull sequences using an NI open-source load pull toolkit in LabVIEW.”
Customer-specific signal processing
Simon Mathias, Vice President of Sales at Mesuro syas: “Using the latest generation of commercial off-the-shelf NI PXI hardware in our RAPID load pull technique helps our customers test significantly faster compared with traditional test methodologies. It was easy to embed customer-specific signal processing into the onboard FPGA, further speeding up the system performance by using the embedded processor. All this in combination with the PXI RF upconversion and downconversion elements allows a smooth operation.”
Zacharia Ouardirhi, General Manager at Focus Microwaves notes: “We are very excited to integrate NI PXI modules into our load pull solutions. They are compact, fast, cost-effective, adaptable and accurate, and they will enable many features that were previously available only to high-end and expensive setups.”
The NI platform, ecosystem and software-designed approach provide speed, accuracy and flexibility benefits for RF, microwave and wireless applications. Visit NI at IMS booth 430 to see how these providers and thousands of other organisations are redefining RF and microwave instrumentation through open software and modular hardware, or go to the NI website at www.ni.com for further details about Labview and PXI.