Rohde & Schwarz: RF and Microwave Signal Generator, Performance leadership without compromise


R&S SMA100B RF and Microwave Signal Generator

At a glance: The R&S SMA100B RF and microwave signal generator delivers maximum performance without compromise. It provides purest output signals while maintaining the highest output power level. It can handle the most demanding component, module and system T&M tasks in the RF semiconductor, wireless communications and aerospace and defense industries.

The R&S SMA100B is the choice for all applications requiring extremely clean analog signals. For LO substitution in radar applications, the R&S SMA100B can generate microwave signals with extremely low close-in SSB phase noise, enabling radar systems to detect even very slow objects. For testing analog-to-digital converters (ADC), the R&S SMA100B produces signals with extremely low wideband noise. In automated production environments, the R&S SMA100B generator’s ultrahigh output power eliminates the need for additional amplifiers while keeping harmonics extremely low. The same signal generator can provide an extremely pure clock signal for the ADC. A second, independent output can provide clock signals for ADC testing with lowest wideband phase noise.

With the R&S SMA100B, it is no longer necessary to choose between signal purity and high output power. It is the only signal generator that can supply signals with ultrahigh output power in combination with extremely low harmonic signal components, setting new standards for high end analog signal generators. The R&S SMA100B covers all fields of application, from research and development to production, service and maintenance.

To meet the specific needs of any given application, the base unit’s already excellent performance can be improved with options. Three levels of SSB phase noise and three levels of output power (standard, high power and ultrahigh power) can be selected.

 Key Facts

  1. Frequency range from 8 kHz to 3 GHz, 6 GHz, 12.75 GHz or 20 GHz.
  2. Excellent SSB phase noise of < –152 dBc (typ.) at 1 GHz and < –132 dBc (typ.) at 10 GHz, each at 20 kHz offset.
  3. Virtually no wideband noise (< –162 dBc (meas.) at 10 GHz and an offset of 30 MHz).
  4. Ultra high output power:
  • Up to 38 dBm with the 6 GHz instrument
  • Up to 32 dBm in the microwave frequency range with the 20 GHz instrument
  • Exceptionally low harmonics
  1. State-of-the-art GUI with touchscreen.

 Key Features

  1. Purest signals:
  • Excellent SSB phase noise in base unit: < –119 dBc (typ.) for 10 GHz at an offset of 20 kHz.
  • Outstanding SSB phase noise with option: < –132 dBc (typ.) for 10 GHz at an offset of 10 kHz.
  • Lowest close-in SSB phase noise: < –83 dBc (typ.); f = 10 GHz, offset = 10 Hz.
  • Virtually no wideband noise: < –162 dBc (meas.) at 10 GHz and an offset of 30 MHz.
  1. Lowest harmonic and nonharmonic signal components:
  • Very low harmonic signal components over the entire frequency range (< –63 dBc) even at very high output power.
  • Very low nonharmonic signal components of < –90 dBc (meas.) at 10 GH.

Very high output power without compromise

  1. Exceptionally high output level:
  • Ultra high output power up to 38 dBm with the 6 GHz instrument.
  • Over 30 dBm at 18 GHz and 28 dBm at 20 GHz.
  • First stage high power upgrade via key code.
  1. Excellent level accuracy and repeatability for CW signals, narrow pulses and modulated signals.

 User friendly in every detail

  1. Flexible 2 HU or 3 HU housing
  2. 3 HU with larger 7″ display and multiple front panel connectors
  3. Ergonomic operation thanks to state-of-the-art GUI with touch display

Very high output power without compromise

Very high output power without compromise is desirable but also a challenge. It requires a very large dynamic range, high absolute level accuracy, excellent level repeatability and a very short level settling time. It also requires outstanding signal purity, for example very low harmonics. The R&S SMA100B meets all of these requirements.

Highest output power

Very high output power is often required, particularly in the microwave frequency range. This is because the higher the frequencies, the greater the attenuation. The R&S SMA100B offers an ultrahigh output power to compensate for these losses. As a result, no external amplifier is required downstream. Equipped with the appropriate options, a 6 GHz instrument generates up to 38 dBm RF output power, and a 20 GHz instrument generates up to 32 dBm in the microwave frequency range. Harmonics are extremely low across the entire frequency range; above 6 GHz they are even significantly lower than 70 dBc at 18 dBm output power.

 High absolute level accuracy

A signal generator’s absolute level accuracy is just as important as its output power. A signal source must have very good absolute level accuracy in order to quantitatively characterize the nonlinear performance of an amplifier (the 1 dB compression point). The R&S SMA100B excels with outstanding absolute level accuracy for exactly these applications. Rarely is a DUT connected directly to the signal generator. There are often cables and other components between the generator and the DUT. This shifts the reference level from the generator’s RF output to the DUT. A Rohde & Schwarz power sensor can be connected to the signal generator via USB to extremely precisely calibrate (tenth of a dB range) at this new reference level.

Unmatched level repeatability

Level repeatability also plays an important role. For frequently repeated test sequences where the level is frequently changed, it is essential to be able to reproduce each individual level value for each test sequence. Here again the R&S SMA100B is best in class. The figure “Measured level repeatability” provides a detailed overview.

Level-controlled narrow pulses

A high absolute level accuracy is not only required for CW signals, but also for modulated signals, and most particularly for pulsed signals. The challenge is to absolutely and reproducibly control even very narrow pulses with a small duty cycle. The R&S SMA100B provides level-controlled narrow pulses from 100 ns onwards and low duty cycles with exceptional level accuracy and level repeatability.

Fast settling times

Another important characteristic to be considered for the test sequences mentioned above is that test sequences should be quickly executed (e.g. in automated test equipment (ATE) systems). This requires short level settling times. If the level values are transmitted individually via GPIB, it typically takes 1 ms to set the new level.

 Electronic step attenuator

The electronic step attenuator makes it possible to switch levels quickly. Up to 20 GHz, the R&S SMA100B offers electronic attenuation as standard. As the contribution of the electronic step attenuator to the total settling time is in the range of microseconds, the R&S SMA100B can achieve a 1 ms level settling time in the entire frequency range up to 20 GHz.

User friendly in every detail

How user friendly a signal generator is can be seen in how easily it can be integrated into existing test systems or in its innovative operating features that save the user development time.