3 Test and Measurement Tycoons Release Tools for Wireless and Beyond

April 26, 2024 by Jake Hertz

Rohde & Schwarz, Teledyne FLIR, and Keysight Technologies have each released test tools for the lab and the field.

Some of the industry’s biggest names in test and measurement, including Rohde & Schwarz, Teledyne FLIR, and Keysight Technologies, recently released new test and measurement tools to the marketplace.



The R&S SMB100B signal generator. Image used courtesy of Rohde & Schwarz

While Rohde & Schwarz and FLIR targeted lab settings with signal generators and infrared cameras, respectively, Keysight focused on RF circuit simulation. These announcements shed light on where engineering researchers are investing their efforts, from 5G to 3D packaging.


R&S Unveils Analog Microwave Signal Generator

Rohde & Schwarz recently announced its new SMB100B analog microwave signal generator for research and development (R&D) settings. 

Key to the SMB100B's appeal is its frequency range, which spans from 8 kHz to 3 GHz or 6 GHz, depending on the model. This wide spectrum allows it to cover the needs of various applications, from low-frequency contexts to microwave requirements. Additionally, the instrument delivers a high output power of up to +34 dBm, combined with a setting resolution of 0.01 Hz, to enable precise signal generation and modulation.


SSB phase noise of the R&S SMB100B base unit

SSB phase noise of the R&S SMB100B base unit at 1 GHz (measured). Image used courtesy of Rohde & Schwarz

The SMB100B excels at signal purity with a specified non-harmonic suppression of typically -70 dBc for frequencies below 3 GHz when the output is set to +10 dBm. This feature minimizes the potential for signal interference, which can distort experimental or operational outcomes in sensitive applications.

Moreover, the SMB100B supports a wide array of analog modulation modes, including AM, FM, φM, and pulse modulation. Digital modulation capabilities are also extensive; the generator can handle the latest standards, such as 3G, 4G, and 5G, making it highly relevant for testing modern communication devices and systems.


Teledyne FLIR Introduces Infrared Cameras 

Teledyne FLIR recently released its next generation of X-series infrared cameras tailored for indoor labs and open-air test ranges. The new models include the X6980 HS high-speed and the X8580 high-resolution families, designed to enhance performance in capturing mid-wave (MWIR) and long-wave (LWIR) infrared spectra.

A notable feature of these cameras is their robust connectivity and data integrity. Both models are equipped with 10GigE and CoaXPress (CXP) 2.1 high-speed interfaces, allowing over one hour of continuous, high-speed image streaming and data transfer. This feature maintains the level of data fidelity crucial for accurate and efficient data analysis in critical testing scenarios.

The cameras also include an on-camera recording option with a removable nonvolatile memory express (NVMe) solid-state drive (SSD). This new addition enables lossless recording of significant thermal events and includes a standard four-terabyte, high-speed SSD that can record several hours of data without dropping frames.


X6980HS and X8580HS cameras

The X6980HS and X8580HS cameras in the field. Image used courtesy of Teledyne FLIR

According to FLIR, these cameras are particularly suited for defense, academic, and commercial research environments where precise, high-speed, and high-resolution thermal data capture is essential. The FLIR X-series HS models also offer proprietary trigger and synchronization capabilities, enabling precise timing for experiments and tests requiring recording synchronization across various data streams.

FLIR has paired these cameras with its Research Studio software to help blend and synchronize data sets from multiple sensors, including other FLIR A-series, X-series, and T-series cameras. This integration promotes comprehensive analysis and improved decision support, standardizing the operational environment to reduce costs and enhance the interchangeability of equipment across various applications.


Keysight Releases RF Circuit Simulation

Keysight Technologies recently introduced W5600E RFPro Circuit, an RF simulation tool designed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of RF integrated circuit (RFIC) designers. 


Keysight’s W5600E RFPro Circuit

Keysight’s W5600E RFPro Circuit. Image used courtesy of Keysight Technologies

Compatible for operation within major EDA platforms like Cadence Virtuoso and Synopsys Custom Compiler, this tool supports advanced multi-physics simulation specifically for applications dealing with complex 3D packaging challenges.

The W5600E RFPro Circuit features a modular architecture that allows users to co-design circuit, electromagnetic, and electrothermal simulations. Keysight has also incorporated advanced analysis capabilities, such as high-accuracy modulation, Winslow stability, and system-level waveform simulation.

This tool is currently available for the Cadence Virtuoso and Synopsys environments, with expected integration into the Keysight ADS environment later in the year. 


T&M Evolves With More Cloud-Based Networks

These three announcements each point to the shifting nature of test and measurement tools in the age of 5G. As networks continue to transition from traditional, monolithic architectures to disaggregated, cloud-based networks, testing methods must also adjust to verify new wireless technologies.  

A virtual Test and Measurement Forum, hosted by RCRWireless News, will take place on April 30, 2024, to discuss current and future trends in the T&M industry.