Keysight Grows Its Line of Signal Source Analyzers to Cover Up to 54 GHz

February 05, 2024 by Jake Hertz

The new lineup of products caters to engineers working on wireless communications and high-speed digital systems.

In extremely complex fields like radio frequency (RF) or high-speed digital, sometimes the hardest part of design is testing. Such high-speed signals are sensitive and difficult to capture, necessitating specialized test equipment that can accurately measure the signal without impacting the results.


A Keysight SSA-X source analyzer

A Keysight SSA-X source analyzer


To help engineers strike this balance, Keysight Technologies recently announced three new signal source analyzer models. These tools aim to bring precise and accurate measurements to low-phase-noise signals in RF and high-speed digital designs. Let’s take a deeper look at the launch and the details of these models.


Keysight Extends Its Signal Source Analyzer Portfolio

Keysight recently enhanced its SSA-X Signal Source Analyzer portfolio by introducing three new models that can reach higher frequencies of 26.5 GHz, 44 GHz, and 54 GHz. According to the company, these additions cater to the needs of radio frequency engineers working on cutting-edge wireless communications, radar, and high-speed digital systems, where the demand for precise, low-phase-noise signal sources supports escalating frequencies and data bandwidths.

Engineers must set up multiple instruments to test and evaluate signal sources like synthesizers, clocks, and oscillators for advanced applications—a time-consuming process. Keysight's SSA-X models combine phase noise measurement, spectrum analysis, and other essential tests in a single device. This integration simplifies the testing process while also accelerating the characterization of signal sources.

A noteworthy feature of these new models is their built-in direct digital synthesis (DDS) source and proprietary cross-correlation channels, ensuring a clean signal up to 54 GHz. This capability enhances accurate phase noise and jitter measurements, which are paramount in ensuring the fidelity and performance of high-frequency signal transmissions.

Furthermore, Keysight claims the SSA-X series offers best-in-class phase noise sensitivity, thanks to its extremely low phase noise internal local oscillators (LOs) and RF source. This sensitivity is critical for precise measurements that can discern the subtlest noise characteristics in signal sources, directly impacting the quality and reliability of advanced communication systems.


A Deep Dive of One New Member: The E505xA

Let's explore the E505xA variant in more detail to get a better feel for Keysight's new portfolio.

The E505xA series covers a broad frequency range from 1 MHz to 54 GHz across its various models. The devices are designed for precise phase noise analysis, featuring single sideband (SSB) phase noise sensitivity. This feature includes detailed specifications for various offset frequencies and RF input frequencies, ensuring accurate signal quality assessments.


SSB phase noise sensitivity of the E5055A option 2xx

SSB phase noise sensitivity of the E5055A option 2xx

The analyzers are particularly adept at phase noise measurements, providing a minimum offset frequency as low as 1 mHz and extending up to 54 GHz for the highest-end model. They also yield a phase noise measurement accuracy of less than 1.5 dB offset to 1 MHz. The analyzer supports a wide input power range from -20 dBm to +20 dBm, with certain models enabling even more sensitive measurements.


High Accuracy for Complex Designs

With three new models of signal source analyzers, Keysight hopes to equip RF and high-speed digital engineers with new tools to take accurate and reliable measurements, regardless of the signal under test. This accuracy may subsequently accelerate time to market and bring forth new cutting-edge technologies. 



All images used courtesy of Keysight Technologies.