Signal analysis need not be expensive, as evidenced by the new CXA economy analyzers from Agilent Technologies. With two models offering frequency coverage of 9 kHz to 3.0 GHz (model N9000A-503) and 9 kHz to 7.5 GHz (model N9000A-507) for under $17,000, the CXA signal analyzers don't scrimp on performance. They can be upgraded via software options for phase-noise, noise-figure, and vectorsignal- analysis (VSA) measurements.

The CXA signal analyzers (see figure) are suitable for both research-anddevelopment and production-line testing. Both instruments boast a displayed average noise level (DANL) of -144 dBm to 2.2 GHz, with the higher-frequency unit achieving a DANL of -128 dBm through 7.5 GHz. At the other end of the dynamic range, the third-order-intercept (TOI) point is +13 dBm. The analyzers feature 0.001-Hz frequency-counter resolution with absolute amplitude accuracy of 0.5 dB to 2 GHz. The maximum analysis bandwidth is 10 MHz, and resolution bandwidths can be set from 1 Hz to 3 MHz in 10-percent steps, with additional filters available having 4-, 5-, 6-, and 8-MHz bandwidths. Reference levels can be set from -170 to +30 dBm in 0.01-dB steps.

The optional W9069A noise-figure application software features a suite of one-button noise-figure and gain measurements from 200 kHz to 7.5 GHz (depending on the model), either with or without optional low-noise preamplifiers. The software guides a user through a number of different related measurements, including noise figure and noise factor, gain, effective temperature, Y-factor, and hot/cold power density.

The optional W9068A measurement application for the CXA analyzers arms the instruments for spectrum and phase-noise measurements, generating logarithmic plots of phase noise in dBc/ Hz versus offset frequency.

The optional W9063A analog demodulation measurement application for the CXA signal analyzers supports one-button measurements for analyzing analog modulated signals such as signals with amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM), and phase modulation (PM). The application provides a quad view showing the RF spectrum, AF spectrum, demodulation waveform, and FM demodulation metrics simultaneously. An additional option (model N9000AEMC option) equips either analyzer for electromagnetic-compatibility (EMC) compliance testing.

The analyzers are based on an open Windows XP Professional operating system and include numerous interfaces, including USB 2.0, Ethernet local area network (LAN) port, and GPIB interface. Both analyzers are LXI Class C compliant for use with LXI gear.

The CXA analyzers are code compatible with the company's earlier spectrum analyzers, including HP8566 and HP8568 analyzers, to simplify installation into automatic-test-equipment (ATE) systems. As an option, MATLAB analysis software from The MathWorks (www.mathworks.com) is available directly from Agilent on all of the PXA analyzers. The low-cost signal analyzers are available with optional 89600 VSA software for a wide range of spectrum and vector signal measurements using a single instrument. Agilent Technologies, 5301 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95051; (877) 424-4536, (408) 345-8886, FAX: (408) 345-8474, Internet: www.agilent.com.