Vector Signal Analyzer

Block Diagram (SBD) combines superheterodyne technology with high speed Analog to Digital Converters (ADCs) and Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) to perform spectrum measurements, demodulation and time-domain analysis on modulated signals.

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Design Considerations

A Vector Signal Analyzer (VSA) combines traditional superheterodyne technology with modern high speed Analog to Digital Converters (ADCs) and Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) to perform spectrum measurements, demodulation and time-domain analysis on time-varying and complex modulated signals. These capabilities make the VSA an ideal instrument for communications, radar/sonar, video, and many other applications.

The common sub-systems include:

RF Front-end

After amplification or attenuation and filtering, the RF input signal goes through one or more frequency translation stages to downconvert the signal to the Intermediate Frequency (IF). Key specifications include phase noise and jitter.

IF Section

The commercial availability of very high-speed ADCs played a key role in the emergence of the Vector Signal Analyzer class of instruments. Bandwidth, dynamic range and signal to noise ratio are key specifications for these ADCs.

Digital Signal Processing

The bulk of the signal analysis functions are implemented in software running on the DSP. The software enables a VSA to characterize complex modulated, time varying signals in terms of spectrum, modulation and waveform analysis. The input to the DSP based software is sampled I/Q vector modulated signals generated by different wireless and wireline communication standards. The receive chain is implemented in the DSP, which includes modulation/demodulation, channel decoding, MIMO processing, equalization, multipath fading compensation etc. Typical analysis functions include swept spectrum analysis, wideband FFT signal analysis, high speed continuous measurements including CCDF, power spectral density, auto-correlation and coherence measurements etc. Optionally it enables standards-based modulation analysis, vector signal generation, and Burst Error Rate (BER) measurement. Software implementation provides the inherent advantage of quick and easy implementation of new features, modifications to existing features and supporting multiple standards and technologies. The TI DSP architecture lends itself to very power and code efficient and fast execution of math intensive signal processing algorithms, which are common to all complex communication standards. Along with very high speed C64x+ cores, TI DSPs have other performance enhancing features such as large amounts of internal memory, multiple high speed I/O and high speed external memory interfaces to process the large amounts of sampled data.

Power Management and Conversion

Vector Signal Analyzers exist in various form factors such as bench, portable, and modular (or backplane based). The form factor plays a large role in determining the power management requirements of the instrument. For example, many bench VSAs are based on a computer architecture, leveraging display, interface, and power management functions from the high-volume PC market. Other VSAs operate from batteries for use in field service applications. Texas Instruments offers power management solutions for each of the available instrument form factors.

Application Notes (6)

Title Abstract Type Size (KB) Date Views
HTM 8 KB 09 Oct 2011 3724
HTM 9 KB 14 Oct 2008 232
HTM 8 KB 07 Oct 2008 215
HTM 9 KB 04 Sep 2008 551
HTM 8 KB 02 Jun 2008 551
HTM 8 KB 25 Jan 2006 251

User Guides (1)

Title Abstract Type Size (KB) Date Views
htm 8 KB 03 Feb 2011 255
    

Reference Designs

Selection and Solution Guides

Selection Guides (2)

Title Abstract Type Size (KB) Date Views
PDF 9.51 MB 01 May 2014 56715
PDF 4.91 MB 03 Jul 2008 600

Tools and Software

Name Part # Company Software/Tool Type
Anti-Aliasing Calculation Tool for A to D Converters ANTIALIASINGCALC Texas Instruments Calculation Tools
C64x+ IQMath Library - A Virtual Floating Point Engine SPRC542 Texas Instruments Software Libraries
Op Amp to ADC Circuit Topology Calculator ADC-INPUT-CALC Texas Instruments Calculation Tools
TMS320C6000 DSP Library (DSPLIB) SPRC265 Texas Instruments Software Libraries

Product Bulletin & White Papers

Product Bulletin (2)

Title Abstract Type Size (MB) Date Views
PDF 228 KB 09 Jun 2011 532
PDF 208 KB 25 Apr 2011 891

White Papers (3)

Title Abstract Type Size (MB) Date Views
PDF 1014 KB 17 May 2011 1002
PDF 562 KB 21 Dec 2010 606
PDF 423 KB 09 Nov 2010 615

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