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May 25th, 2016

Production Test For RF Power Amplifiers Sped Up With New Keysight Technologies Source & Measurement Unit

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) has disclosed their first PXI Express source/measurement unit, the M9111A, which is purpose-built for design validation and production test of next-generation power amplifiers and front-end modules supporting cellular and wireless connectivity formats.

Keysight's M9111A offering.

The high-speed M9111A changes voltage, stabilizes and accurately measures micro-Amps, all in less than 1 ms. The PXIe entry achieves speeds 20 times faster than those for previous-generation, stand-alone Keysight SMUs at a fraction of the size. Power amplifiers draw rapid pulses of current, a challenge that the M9111A easily manages with transient performance unmatched in the industry. The M9111A SMU dramatically reduces voltage droop due to pulse loading and recovers quickly to its program voltage.
Under extreme, dynamic load conditions, traditional SMUs may prove unstable. The M9111A provides industry-leading output stability, eliminating worry that the power source will interfere with measurements. Glitch-free operation ensures safe use with the device under test during output and measurement range changes, even with high capacitances. The output voltage and current remain steady and the DUT undamaged. The one-slot, two-quadrant PXIe module delivers up to 18 W of power at up to 13 V, ±1 A or up to 6 V, ±3 A. The M9111A combines the capabilities of a voltage source, a current source, an ammeter and a voltmeter. Measurement capabilities for the M9111A include:

  • High-speed changes in voltage with fast settling times
  • High-speed recovery and low-voltage drop when the DUT pulls pulses of current with sharp edges
  • High-speed, accurate low-current measurements, such as leakage currents


The M9111A is part of the Keysight RF power amplifier and front-end module reference solution, which enables rapid, full characterization of next-generation power amplifier modules, such as power-amplifier devices, including S-parameter, demodulation, power, adjacent channel power and harmonic distortion measurements.

According to the Senior Director for Chipset Mobile Test at Keysight Technologies, Giampaolo Tradioli, the M9111A's high speed output and glitch-free operation and the ability to remain stable, even with capacities up to 150 µF, make this unit for power-amplifier test of handsets and cell phones.