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Keithley Instruments - Press Release 6-5-2007


Keithley’s Model 2910 V2.0 RF Vector Signal GeneratorCleveland, Ohio – June 5, 2007 - Keithley Instruments, Inc. (NYSE:KEI), a leader in solutions for emerging measurement needs, announces a series of enhancements to its Model 2910 RF Vector Signal Generator. The new capabilities included in the Model 2910 V2.0 include additional wireless signal generation waveforms, a new power calibration feature, and increased ARB memory to accommodate more and larger waveforms. To learn more about Keithley’s Model 2910 V2.0 RF Vector Signal Generator, visit www.keithley.com/products/rfmicrowave/?mn=2910-F.

Keithley’s award-winning Model 2910 RF Vector Signal Generator has been recognized for a number of industry innovations, such as its Software-Defined Radio (SDR) Architecture, patent-pending synthesizer technology, and unique power leveling circuitry. The Model 2910 uses a highly versatile software architecture to adapt to the quickly changing test requirements of the dynamic wireless market. It provides a flexible RF test platform that reduces test times with fast frequency tuning, amplitude settling, and waveform switching for half the cost of instruments with similar, or less, performance capabilities. The Model 2910 can internally generate virtually any signal with up to 40MHz of modulation bandwidth and signals greater than 400MHz modulation bandwidth using external I-Q inputs. The Model 2910’s continuous tuning capability from 400MHz to 2.5GHz covers the key ISM bands used for wireless communications.

In addition, the Model 2910 has the most intuitive user interface on the market, making it simple for even the novice user to quickly and easily generate RF signals. With an unrivaled combination of high accuracy and repeatability, speed, flexibility, ease of use, and compact size, the Model 2910 V2.0 employs new approaches to RF test and measurement that enables users to get accurate measurement results quickly, reduce test times, and decrease costs.

Powerful New Modulation Capabilities

The Model 2910 V2.0 features two new modulation capability options. The first of these, the Model 2910-DIG, is a flexible digital modulation option that allows users to create an extensive range of signal modulations used in modern RF communication products. The Model 2910-DIG lets users create multiple permutations of all digital modulation signals including ASK, FSK, PSK, and QAM, each with user-selectable symbol rates, filter types, and data types. The Model 2910-DIG option is especially useful in research and development labs and in education for its ability to easily create a wide range of digital modulation signals.

The other new option is the Model 2910-GPS, a low-cost and flexible solution for GPS testing that is especially well suited for production test environments. The Model 2910-GPS option simulates the coded L1 signal of a GPS satellite with a variety of data types, including using an external user-file with up to 37,504 bits (12.5 minutes) of actual satellite data. Comparable solutions cost at least twice as much as the Model 2910 V2.0 with GPS option. Together with other common wireless standards, such as GSM, EDGE, W-CDMA, cdmaOne, and cdma2000, the Model 2910-GPS option expands the scope of the Model 2910’s RF test and measurement capabilities to test mobile devices with integrated GPS functionality.

Improved Power Calibration Increases Accuracy

Keithley’s Model 2910 V2.0 also features a new power calibration table that improves measurement accuracy by compensating for RF power losses in test fixture cables. The table stores power vs. frequency values of the cables obtained via a separate RF power meter. The Model 2910 then automatically adjusts the power, correcting for cable losses to an accuracy of +0.3dB. This reduces operator error when making manual measurements and eliminates the need to develop power correction programming scripts in the test executive for automated systems.

Calibrating the test fixture is simplified with a new SCPI (Standard Commands for Programmable Instruments) command feature that allows an external PC connected to a Model 2910 V2.0 to control a separate RF power meter, such as a handheld Keithley Model 3500 RF Power Meter, via a USB cable; the power meter is used to measure power at the RF cable connected to the device under test. Compensating for cable power loss is critical for production test environments to reduce measurement uncertainty, which helps to increase product quality and yields.

Increased Memory Supports Large Waveforms

Another enhancement to the Model 2910 V2.0 is its Arbitrary Waveform Generator (ARB) memory expansion to 100 Mega-samples, allowing very large waveforms or many smaller waveforms to be loaded into memory. The 100 Mega-sample ARB of the Model 2910-ARB option supports multiple signal waveforms to be resident in memory and enables switching between these waveforms in less than three milliseconds using a remote-control SCPI command over the instrument’s GPIB, USB or LAN interfaces.

A new ARB Sequencing feature further speeds up waveform switching times to support instant transition times. Here, the waveform sampler moves from the last point of an ARB waveform to the first point of the next waveform in one clock cycle. The ARB waveforms can be played in any sequence, providing added flexibility for speeding up measurements. Such fast and flexible testing is especially useful for production test applications.

Whether switching between frequencies, amplitude levels, or waveforms, the Model 2910 V2.0 delivers measurement speeds that are two to twenty times faster than traditional instruments – delivering the fastest execution times for testing wireless devices and products.

Preserving Capital Investment

Keithley’s Model 2910 V2.0 RF Vector Signal Generator is an extremely accurate and versatile test instrument. It is readily adaptable to new wireless standards, increasing productivity, reducing time to market, and protecting test equipment capital investment. Users can easily upgrade to new and emerging standards as they become available without expensive hardware upgrades or new equipment purchases. The Model 2910 is a flexible RF test platform with the performance needed for today and the flexibility for the test needs of future RF wireless technologies.

Existing owners of the Model 2910 can download the Model 2910 V2.0 firmware with standard enhancements from Keithley’s Web site at no additional cost. Units can also be upgraded with the optional Model 2910-DIG or Model 2910-GPS, or both. These can all be done in the field, do not need to be returned to a Keithley Service Center, and require no hardware upgrade.

Price and availability: Units are now available with four weeks delivery. The base price for the Model 2910 V2.0 RF Vector Signal Generator is $13,400 USD. The ARB option is $3,150 USD, the flexible digital modulation option is $3,500 USD, and the GPS option is $2,500 USD. Firmware upgrade is free for existing owners of Model 2910 units.

For More Information. For more information on Keithley's Model 2910 V2.0 RF Vector Signal Generator or any of its RF test solutions, visit www.keithley.com/products/rfmicrowave or contact the company at:

Telephone: 800-688-9951 440-248-0400
FAX: 440-248-6168
E-mail: publisher@keithley.com
Internet: www.keithley.com
Address: Keithley Instruments, Inc.
28775 Aurora Road
Cleveland, OH 44139-1891

About Keithley Instruments, Inc.

With more than 60 years of measurement expertise, Keithley Instruments has become a world leader in advanced electrical test instruments and systems from DC to RF (radio frequency). Our products solve emerging measurement needs in production testing, process monitoring, product development, and research. Our customers are scientists and engineers in the worldwide electronics industry involved with advanced materials research, semiconductor device development and fabrication, and the production of end products such as portable wireless devices. The value we provide them is a combination of precision measurement technology and a rich understanding of their applications to improve the quality of their products and reduce their cost of test.

Products and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.


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RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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