This Module allows the characterization of Power amplifiers using a scalar setup comprising an analog RF source, power meters and power supplies.

Scalar Setup

IQSTAR provides corrected data at the DUT reference plane. The correction terms are calculated during the calibration process using a step-by-step wizard.

Depending on the setup configuration, different calibrations can be performed. In the case of a scalar setup, the calibration procedure is based on power measurements using power meters and signal generators. To minimize the source of errors, IQSTAR provides a state-of-the-art calibration wizard that relies on the schematic setup to identify the type calibration that is possible to perform and guides the end-user through all the steps including the validation process to verify and assess the expected accuracy.

Different sweep settings are available to the end-user allowing appropriate characterization of different power amplifier technologies:

    • A two-dimensional (2D) sweep, with the choice of sweeping power per frequency or frequency per power
    • A fast and convenient Smart Sweep incrementing the input power with a coarse step and then with fine steps to prevent overdriving the DUT.

1Tone Power Sweep

Different operating and transducer gain compression modes are made available to characterize the power amplifier under test, including compression from linear and compression from maximum gain.
Gan-based Power amplifiers need more cautious characterization as the power sweeps need to start always from the same trapping level. For that, IQSTAR embeds a quiescent current stabilization option allowing to monitor the current settling in the quiescent state over time and assure it reaches the right level before triggering a new power sweep.
The Protection of the test bench and the measured circuits are top priorities when it comes to RF power characterization. Multiple stop conditions can be set in the software: Gain compression, Maximum output power, Efficiency compression and more.

1-Tone measurements with a scalar setup allow the characterization of Power Amplifiers by measuring the following parameters:

  • Power & frequency sweeps
  • Gain Compression
  • PAE
  • Power Gain (3 power meters are needed)
  • Transducer Gain (2 Power meters are needed)

During the measurements, the user can consult the results on the live visualization tool. Besides the history measurements (up to fifty iterations) available for display, it is also possible to set some specifications limits that the circuit under test needs to reach. A color-coded display allows a fast evaluation of the DUT and indicates if it passes or fails.

IQSTAR 1 tone