IoT drives Tektronix into low cost Vector Network Analyzer market

April 25, 2017 //By Nick Flaherty
The demands of designing equipment for the Internet of things (IoT) has driven Tektronix into a new market area with its first Vector Network Analyzer (VNA).

“We still see the IoT market growing like crazy, with a 33% compound growth for the next 5 years and we are seeing a continuing growth in demand for lower prices instruments,” said Dean Miles, EMEA marketing development manager at Tektronix. “IoT design engineers have a different workflow with pre-certified RF modules and we see an emerging need in the market driven by IoT for lower cost RF.”

The TTR500 Series low cost USB2 VNA offers a full 2-port, 2-path S-parameter VNA for such applications as measuring passive/active components, antennas and matching networks, RF modules, test cables, adapters and more. It features a solid set of specifications including 100 kHz to 6 GHz frequency range, 122 dB dynamic range, less than 0.008 dB trace noise, and -50 to +7 dBm output power, all in a compact package weighing less than 2kg. Linking to a laptop for analysis reduces the cost and size of the unit.

VNAs help IoT designers match Bluetooth, WLAN, RFID and other radios to antennas. In many cases, designers must rent or borrow VNAs, adding time and expense to projects. In education, the high cost of VNAs means students get little to no hands-on time with an important instrument.

“With its disaggregated design, the TTR500 Series achieves the same level of performance as a benchtop VNA, but at 40 percent lower cost and one-seventh the size and weight of units with comparable performance,” said Jim McGillivary, general manager of RF and Component Solutions at Tektronix. “This new architecture also reduces component count and  complexity for more reliability compared to benchtop VNAs. The RSA306 disrupted the spectrum analyzer and I’m confident the TTR500 Series will have the same impact for the VNA.”