LAS VEGAS--Anritsu launched a line of spectrum analyzers yesterday at IWCE 2007 in Las Vegas that the company is billing as an economic alternative for bench testing microwave components, subsystems and systems.

The devices are designed to meet the needs of repair centers, design centers and manufacturers of commodity products such as low-end cellular telephones, said Tom Brinkoetter, product manager. “The need has been out there for a long time,” he said.

Because bench personnel will use the analyzers, rather than field technicians, they did not have to be ruggedized. Anritsu also was able to eliminate the battery in each device and limited their options compared with the company’s hand-held analyzers. “GPS doesn’t make sense in a bench model,” Brinkoetter said.

These design changes were the largest factors in Anritsu’s ability to significantly lower the cost of the devices, which is about $1000 less than comparable hand-held analyzers and far less than typical bench-top analyzers, Brinkoetter said.

“They’re inexpensive enough that you could set up two or three [on a manufacturing line], where with a more expensive model, you could only set up one,” Brinkoetter said.

Nevertheless, the bench-top analyzers offer “a lot of technical sophistication in a small form factor and in a far less expensive device.” The MS271xB line consists of three models that cover the 9 kHz to 7.1 GHz, 9 kHz to 13 GHz and 9 kHz to 20 GHz frequency ranges. Each offers 1 Hz to 3 MHz RBW, amplitude accuracy better than +/- 1.3 db, phase noise of –114 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset, and typical dynamic range of 100 db, which enables the device to precisely test RF and microwave devices that require exceptional linearity, according to the company.

In addition, the analyzers offer RMS detection and channel power ratio measurements, AM/FM demodulation, limit testing and optional WCDMA/HSDPA RF measurements and optional hardware to support WCDMA demodulation. The 7.1 GHz model also offers an optional tracking generator to support filter and amplifier measurements, as well as optional WiMAX measurements that can be used by Fixed WiMAX equipment manufacturers.

“They’re an RF oscilloscope for bench repair,” Brinkoetter said.

In the future, Anritsu will explore the addition of a remote control capability and the ability to let users move data collected by the analyzers to a central computer for quality control purposes, Brinkoetter said.

The 9 kHz to 7.1 GHz analyzer has a base price of $12,950, while the 9 kHz to 13 GHz and 9 kHz to 20 GHz devices start at $16,950 and $19,950, respectively.