The vector network analyzer (VNA) is used in the area of electronics and high-frequency engineering to characterize the frequency dependent behavior of electrical networks, components, as well as interconnects. The VNA sends and receives high frequency signals at the ports and measures the ratio in terms of complex scattering parameters, also called reflection and transmission. All values of interest are captured in one fast measurement run. With the analysis at high frequencies, microwave and digital interconnect can be characterized. Power delivery networks and signal transmission paths in digital communication are very complex structures on multilayer printed circuit boards. The VNA is the ideal measuring device to characterize the reflection and transmission behavior and to evaluate unwanted effects like losses and crosstalk.
In prior to every measuring the device need to be calibrated in order to provide exact scattering parameters and to account for the microprobes and cables connecting the device under test to the VNA. The calibration kid provided by the vendor is used to measure known characteristics and to extract calibration coefficients automatically. The device under test is then connected to the VNA using the calibrated cables and connectors or microprobes. In one measurement run the VNA sweeps over a continuous frequency range from low MHz to high GHz frequencies in order to derive scattering parameters for the complete frequency range. The frequency range can be adjusted according to the requirements. The center frequencies of the internal filters of the VNA can be adjusted to provide more exact results for smaller ranges of frequencies. The measured scattering parameters and characteristics calculated from them are displayed immediately. Furthermore, all measured data is stored and can be copied to a computer in order to compare and validate with simulation results. Every single measurement run can be repeated automatically.