Modular Instrumentation

Anritsu partners with VDI to introduce frequency extender modules to bring best-in-class performance to sub-THz applications

Anritsu Company introduces frequency extender modules for its Rubidium-line of signal generators, in partnership with Virginia Diodes, Inc. (VDI). Covering 50 GHz to 1100 GHz, the modules complement Rubidium’s best-in-class performance by providing the industry’s broadest frequency coverage and best output power to create a sub-THz signal generator solution for emerging scientific, wireless communications systems, and body and material scanner applications.

The integrated solution brings significant signal purity and output power benefits to sub-THz design environments. Rubidium outperforms all other signal generators in its class in phase noise and harmonic/spurious by a substantial margin. The performance advantages are preserved at sub-THz frequencies.

When the VDI frequency extender modules are used with Rubidium signal generators, engineers realise the industry’s highest output power at THz frequencies. The VDI modules offer high test port power, voltage-controlled RF attenuation, and TTL controlled ON/OFF modulation rates to a few kHz as standard.

Each frequency extender module has two multipliers, which can be configured to allow input signals in two frequency bands. One multiplier has low frequency input for < 20 GHz and 10 dBm input level and the other has high frequency input for < 50 GHz and 0 dBm input level.

The Rubidium-VDI signal generation solution meets the growing demand for emerging sub-THz radio spectrum designs. It can be used during development of satellite services, radio astronomy, earth exploration, and meteorology applications.

Wireless communication systems focusing on the W band (90 GHz to 120 GHz) and D band (130 GHz to 170 GHz), as well as intersatellite links operating at 220 GHz to 330 GHz, are also applications for which the solution is designed.

“VDI strives to produce the highest quality test and measurement solutions for the mmWave, sub-THz and THz frequency ranges through frequency extension of existing microwave test infrastructure. Achieving this requires continual innovation and development to integrate leading-edge active devices with our in-house Schottky diode technology to meet tomorrow’s measurement challenges,” said Cliff Rowland V.P. Business Development, VDI. “VDI is exited to work with Anritsu to combine our high-frequency SGX extension modules with its new signal generation capability to bring high-performance solutions to the market.”

Rubidium Delivers New Level of Performance

The Rubidium signal generator family delivers outstanding signal purity and frequency stability, even at high output power levels, across a broad frequency range of 9 kHz to 43.5 GHz. Coupled with built-in, easy-to-use, at-location frequency and power calibration capability, Rubidium offers exceptional overall utility and long-term value in a broad range of commercial, scientific, and military/aerospace measurement applications.

Rubidium offers an order of magnitude with better frequency stability compared to other signal generators that use an OCXO-based reference. The signal generators offer groundbreaking low single sideband (SSB) phase noise of -136 dBc/Hz (typical) and -140 dBc/Hz (measured) at 10 GHz and 10 kHz offset that is unmatched in the industry. Coupled with best-in-class harmonic and spurious performance, Rubidium signal generators enable customers to make highly accurate measurements.

Pickering Interfaces announces strategy for reducing test development time using simulation tools

Pickering Interfaces, a global supplier of modular signal switching and simulation solutions for use in electronic test and verification, today announced the company’s leading-edge hardware and software simulation tools. These tools enable test engineers to begin writing and verifying test program code today, freeing them from supply chain constraints.

This news comes on the heels of Pickering Interface’s 3-pronged approach to obsolescence, further underscoring the company’s commitment to customer success. 

Try Pickering Interface’s Simulation Software or request Simulation Hardware today:

Speed Test System Development with Simulation

The software and hardware tools can simulate all Pickering PXI and LXI switching products and most of the company’s PXI simulation products, allowing for fast code development independent of application hardware.

With these simulation tools, test engineers can:

  • Mitigate Supply Chain Risks: Applications can be designed and developed without the presence of physical hardware, allowing engineers to begin working on a test system immediately – while waiting for hardware to ship.
  • Accelerate Development Time: Engineers can speed up the traditional waterfall development process and complete multiple development steps at once.
  • Debug Code without Physical Hardware: Engineers can pre-qualify equipment and test software code early in the development process – switch routes that could once only be verified and later debugged when hardware was available can now be verified before the hardware has arrived. By simulating switching and simulation modules before using physical components, engineers also minimise the risk of damaging costly test system hardware during verification.

“We want to remove every barrier engineers face in getting their test systems up and running,” said Noman Hussain, VP of Software at Pickering Interfaces. “With the Pickering Simulation tools, engineers can start evaluating hardware or testing code immediately. They can use these tools to easily select the optimum Pickering products for their test application. Then, the moment hardware arrives, they’re ready to deploy their test system.”

The PXI Simulation Software is now part of the standard Pickering PXI driver installation, while the LXI Simulation Software is a standalone windows application that can emulate Pickering’s switching and simulation products in virtual environment. Engineers can use both PXI and LXI software simulations to interact with their test programs.

The LXI Simulation tool (model 60-901) is a plug-and-play device, and engineers typically have it up and running within minutes. By simply connecting power and ethernet cords, downloading and installing free Pickering drivers and selecting the appropriate Pickering modules to test, engineers can run a simulation, and then easily re-program the tool to simulate different modules. These capabilities allow engineers to access thousands of modules within just a few clicks.

Interested in learning more? Download the Simulation Software or request a Simulation Tool today.

RS announces significant expansion of test and measurement equipment from Keysight Technologies

RS Group has significantly expanded the availability of its range of products from Keysight Technologies Inc., a leading technology company that delivers advanced design and validation solutions to help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world.

Keysight offers a broad range of electronic test and measurement equipment for industrial applications. These include benchtop power measurement and supply, bench multimeters and accessories, oscilloscopes, signal generators and electronic loads, as well as handheld electrical test equipment

RS has been a long-term distribution partner of Keysight and during the past 18 months, RS has continued to grow its range of Keysight products by more than 600 new products and devices, now available across the EMEA area. RS and Keysight also work closely together across several areas of customer engagement including direct client contact and marketing communications programmes.

A key product offering is Keysight’s ‘Smart Bench Essentials’, which is a package of benchtop test equipment that includes a digital multimeter, power supply, function generator and oscilloscope, plus application software that quickly enables engineers to connect in unprecedented ways. Another key product is the InfiniiVision range of oscilloscopes that deliver leading-edge performance to enable the capture of rare anomalies and glitches with industry-leading waveform update rates or quickly isolate signal events using the range’s Zone Touch triggering capability.

“As a global innovation partner, Keysight brings its strength as a leading test and measurement company to help engineers and test technicians quickly solve challenges,” said Jerry Paton, Senior Category Manager Test & Measurement at RS. “The range of Keysight products and technologies now in stock at RS will provide an unparalleled choice of world-class test and measurement technologies to help get products to market faster across a spectrum of demanding markets such as industrial, communications, aerospace and defence.”

Relec showcases power products and display at Southern Manufacturing 2023

Relec Electronics is exhibiting its extensive range of displays and power products at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2023 (Farnborough International, Farnborough, 7-9 January).

This year, marks the 10th appearance of Relec Electronics at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics.

Relec is highlighting its comprehensive range of AC-DC power supplies, DC-DC converters, DC-AC inverters and display technology on its stand (D70). Relec offers a wide range of panel PCs, consisting of a TFT display, a touch panel, CPU, memory and I/O ports, all in an IP65-rated enclosure. Sizes range from 10.1” to 23.8”, with many medically certified (60601). Relec also offers IPS, HDMI and TFT touch panel display solutions for medical, industrial, railway and military applications.

Relec is also highlighting its range of enclosed monitors, popular with manufacturers and system builders as a quick and easy way to integrate a display into equipment, via the VESA and flange brackets supplied.

Monitors available are suitable for indoor, outdoor, and harsh environments and integrate high brightness backlights, high contrast ratios and optical bonding to optimise outdoor viewing and readability.

The monitors include IPS technology for complete viewing angles and a bonded PCAP touch panel. They also use HDMI as the video input and include an audio line out and ambient light sensor for automatic dimming.

In addition to standard, catalogue products, Relec’s expertise and experience means it can offer a custom solution. Its team of experts is able to discuss and advise on applications, specifications and governing standards for a wide range of industries and applications, from transportation to high-rel. For example, in display technology, it offers enhancements to standard panels, including optical bonding, films to reduce glare, anti-bacterial and anti-fingerprint treatments.

Adding value to power products includes providing unique options and enhancements in all catalogue lines Relec supplies, a range of manufacturing services, such as sub-assemblies and finished products. In addition, many products complement one another, allowing customers to source many of their power supplies and displays from a single, reliable supplier.

Visit Relec Electronics at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2023, Stand D70, at Farnborough International GU14 6TQ from Tuesday 7th – Thursday 9th January.


Mouser Electronics adds over 55 new manufacturers in 2022 to its industry-leading line card

Mouser Electronics added 59 new manufacturers to its industry-leading line card during 2022, significantly expanding product choices for design engineers and purchasing professionals around the world. By offering customers a wide selection of the most advanced technologies, Mouser helps designers avoid costly redesigns, manufacturing delays or even the termination of a project.

Mouser works closely with its 1,200+ manufacturer partners to provide the fastest and easiest access to the industry’s newest components. Throughout 2022, as many companies faced supply chain challenges, semiconductor and electronic component manufacturers counted on Mouser to successfully help them introduce their products into the global marketplace

“Mouser is uniquely focused on offering our customers the widest selection of the latest technologies and products from the top electronic component manufacturers,” said Jeff Newell, Mouser Electronics’ Senior Vice President of Products. “Adding this significant number of new suppliers reinforces Mouser’s reputation as a one-stop shop for all the board-level components and associated development tools necessary for total project design.”

Among the new manufacturer partners Mouser added in 2022 are:

  • Allegro MicroSystems, a global leader in power and sensing solutions for motion control and energy-efficient systems.
  • Kingston, a leading global manufacturer of memory and storage solutions. Kingston supplies memory devices to top-tier data centres, cloud providers and PC manufacturers, as well as companies developing the next trends in smart devices.
  • Amphenol LTD, part of the family of companies that form the Amphenol Corporation, offers manufacturing services for an extensive range of connectors and interconnect solutions, including over-molding, cable assembly and electronic packaging.
  • Menlo Micro, a manufacturer responsible for creating an entirely new category of electronic switches for RF, microwave, millimeter wave, AC/DC power solutions and much more.
  • Advanced Photonix, a leading supplier of optoelectronic sensors, devices, and instruments used by test and measurement, process control, medical, telecommunication and defence markets.

For more information on Mouser’s newest manufacturer partners, go to

To see the latest products available from Mouser, visit

Eliminate noise issues in tightly stacked designs with Pickering’s new electrostatic shielding option

Pickering Electronics, the reed relay company which has pioneered miniaturisation and high performance for over 55 years, now offers optional electrostatic shielding for its 10kV stand-off Series 67/68 SIL/SIP reed relay families. Electrostatic screening protects against noise which can otherwise occur between the coil drive and high voltage circuits. This new screening is in addition to Pickering’s internal mu-metal screen which eliminates magnetic interaction when devices are closely stacked.

Series 67 and 68 high voltage reed relays are constructed using a leadframe in a Single-in-Line format and feature former-less coils which means that they can be housed in a

smaller package than is usual for this type of device, that measures just 58.4 x 12.6 x 14.5mm. Series 67 relays feature PCB connections to switch and coil and provide the highest power switch capability in the Pickering portfolio – up to 200W . Series 68 devices have PCB connections to coil and flying leads to the switch which keeps high voltage away from the PCB. Configurations include:

  • 1 Form A SPST up to 10kV stand-off, 7.5kV switching at 50W (max);
  • 1 Form A SPST up to 8kV stand-off, 6kV switching at 200W (max);
  • 1 Form C SPDT up to 5kV stand-off, 2.5kV switching at 100W (max);
  • 5, 12 or 24V coils are available with the option of an internal diode across the coil connections

Commented Kevin Mallett, Technical Specialist at Pickering Electronics: “Pickering continuously looks to improve our product offering. Electrostatic screening adds a new level of protection, ensuring our relay families provide the optimum performance for high voltage applications.”

TE Connectivity’s inaugural Industrial Technology Index examines corporate innovation culture

Innovation is an important key to business success, but misalignment around how to achieve it or even how to define it is making it more difficult for companies to achieve success.

In its inaugural Industrial Technology Index, a global survey of how companies innovate, TE Connectivity, a world leader in connectors and sensors, has unveiled key differences in how engineers and executives approach innovation. The report analyses the results of an online survey taken by engineers and executives working in a broad range of industries at companies located in the United StatesGermany and China.

“Our findings emphasise the importance of collaboration and shed light on the qualities that organisations must have if they hope to continue innovating in the current economic environment and beyond,” said CEO Terrence Curtin.

According to the survey, the difference in how executives and engineers approach innovation begins with how they define it. Fifty-seven percent of executives said innovation is a total transformation, while 55% of engineers define innovation as an iteration or improvement. The potential impact of this disparity is reflected in the data, as nearly half of the engineers surveyed say their organisation’s goals for innovation are unrealistic and that they struggle to meet them; only 34% of executives agreed.

Although there may be disagreement in what innovation truly means, it remains important to both groups surveyed. In fact, 90% of executives and 88% of engineers rank it as their organisation’s top priority, with the areas of renewable energy and cloud computing being a particular focus in the near future. Investment in innovation is a sticking point, however–83% of engineers think their company needs to fund innovation more to meet their goals, while 53% of executives see the need.

The survey unveiled a potential misalignment between engineers and executives on the importance of sustainable innovation—one in five engineers say their company does not have a clear strategy for implementing sustainable practices, something Curtin sees as a red flag.

“As we innovate, it’s vital that TE and companies across industries keep sustainability at the forefront as we collaboratively work toward a better tomorrow,” he said.

TE has published a full analysis of the survey results, identifying 10 key takeaways for engineers and executives to consider as they refine their innovation culture within their organisations.

View the Industrial Technology Index at

Space grade connectors

From extreme temperatures, hot and cold, to pressure bordering on a vacuum, equipment used in space has a lot to deal with. And, to add to the scale of the challenge, any equipment put into space is completely inaccessible for maintenance. So, if something breaks or disconnects, it can put the entire mission at risk. Here Sean Fitall, senior product manager at space-grade electrical connector specialist PEI-Genesis, discusses the special considerations that go into designing space-worthy electrical connectors.

When an electrical connector is needed for applications beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, it often needs to be space qualified. These are high-performance connectors that undergo rigorous testing for issues, such as outgassing and residual magnetism, and offer superior performance and reliability in harsh service conditions. Furthermore, space qualified connectors must be lightweight, compact and able to withstand harsh environments, such as the extreme temperatures and vibrations experienced during lift-off.


Outgassing is a major concern for space grade connectors. Materials like elastomers and plastics can slowly release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the form of gas or vapour over time. These VOCs result in contamination that can negatively impact the performance of mission-critical equipment. For example, it can strip plastic of some of the particles that help hold it together, causing components to become brittle and directly reducing their expected lifespan. Furthermore, it can cause condensation to build up on surfaces inside the space vehicle, such as sensors and camera lenses.

Because replacing embrittled connectors and cleaning these laminated sensors would require another multi-million-dollar rocket, avoiding outgassing is crucial. The way around this is to extract the VOCs prior to launch. This is typically accomplished by baking the connectors at an elevated temperature in a vacuum-sealed oven. After this process is complete, the connectors are tested to verify that they meet the strict requirements of space, aerospace and military applications.

Residual Magnetism

Residual magnetism can interfere with the performance of nearby equipment and result in false readings, which could be catastrophic depending on the equipment and sensors involved. For that reason, space grade connectors must meet requirements involving residual magnetism.

Metallic connectors constructed specifically with low residual magnetism include the Positronic Space D-Subs. These conform to contact specifications outlined by NASA, as well as MIL-DTL-24308 class M specifications for D-Subs, and NASA-RP-1124 outgassing standard tests. Testing is carried out using a fluxmeter following NASA space grade requirements for electric components.

Space grade connectors must meet some of the most stringent requirements for critical characteristics such as connector outgassing, residual magnetism, EMI-RFI shielding, ability to seal out the environment, compact size and, most of all, reliable performance. Product lines such as Positronic and Hermetic brands are excellent options, not just for spacecraft but aerospace, military, and medical applications too.

PEI-Genesis provides solutions to meet space qualified connector design needs. In addition to industry standard products, PEI-Genesis can outgas electroless nickel-plated versions of MIL-DTL-38999s to convert them into space grade Class G D38999 connectors. Its manufacturing facilities have state-of-the-art equipment, allowing it to successfully outgas a connector in a matter of hours, rather than weeks. The requirements for space grade connectors are critical, along with having a trusted partner so performance is always guaranteed.

To find out more, visit

D52R-E-RF Wireless spindle positioning system wins the German Design Award 2023

The DD52R-E-RF wireless system – ELESA patent – was awarded with the “Special Mention” by the jury of the German Design Award 2023 in the “Excellent Product Design – Industry” category for outstanding design quality.

The German Design Award is the most important contest of the German Design Council. Over the past 10 years of activity, the contest has earned a prominent position among the most prestigious international design awards, with the aim of rewarding innovative design projects and products. An international jury composed of leading experts from all design disciplines recognises the winners with a high level of expertise in design innovation and a strong focus on the needs of their customers and the market.

Participation in the competition is upon invitation by the Council itself, which selects candidates from among products and services whose characteristics stand out, in a particularly brilliant way, for the general concept of the project, for sustainability, aesthetics, functionality and durability of the product.

The result of an ambitious project on which the company focused significantly from the start, the new system of wireless electronic position indicators is the latest evolution of a range of ELESA position indicators, which today has numerous solutions including mechanical or electronic indicators, gravity or positive drive.

The system consists of up to 36 electronic position indicators connected via radio frequency to an external control unit. Designed for manual positioning of drive shafts on “smart” machines where frequent format changes are required. Minimising set-up times and reducing machine downtime costs for format change translates into increased plant productivity, resource savings and increased efficiency. No need for connecting cables with a reduced environmental impact for a much less complex system. Unique of its kind, it allows you to save time and eliminate human errors during set-up in paperless mode.

This important new acknowledgment joins the other 43 awards for industrial design received by products in the ELESA range, testifying to the fact that listening to new market demands on the one hand and the pioneering spirit with which certain technological challenges are tackled on the other hand, are a constant commitment towards which ELESA has never compromised.

Analog Devices’ precision medium bandwidth signal chain platform connects a wide range of sensors

Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) has introduced a precision medium bandwidth signal chain platform improving system performance for signal bandwidths of DC to approximately 500kHz towards industrial and instrumentation applications. The new platform offers a host of complete signal chains with customisable solution options and a curated suite of development tools, such as LTspice simulations, to simplify the design journey. These robust signal chains, designed for both time and frequency measurement precision, allow for end systems that can accept inputs from the widest array of sensor and measurement modalities from IEPE vibration and acceleration to temperature and pressure. The signal chains also support engineers in designing with confidence and tackling the most demanding precision instrumentation challenges in areas such as Condition Based Monitoring (CbM), large channel count or distributed data acquisition systems (DAQ), position and motor control, and sonar.

The signal chains included within the platform feature precision and power component selections that prioritise combined AC and DC accuracy design requirements, with options for single or multichannel systems as well as higher channel density for the largest channel count systems. Examples of precision medium bandwidth signal chain options provided with the platform include those that allow scaling of AC precision versus power for instrumentation, low latency options for motor control and position sensing, and highest density options using signal chain µModule SIP solutions or multichannel converters. Large channel count system designers can choose from signal chains where channel synchronisation is a priority, whether in channel-isolated or non-isolated systems.

Precision Medium Bandwidth Key Features:

  • Optimising signal chain resolution and gain delivers the 16-bit to 24-bit accuracy required, across the widest range of sensor bandwidths, for amplitudes both small and large
  • Flexibility to prioritise between noise performance, signal bandwidth, and power enables reuse of optimum layout and multiple use cases of the circuitry with simple software updates
  • Options for higher channel densities give the ability to scale the precision measurements to distributed or centralised large channel count scenarios