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VSG vs VSA-comparison between VSG (Vector Signal Generator) and VSA (Vector Signal Analyzer)

This page of T & M World compares VSG (Vector Signal Generator) vs VSA (Vector Signal Analyzer) and mentions comparison between VSG and VSA in tabular form.

Due to advent of complex modulation schemes (QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM), multiple antenna and multi-carrier systems (OFDM, OFDMA) in modern wireless communication systems (Mobile WiMAX, WLAN, LTE, LTE-Advanced); it has become essential to analyze the waveforms generated by them. This has pioneered the development of vector signal generation and analysis.

There are two types of Vector Signal Generator and Analyzer.
• Offline Version: It is mere software application which generates IQ data in the form of text files in the formats which include floating point, fixed point and integer. This version do not require any RF. This applications are used to test the development at initial stage only before integration with RF part.
• Online Version: It combines baseband part and RF part. The output is realtime modulated signal as per required complex vector as per respective wireless standards.

Following table summarizes difference between VSG and VSA equipments used for signal generation and signal analysis respectively.


VSG VSA
It is the short form of Vector Signal Generator. It is the short form of VEctor Signal Analyzer.
It is used to generate complex IQ vector or modulated IQ vector at respective RF carrier frequency. It is used to analyze complex IQ vector or modulated IQ vector at respective RF carrier frequency.
It is used to test receiver functionality of DUT(Device Under Test) with or without RF. It is used to test transmitter functionality of DUT(Device Under Test) with or without RF.
Hardware version of VSG consists of Waveform Generator and RF Up Converter. Hardware version of VSA consists of RF Down Converter and Digitizer.
Input to VSG is binary data and Output is complex IQ vector in offline baseband version. Input to VSA is complex IQ vector and output is binary data in offline baseband version.
Typical measurements include transmit power, power spectrum, spectral flatness, CCDF, Constellation diagram etc. Typical measurements include EVM, channel response etc.

Following are the T&M companies with model numbers of VSG (Vector Signal Generator).
• National Instruments, Models: PXI-5670/5671
• Keysight, Models: N5182A MXG/M9381A PXIe
• Anritsu, Model: MG3710A
• R&S, Model: SMU200A

Following are the T&M companies with model numbers of VSA (Vector Signal Analyzer).
• National Instruments, Models: PXI-5660/5661
• Keysight, Model: M9392A PXI with 89600 VSA Software
• Anritsu, Models: MT8870A/MS2830A
• R&S, Model: CMW500



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