The System RF Core forms the Backbone of Roos Instruments' Modular Microwave ATE System

The System RF Core forms the Backbone of Roos Instruments' Modular Microwave ATE System712370

Roos Instruments is a company that automates microwave test systems using a fundamentally new approach. They have combined a personal computer and object-oriented software technology with high-speed microwave measurement technology, to create what they claim to be the world's first true Microwave Automated Test Equipment (ATE) system. A true ATE system is one that is designed with the sole purpose of testing parts at the highest throughput possible while operating in all types of environmental conditions anywhere in the world.

The Cassini ATE platform is designed to be modular from the ground up so that it can be reconfigured for any new device or test plan. Its streamlined design gives Cassini the purest test signals in the industry and pinpoint accuracy from DC to 86 GHz and beyond. Cassini’s software is intuitive enough to save months in test development and time-to market, yet powerful enough for fast and accurate testing of the world's most advanced high-frequency technology.

The configurable microwave architecture of Cassini begins with the System RF (SyRF) Core. These 20 GHz source and measure instruments are the backbone for all power meter, spectrum analyzer, and vector network analyzer capabilities. Combined with a configurable integration layer and frequency converting test sets, the RF core allows Cassini to be scaled vertically to meet future performance benchmarks, and horizontally to capture emerging markets and disruptive technology.

Microwave Sourcing

The RI7725 Source and RI8577 Combiner instruments provide continuous wave sourcing on Cassini. Electromechanical relays in the RI8577 Combiner allow two sources to be routed to four different resources. This provides more freedom when routing signals to resources in the tester or to the device under test. Using the internal relays, both sources can be combined to provide two-tone capability for intermodulation test setups.

While electromechanical relays and step attenuators provide an ideal microwave source environment, both are susceptible to life cycle wear and degradation. With software tracking of component use, automated test program optimization, and by giving control of these resources to the test engineer, the life of the instrument can be doubled compared to traditional test systems.

Synchrodyne Vector Receiver

The hub for all measurements on Cassini, the vector receiver provides two direct measure ports for signals in the 100MHz to 20 GHz range and a dedicated low frequency port for signals from 100 kHz to 2 GHz. The local oscillator can be shared with up to three different frequency converting test sets along with their corresponding downconverted IF signals.


The shared local oscillator across instruments coupled with a distributed 10MHz timebase provides phase coherence for all measurements on the test system. This unique microwave architecture allows Cassini to perform S-Parameters across freqeuncy converting devices. The receiver’s port versatility coupled with the test systems’s configurable microwave integration layer enables Cassini to incrementally scale in frequency capability. This provides unparallelled RF pin efficiency and measurement code reuse with the receiver.

Click here for more details on the System RF core.

Click here to learn more about the CASSINI ATE System.

Publisher: everything RF