What Is a Vector Signal Transceiver (VST)?

Software-defined RF test system architectures have become increasingly popular over the past several decades. Almost every commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) automated RF test system today uses application software to communicate through a bus interface to the instrument. As RF applications become more complex, engineers are continuously challenged with the dilemma of increasing functionality without increasing test times, and ultimately test cost. While improvements in test measurement algorithms, bus speeds, and CPU speeds have reduced test times, further improvements are necessary to address the continued increase in the complexity of RF test applications.