PicoVNA Series

Low-cost, professional-grade 6 GHz and 8.5 GHz VNAs for both lab and field use

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PicoVNA® Vector Network Analyzers

PicoVNA: High performance, portability, and low cost

  • 6 GHz and 8.5 GHz models
  • 300 kHz to 6 or 8.5 GHz operation
  • High speed, up to 5500 dual-port S-parameters per second
  • > 10 000 S11 + S21 per second
  • Quad RX four-receiver architecture for best accuracy
  • Up to 124 dB dynamic range at 10 Hz bandwidth
  • 0.005 dB RMS trace noise at a maximum bandwidth of 140 kHz
  • Half-rack, small-footprint, lightweight package
  • Reference plane offsetting and de-embedding
  • Time domain and port impedance transformations
  • Up to 4 live + 4 memory traces on dual y-axis display channels
  • Save on trigger for high-speed device profiling (PicoVNA 108)
  • Dual-frequency mixer measurements with VSWR correction (PicoVNA 108)
  • Phase meter, P1dB, AM to PM, and stand-alone signal generator utilities
  • Male and female SOLT and automated E-Cal calibration standards
  • Guided 8/12-term, SOLT, TRL, and TRM calibrations including unknown-through
  • Confident measurement based on traceable data for all calibration and check standards

Vector network analysis for the many

Once the domain of an elite few, microwave measurement has encroached into the lives of scientists, educators, surveyors, inspectors, engineers, and technicians alike. Today’s microwave measurements need to be straightforward, portable, accurate, cost-effective and easy to learn.

PicoVNAs are all-new, UK-designed, professional USB-controlled, laboratory-grade vector network instruments of unprecedented performance, portability, and value for money. Despite their simple outline, small footprint, and low cost, the instruments boast a four-receiver architecture to minimize the uncorrectable errors, delays, and unreliability of internal transfer switches.

The PicoVNA 108 delivers an exceptional dynamic range of 124 dB at 10 Hz (118 dB for the PicoVNA 106) and less than 0.006 dB RMS trace noise at its maximum operating
bandwidth of 140 kHz. The instruments can also gather all four S-parameters at each frequency point in just 182 μs (PicoVNA 106) or 189 μs (PicoVNA 108), or S11 + S21 in less than 100 μs. In other words, a 201 point 2-port .s2p Touchstone file in less than 38 ms or up to two .s1p files in less than 20 ms. Their low price makes them cost-effective as deep dynamic range scalar network analyzers or single-port vector reflectometers as well as full-function dual-port, dual-path vector network analyzers. They are affordable in the classroom, in small businesses, and even in amateur workshops, yet capable of meeting the needs of all users up to the laboratory or production test technician or the metrology expert.

Automated PicoVNA E-Cal and TRL/TRM calibrations

Many users of a vector network analyzer insist upon an automated calibration solution. Automation can provide extra speed, efficiency, and a simplified process. Automated VNA calibration can also improve overall calibration quality and even reduce uncertainties or errors.

TRL (Through Reflect Line) and TRM (Through Reflect Match) calibration typically gain favor when needing to measure substrate-mounted DUTs, for example, surface-mounted networks or components on a PCB or ceramic.

More on E-Cal and TRL calibrations: Automated E-Cal and TRL calibrations.

Vector Network Analysis in the field, the workplace or as embedded function

The PicoVNAs' small size, light weight, and low cost suit them to field service, installation test, OEM embedded, and classroom applications. With their remote automation capability, they are also attractive in applications such as:

  • Test automation, including multiple VNA control and measurement
  • Manufacturers needing to integrate a reflectometry or transmission measurement core
  • Inspection, test, characterization, and calibration in the manufacture, distribution, and service center industries:
    • Electronics component, assembly, and systems, and interface/interconnect ATE (cable, PCB, and wireless)
    • Material, geological, life-science and food sciences; tissue imaging; penetrating scan and radar
  • Broadband cable and harness test and matching at manufacture and installation, and fault-over-life monitoring
  • Antenna matching and tuning

Software development kits, including code examples in MATLAB and MATLAB RF toolbox, LabVIEW, C, C#, and Python, are all available for download from Pico Technology’s GitHub pages. Examples include multiple instrument addressing and control.

Network Metrology Training and Metrology Kits

In the classroom, Pico supports Network Metrology education through a low-cost, potentially one-per-student classroom kit. The Network Metrology Training Kit comprises PCB based passive and active circuit and transmission line examples, calibration standards and test leads, and for Microwave Office users, the project files used in its design. Just add the PicoVNA to start making and learning about network measurements and their critical role within the Design-Simulate-Implement-Measure design cycle.

View the kits

Network Measurement Training Kit circuit board