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High-Speed Waveform Metrology Group

NIST CTL’s High-Speed Waveform Metrology Group develops fundamental performance measurements for the high-speed devices and components at the heart of modern communications equipment.

The High-Speed Waveform Metrology Group's work applies to a wide variety of communications and computing technologies and is of particular importance to CTL’s Next-Generation 5G Wireless and Fundamental Metrology for Communications program areas. To facilitate these programs we develop standards and metrology for the ultrafast circuits needed for the communications and computer networks of the future.  Our group includes two primary projects: High-Frequency Electronics and Waveform Metrology.



This project is dedicated to improving the on-chip measurement of very-high-speed transistors (into the hundreds of gigahertz) as well as characterizing the nonlinear behavior of high-power, lower-frequency (microwave to millimeter-wave) transistors. Combinations of these transistors will be indispensable to next-generation wireless systems and open up a new high-frequency spectrum to the wireless industry. In addition to the High-Frequency Electronics Project, there are two exciting activities within this program sponsored by the NIST Innovations in Measurement Science awards: Josephson Arbitrary Waveform Synthesizer (JAWS) and the DC to 1 THz Large-Amplitude Optoelectronic Multitone Electrical-Signal Synthesizer.

High-Speed Waveform
110 GHz electronic comb generator in a 250 nm InP HBT Technology


The NIST Microwave Uncertainty Framework is a software tool developed to calculate uncertainty using conventional error-propagation analysis and Monte Carlo analysis. Active development of this framework includes the propagation of correlated uncertainties (which are required for traceable modulated signal measurements and many communication metrics), extending uncertainty propagation to nonlinear processes and system-level applications, and facilitating complex correlated uncertainty analyses required by the traceability chains of modern communications systems. Furthermore, we are using this framework to establish traceability for mmWave channel measurements, critical to the development of 5G technologies.


Waveform Metrology Project
A 100 GHz photodiode being characterized using the Electro-optic Sampling method

This project has historically developed optoelectronic and statistical signal analysis techniques to characterize high-speed instrumentation used by the fiber optics, digital IC, and wireless industries as well as the Department of Defense (DoD) Primary Standards Laboratories and DoD contractors. Four NIST innovations lie at the core of the project’s work: calibration of impedance mismatch and loss effects in signal measurements; traceable electro-optic sampling (EOS) for frequency-response calibration; the calibration of timing errors, response errors, and impedance effects in sampling oscilloscopes; and uncertainty analysis that transforms waveform uncertainties between the time and frequency domains. 

NIST was the first NMI to develop phase calibration capability through EOS and to map this calibration into waveform measurements and waveform measurement uncertainty. The Waveform Metrology Project maintains several calibration services that are used to provide traceability for commercial instrumentation, such as large-signal network analyzers, lightwave component analyzers, vector signal analyzers, oscilloscopes, pulsed laser radiometers, and optical time-domain radiometers. NMIs in South Korea, China, Germany, and the U.K. are actively working on developing similar waveform measurement services.


News and Updates


IMS2022 Panel Sessions

Jeffrey Jargon, Jasmin Grosinger, Mona Hella
The panel sessions at this year's IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS) Week have been put together to cover the broad range of topics and events

2022 Spring/Summer ARFTG Microwave Measurement Conference

Jon Martens, Andrej Rumiantsev, Marco De Spirito, Jeffrey Jargon
The Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) is a technical organization interested in all aspects of RF and microwave test and measurement. Originally created as

High-Gain 500-GHz InP HBT Power Amplifiers

Jerome Cheron, Rob Jones, Richard Chamberlin, Dylan Williams, Miguel Urteaga, Kassi Smith, Nick Jungwirth, Bryan Bosworth, Chris Long, Nate Orloff, Peter Aaen, Ari Feldman
We report two terahertz monolithic integrated circuit (TMIC) amplifiers operating at 500 GHz. The 6-stage single-ended power amplifiers use Teledyne's 130 nm


Group Leader (a)