Arbitary waveform generators can be used in remote applications

Arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs) based on the LXI instrumentation standard allow engineers generate electronic signals in automated test and remote applications. The generatorNETBOX series from Spectrum Instrumentation has seven new models with 14 and 16bit resolutions, output rates up to 1.25Gsample/s with 400MHz bandwidth and model with two, four and eight synchronised channels.

They combine DAC technology and can generate signals from DC up to 400MHz. Full remote control is through a simple Ethernet connection to any PC or LAN for easy integration into any test system.

For high frequency applications, the fast, high-resolution DN2.66x AWGs use DACs with 16bit vertical resolution and offer output rates up to either 1.25Gsample/s or 625Msample/s. They also include large on-board memories (up to 2 x 4Gbyte) and a generous output voltage range of up to ±4V (±5V for 625Msample/s models) into high impedance and ±2V (±2.5V for 625Msample/s models).

For lower frequency applications, there are DN2.60x AWGs, which use 14bit DAC technology that can output signals at rates up to 125Msample/s. They are suitable for applications where signals with frequency content up to 60MHz need to be produced.

To generate long and complex waveforms, the AWGs combine large on-board memories with a number of operating modes such as single-shot, loop, FIFO, gating and sequence replay. In FIFO mode, the instruments can stream data continuously from PC memory to the AWG memory over the GBit Ethernet port. The AWGs can even output signals while new waveform data is being sent to the on-board memory.

Each channel is clocked using a precision PLL control system generated internally or from an external clock or reference. Front-panel multi-purpose I/O connectors enhance system flexibility by allowing access to asynchronous digital inputs, asynchronous digital outputs, the trigger output, the run and arm status, the PLL reference clock and a marker output.

Small and compact, the AWGs can be benchtop or rack-mounted. For mobile applications they can also be powered by an optional 12 or 24V DC source.

The company’s SBench6-Pro software comes as standard with every unit, providing a simple, easy-to-use, GUI to control all the operating modes and hardware settings.

Drivers are included to allow users to write control programs with almost any popular programming language, such as C++, Visual Basic, VB.NET, C#, J#, Delphi and Python code. Third party software support is also provided for LabVIEW, LabWindows and MatLab.

Using the embedded server option,, an AWG can operate remotely as an independent unit or as part of a larger system when connected to a LAN. A powerful CPU, a freely accessible SSD, more memory and a remote software development access method combine to create an open platform where you can run your own software, while at the same time remain connected via LAN for remote access.


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