Portable AWG can generate 16 signals for Ethernet/LXI

Arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs) from Spectrum Instrumentation now include the DN2.65x series, based on the LXI instrumentation standard. It has been created for engineers and scientists that need to simultaneously generate up to 16 precise electronic signals, explains Spectrum. The small, compact generators are suitable for automated testing or remote-control type applications.

There are six instruments in the series, offering a choice of configurations and performance levels. All feature the 16-bit digital to analogue converter (DAC) technology, combined with low-noise flexible outputs. This allows them to generate almost any test signal in the DC to 60MHz frequency range, says Spectrum.

Full remote control is achieved through a simple Ethernet connection to any PC or local area network (LAN) making them easy to integrate into virtually every test system, says the company.

The DN2.65x series of generatorNetBox instruments are available with four, eight or 16 fully synchronous channels and offer output rates of 40 or 125Msamples per second. Signals with a programmable output swing of up to ±6.0V into high impedance or ±3.0V into 50Ohms can be generated. The units also include large on-board memories of up to two 512Msamples that can be used in different operating modes (single-shot, loop, FIFO, gated and sequence replay modes) to allow the generation of long and complex waveforms. Signals can even be generated while new waveform data is being loaded to the on-board memory.

Each channel of the AWG is clocked using a phase locked loop (PLL) control system that can be generated internally or from an external clock or reference. Four different filters are available to optimise the output signal quality and help ensure excellent dynamic performance. For example, noise spectral density (NSD) is as low as -142dBm/Hz, total harmonic distortion (THD) is down to -74dB, signal to noise ratio (SNR) is as high as 90dB and spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) is up to 97dB.

Front-panel, multi-purpose I/O connectors allow access to synchronous digital (marker) outputs, trigger output, run and arm status, the PLL reference clock or asynchronous I/O lines.

The generatorNetBox is portable – it weighs 6.3 kg. It can be freestanding on a test bench, rack mounted with other equipment or powered by the optional 12 or 24V DC sources for mobile use.

The instruments are supplied with all the tools necessary to generate an unlimited variety of waveforms. They can be connected to a host computer (e.g. laptop or workstation) or anywhere on the corporate network. Spectrum’s SBench 6 Professional software is supplied as standard. Users can control all the operating modes and hardware settings from a simple graphical user interface (GUI). The software also has a host of built-in features for waveform creation, data analysis and documentation, including an EasyGenerator function for producing standard wave shapes such as sine, rectangular, triangle, saw-tooth, SINC and DC. Waveforms can also be created from equations, imported from other devices (such as digitisers and oscilloscopes) or other software programs. SBench 6-Pro even allows data import and export in the most popular formats such as ASCII, binary and WAV.

The units come with drivers, so that users can write their own control programs in almost any popular programming language. This includes C++, Visual Basic, VB.NET, C#, J#, Delphi and Python code. Third party software support is also provided for LabVIEW, LabWindows and MATLAB.


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