AWG meets signal generation demands at lower cost

17th April 2017
Source: Tektronix
Posted By : Mick Elliott
AWG meets signal generation demands at lower cost

Responding to a changing scenario in the test and measurement sector, Tektronix has launched an arbitrary waveform generator to meet what it describes as demanding signal generation needs in advanced research, radar and electronic warfare design. The test and measurement specialist thinks the pricing is pretty special too, coming in at 11,000 Euro per channel.

Packed into the instrument are a 10GS/s sample rate, 16-bit resolution and up to eight channels per unit along with support for multiple unit synchronisation. It offers 2GHz (-3dB) bandwidth usable up to 8GHz.

“The direct generation of RF signals up to 8GHz eliminates the need for more equipment,” says Dean Miles, EMEA Marketing Development Manager at Tektronix. “And the new AWG 5200 is code compatible with previous Tektronix arbitrary waveform generators,” he adds.

It includes a flexible waveform generation plug-in suite with comprehensive coverage for a wide variety of standards and digital modulation techniques.

At the heart of the AWG5200 series instruments are new high performance digital-analogue converters (DACs) that offer a mix of speed and resolution within a fully-integrated product package. These cores enable the AWG to generate highly detailed RF/EW signals or the complex pulse trains used in advanced research.

Engineers developing radar/EW systems and components require high-fidelity, tightly synchronised multi-channel signal generation to stimulate radar receivers for design, troubleshooting and operational testing. The AWG5200 provides 8 independent channels with better than 10ps channel to channel skew. Each of the channels has independent paths out, individual amplification, separate sequencing, up-conversion, dedicated memory and can be controlled independently without cross talk or limitations on any channels performance.

The only common factor is that all channels share a common clock or, if the user chooses, can input an external reference clock.

This level of independence and flexibility along with 16-bit resolution, less than 2us latency & fast rise times enables the generation of complex, real-world environments, testing phased arrays, simulating objects of interest or replacing older equipment with new COTS (commercial of the shelf) solutions.

It also allows RF designers to consolidate signal generation using direct signal generation techniques and eliminating the need for specialised – and costly – signal generation equipment. RF designers can also leverage a growing library of plugins for generating waveforms, predistort waveforms for optimal performance or automate tests using Matlab scripts.

Advanced research applications are also catered for by the new AWG. Signal generation is becoming increasingly important in quantum computing, nano/micro technology development, biomedical and physics.

In quantum computing, for example, scalability is a key requirement as researchers need the ability to send dozens of synchronized signals to quantum compute cores. Each AWG5200 can be equipped out-of-the-box with up to 8 synchronised channels.

For additional scalability, multiple units can be synchronised to provide unlimited channel count. By reducing the time and stress involved with scaling experiments, researchers are freed up to focus on iterating their design and thus can more quickly realize breakthroughs.

The AWG5200 is available for order now with delivery beginning in Q2, 2017. The 8 channel instrument with 2.5 GS/s and up to 10 GS/s performance has a starting price of € 88,500 / £ 71,800.





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