Tektronix this week announced the release of their AWG70000B series of arbitrary waveform generators. Featuring two different models, the new series provides rapid-change capabilities to signal sequences with the goal of allowing engineers to quickly test a wide range of signals.
The AWG7000B Series. Image courtesy Tektronics.
The new series builds upon their previously-released AWG5200 models, adding higher-end features and capabilities designed for testing more complex applications.
Simulation and Real-World Testing
It's possible, when performing test and measurement, to use your computer as an arbitrary waveform generator or even to build your own function generator. But there are applications that require specialized equipment for more robust testing, as they will experience many different signals that change rapidly in real-world use cases, and need to have these conditions simulated in real time.
The AWG70000B series is designed for testing in these chaotic and unpredictable conditions, with the ability to quickly move through a large number of signal tests. It is focused on use cases like wireless communications systems and electronic warfare, with the capacity to expand into RF, radar, and other applications.
Doubled Memory and Advanced Features
To accomplish simulation of real-world conditions for these complex applications, Tektronix has incorporated several important features into the AWG70000B series. With the Streaming Waveform ID, designers have access to 16,383 sequence steps through an ethernet interface for cycling quickly through different simulations. The units also can switch modulation types easily for wireless communications testing, and have an available waveform memory of 32 Gigasamples, doubling the capacity of the AWG5200.
The back of the AWG7000B series, showing available connections. Image courtesy Tektronix.
The AWG70000B series is controlled using the PC-based SourceXpress software, with which engineers can control multiple AWGs as well as create additional signals. The SourceXpress software also has a library of support plug-ins, providing capabilities for waveform creation aimed at more specific applications like radar and RF.
In addition, for applications that must comply with government or corporate IT security requirements, the series has support for Microsoft Windows 10. Other notable features include 10-bit vertical resolution, a spurious-free dynamic range (SFDR) of up to -80dBc, and up to 50 GSamples/s.
What's your experience with arbitrary waveform generators? What do you look for in test and measurement equipment? Let us know in the comments below.