Multifunction waveform generator spans simple AFG to complex sequences

May 26, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Tektronix describes its AWG4000 Series as a 3-in-1 arbitrary waveform generator; with basic, advanced and digital modes, the portable signal generator can be shared across design teams and can meet a wide variety of signal generation needs ranging from radar and wireless communications to embedded systems design and research applications.

AWG outputs may be as simple as a clock with constant frequency in an embedded design, or as complex as a mix of modulated waveforms in parallel with digital patterns in radar and communications designs. The AWG4000 Series is the first waveform generator with the flexibility to meet such a broad set of requirements.

"Modern designs increasingly involve multiple domains – analog, digital and RF. Tektronix is already meeting this need with our mixed domain oscilloscopes," said Mike Flaherty, general manager, Bench Instruments, Tektronix. "Now with the AWG4000 Series we are bringing the same level of innovation and versatility to signal generation."

As a signal generator AWG4000 offers two analogue channels, up to 2.5 Gsamples/sec sampling rate, 750 MHz bandwidth, 14-bit vertical resolution, up to 64 Mpt/ch arbitrary memory, sequence with up to 16,384 entries, and 32-bit digital channels. Many of the specifications can be upgraded in the field, including memory and digital outputs.

The AWG weighs less than 15 pounds and incorporates a 10.1-in. touch screen. For simple tasks, the AWG4000 offers a basic arbitrary/function generation (AFG) user interface for generating function and arb waveforms with a minimum number of button clicks and a shallow menu hierarchy on the 10.1-in. Touch screen. For more complicated tasks, the instrument offers an advanced Windows-based user interface that can be used to generate complex sequences and modulated signals in parallel with digital outputs. Signal generation tools such as RFXpress or Matlab can also be installed locally.

The AWG4000 is also suited for manufacturing or advanced research applications where synchronization and communication across instruments is needed. Up to six AWG4000s can be synchronized via a dedicated synchronization interface that provides precise timing between units. Pricing starts at $34,900.