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Arbitrary function generator
27 February 2019, Test & Measurement

Despite their importance in electronics testing and their wide adoption, arbitrary function generators (AFGs) have lagged behind other test instrumentation in terms of usability, making do with small displays and other shortcomings that make them hard to learn and operate.

Moreover, traditional AFGs lack the deep memory and programming capability needed to compose a series of test cases with complex timing – critical for optimum test efficiency.

Tektronix aims to address these issues with its AFG31000, featuring a large touchscreen and new user interface to aid engineers and researchers who need to generate increasingly complex test cases for debugging, troubleshooting, characterising and validating devices under test.

The AFG31000 series features a 9” capacitive touchscreen that allows users to see all related settings and parameters on a single screen within a shallow menu tree. Similar to modern touch-enabled smart devices, users can tap or swipe to easily select, browse, locate and change settings. The intuitive user interface saves users time in both learning and operating the instrument.

AFGs assume they are driving a 50 Ω impedance. However, most devices under test (DUTs) do not have a 50 Ω impedance. This mismatch results in an inconsistency between the waveform as set on the AFG and the signal at the DUT. The new patented InstaView feature on the AFG31000 series addresses this problem by monitoring and displaying the waveform at the DUT without the need for additional cables or instruments. The waveform shown on the display instantly responds to changes in frequency, amplitude, waveform shape as well as the DUT’s impedance.

In addition to traditional AFG operation modes, the instrument offers an advanced or waveform sequencer mode. In the advanced mode, the instrument’s up-to 128 Mpts of waveform memory can be segmented into up to 256 entries, and users can drag and drop long waveforms, or multiple waveforms in the sequencer and define how they are output.

Taking advantage of the large capacitive touchscreen, the new ArbBuilder tool enables users to create and edit arbitrary waveforms directly on the instrument without needing to create the waveforms on a PC and transferring them to the instrument. ArbBuilder improves test efficiency especially for arbitrary waveforms that need to change frequently. For users who want to replicate waveforms captured by an oscilloscope, they can save waveforms as .csv files and use ArbBuilder to load them directly into the AFG31000.

AFG31000 series instruments are available in 1- or 2-channel configurations and deliver 14-bit vertical resolution along with 250 MSps, 1 GSps or 2 GSps sample rate performance. Additionally, in traditional AFG mode, users can change frequency without worrying about waveform length and sample rate. Output amplitude range is 1 mVP-P to 10 VP-P into 50 Ω loads.


Credit(s)
Supplied By: Comtest
Tel: +27 10 595 1821
Fax: +27 11 608 1525
Email: sales@comtest.co.za
www: www.comtest.co.za
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