Next generation of 16-bit AWGs

March 13, 2019 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Next generation of 16-bit AWGs
Offering advanced specifications and more features, six newly released Arbitrary Waveform Generators (AWGs) from Spectrum Instrumentation are optimized for signal quality, size and cost.

The "65" series AWGs offer the latest 16-bit DACs, a fast PCIe x4 interface with up to 700 MByte/s streaming speed and a card length of only 168 mm to fit into nearly every PC. With 40 or 125 MSamples/s speed, high onboard memory of 512 MSamples, output levels of up to ±6 V and four additional multi-purpose outputs, these cards target engineers needing signal generators for frequencies between 1 and 60 MHz in the areas of ultrasound, laser, LIDAR, radar, automotive, medical science and big physics experiments.

Users can select from two separate output speed rates of 40 or 125 MS/s and models that have one, two or four channels per card. Each channel features its own DAC and output stage. Multi-channel cards share a common clock and trigger to ensure full synchronization and the output stages incorporate four switchable filter paths to help optimize signal quality. At the same time, they can produce output swings up to ±6 V into a high impedance (1 MOhm) load or ±3 V into 50 Ohms. The flexible output stages combine with the high resolution 16-bit DACs to enable the generation of signals with very low distortion, exceptional dynamic range and a high signal-to-noise ratio.

To allow the M2p.65xx series AWGs to generate long and complex waveforms, each card also comes equipped with a generous 512 MSamples of on-board memory. The large memory is complemented by a variety of different output modes. For example, the memory can be segmented and waveforms can be created by looping on, and switching between, different segments. The cards also feature a FIFO streaming capability that enables new waveform data to be read over the fast PCIe bus (at rates of up to 700 MB/s) while replaying already transferred information. This flexibility allows users to create ultra-long, single shot waveforms or constantly changing, burst-type signals such as those found in radar, ultrasound, LIDAR or sonar systems.


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