LXI waveform generators meet automated and remote application needs

July 31, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Spectrum Instrumentation (Grosshansdorf, Germany) has added a series of 14 and 16 bit LXI-based arbitrary waveform generators in LXI instrumentation format. The NETBOX series comprises seven models to give users a wide choice of signals creation in automated test and remote applications.

They offer output rates up to 1.25 Gsample/sec with 400 MHz bandwidth; there are models with two, four and eight fully synchronized channels; modes inlcude single-shot, Loop, FIFO, gating and sequence replay ; and the SBench6-Pro software executes waveform creation, control and documentation.

The AWGs can generate signals from DC up to 400 MHz. Full remote control is achieved through a simple Ethernet connection to any PC or local area network (LAN) for easy integration into any test system. For high frequency applications, the fast, high-resolution DN2.66x AWGs use DACs with 16 bit vertical resolution and offer output rates up to either 1.25 Gsample/sec or 625 Msample/sec. They also include large on-board memories (up to 2 x 4 GB) and an output voltage range of up to ±4V (±5V for 625 Msample/sec models) into high impedance and ±2V (±2.5V for 625 Msample/sec models) into 50 Ohms.

For lower frequency applications, Spectrum offers the cost-effective DN2.60x AWGs, which utilize 14 bit DAC technology that can output signals at rates up to 125 Msample/sec. These instruments are suitable for applications where signals with frequency content up to 60 MHz need to be produced.

To allow the generation of long and complex waveforms, the AWGs combine their large on-board memories (2 GSamples for DN2.66x series and 512 MSamples for DN2.60x series) with a number of operating modes such as single-shot, loop, FIFO, gating and sequence replay. In FIFO mode, the instruments can stream data continuously from PC memory to the AWG memory over the GBit Ethernet port. The AWGs can output signals while new waveform data is being sent to the on-board memory.

Each channel is clocked using a precision phase locked loop (PLL) control system generated internally or from an external clock or reference. Front-panel multi-purpose I/O connectors enhance system flexibility by allowing access to asynchronous digital inputs, asynchronous digital outputs, the trigger output, the run and arm status, the PLL reference clock and a marker output. NETBOX products can benchtop or rack mounted. For mobile applications they can also be powered by an optional 12 or 24 VDC source.