PXIe modules for precision signal generation from DC to 400MHz

October 21, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Spectrum’s M4x series of PXIe Arbitrary Waveform Generators (AWGs) offer a cost effective solution for automated testing applications that require fast and accurate electronic signal generation. Based on the modular PXIe instrumentation standard, the M4x series includes five new modules that provide one, two or four channels.

Each channel is equipped with the latest 16-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC) technology and the various models (see table 1) have maximum clocking rates of 625 MS/s or 1.25 GS/s. The combination of high resolution and fast clocking rates makes them ideal for generating precise and flexible wave shapes with frequency content from DC to 400 MHz. The dual width 3U AWGs feature a PXIe x4 Gen 2 interface that allows waveform data to be transferred to the module’s 4 GB of on-board memory at speeds up to 1.4 GB/s.  Fully PXIe compliant, the modules can be used in any PXIe or PXI hybrid chassis. Support is also provided for chassis distribution features such as the PXIe/PXI reference clock, star-trigger and trigger bus.

The AWGs are designed to output signals that emulate those found in the real world, delivering programmable output levels from ±200 mV to ±4 V (±5 V for 625 MS/s models) into high-impedance and ±100 mV up to ±2 V (±2.5 V for 625 MS/s models) for 50 Ω termination. Using 16-bit digital to analog conversion, the AWGs also allow fine signal details to be generated. They deliver outstanding dynamic performance with signal-to-noise (SNR) up to 72 dB, spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) up to 98 dB and noise spectral density (NSD) at an impressive -150 dBm/Hz.

To allow easy integration into any test system, the units are shipped with a host of software tools so users can create their own control programs with almost any popular programming language. This includes C++, Visual Basic, VB.NET, C#, VisualJ#, Delphi, Java and Python code. Third party software support is also provided for LabVIEW, LabWindows and MATLAB for users not wanting to write software.

Visit Spectrum Instrumentation at www.spectrum-instrumentation.com