Arbitrary Waveform Generator targets quantum and advanced research

Arbitrary Waveform Generator targets quantum and advanced research

New Products |
By Nick Flaherty

The AWG5200 series has a 10 GS/s sample rate, 16bit vertical resolution and up to 8 channels per unit along with support for multiple unit synchronization. It includes waveform generation software with comprehensive coverage for a wide variety of standards and digital modulation techniques. It also lowers the cost of ownership for complex multi-signal environments starting at a list price of about $11,000 per channel for the 8 channel instrument. This allows researchers to build up the number of channels – quantum computing sees the need for 32 channels of high fidelity waveform generation for driving laser and highly sensitive measurement systems.

“Quantum researchers are asking for 32 channels, not today but a path to 32 with no rebuilding , just latching on another eight channels,” said Dean Miles, EMEA marketing development manager at Tektronix.

The generator uses a new high performance digital-analog converter (DAC) design that offers a mix of speed and resolution within a fully-integrated product package. This can directly generate highly detailed RF/EW signals or the complex pulse trains used in advanced research. 

Engineers developing radar/EW systems and components require high-fidelity, tightly synchronized multi-channel signal generation to stimulate radar receivers for design, troubleshooting and operational testing. The AWG5200 provides 8 independent channels with better than 10 ps channel to channel skew. Each of the AWG5200’s channels have independent paths out, individual amplification, separate sequencing, up-conversion, dedicated memory and can be controlled independently without cross talk or limitations on any channels performance.  The only common factor is that all channels share a common clock or, if the users chooses, can input an external reference clock. 

“This allows researchers to emulate a MIMO device or radar to test the robustness of a receiver,” said Miles. ”The software plugin has libraries that can be imported into Matlab to enable customers to get up and running with standard signals that are parameterizable, such as increasing the jitter on a stream of data,” he said. “This produces a very pure signal – -6 to 8dB better at -75db on 1.8GHz at 4Gsample/s which is what we were struggling with when we tried to put this into a PXI platform.”

This also allows RF designers to consolidate signal generation using direct signal generation techniques and eliminating the need for specialized – and costly – signal generation equipment. RF designers can also leverage a growing library of plugins for generating waveforms, predistort waveforms for optimal performance or automate tests using the Matlab scripts. The AWG5200 is also code compatible with previous generation Tektronix AWGs so code can be moved across directly.

The AWG5200 is available for order now with delivery beginning in Q2, 2017. The 8 channel instrument with 2.5 GS/s and up to 10 GS/s performance has a starting price of € 88,500 / £ 71,800.

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