Arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs) can define desired signals in the digital realm and use high-speed data converters to produce different types of test signals. In this class of signal generator, the modular model M8196A AWG from Keysight Technologies sets a new bar for performance, with sampling rates of 83 to 92 Gsamples/s, 8-b vertical resolution, and analog bandwidths to typically 32 GHz.
The AWG, based on the AXIe modular instrument format, can provide 1, 2, or 4 synchronized channels per one-slot-high AXIe module (with additional channels enabled via software license). It’s able to produce single-ended and synchronized, dual-polarization, independent in-phase/quadrature (I/Q) differential signals at impressive speeds and bandwidth.
For instance, the M8196A generates modulated signals at rates to 64 Gbaud, defining and storing waveforms with the aid of 512 ksamples of waveform memory per channel. It can create almost any form of multilevel modulation, including mathematically defined arbitrary waveforms, short pulses, and multi-gigahertz chirped signals. High-speed digital signals are possible, as are analog signals with advanced modulation and signals for testing wideband photonics systems.
The instrument achieves as much as 2 VP-P differential output voltage and adjustable dc offset in a –1- to +2.5-V dc window. It has built-in frequency and phase-response calibration for generating clean signals, exhibiting better than –115 dBc/Hz single-sideband phase noise offset 10 kHz from a 1-GHz sine-wave carrier. It can attain pulsed rise/fall times of better than 9 ps. This compact yet sophisticated signal source fits into a one-slot modular AXIe housing with female 2.4-mm coaxial connectors. In addition, it operates in continuous and triggered (with an external trigger) run modes. Entry price is $140,000.
Keysight Technologies Inc., 1400 Fountaingrove Pkwy., Santa Rosa, CA 95403; (707) 577-2663.