512Msample memory boosts next generation AWG cards

March 13, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
512Msample memory boosts next generation AWG cards
Spectrum Instrumentation has launched six next-generation Arbitrary Waveform Generator (AWG) card instruments for PC systems with large sample memories to create complex waveforms.

The "65" series AWGs use the latest 16bit Digital to Analogue Converters, 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. The 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 is aimed at signal generation of 1 and 60 MHz for 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 16bit DACs to enable the generation of signals with very low distortion, exceptional dynamic range and a high signal-to-noise ratio.

"These new AWG cards offer outstanding performance at a very reasonable cost and should be of interest to anybody wanting to generate test or simulation signals in the DC to 60 MHz range. The ability to reproduce high quality signals is always valuable to engineers and scientists who need to stimulate a system, or component, with waveforms that are high precision, easily adapted, and mimic real operational conditions," said Oliver Rovini, CTO at Spectrum.

To allow the AWGs to generate long and complex waveforms, each card also comes equipped with 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


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