Spectrum Instrumentation’s latest line of arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs) is based on the LXI instrumentation standard and has been created for engineers and scientists that need to simultaneously generate up to 16 precise electronic signals. Small and compact, the units are well suited for automated testing or remote-control type applications. Six new instruments are being released, offering a choice of configurations and performance levels. All the units feature the latest 16 bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC) technology and combine this with low-noise flexible outputs; allowing them to generate almost any test signal in the DC to 60 MHz frequency range. Full remote control is achieved through an Ethernet connection to any PC or local area network (LAN) making it possible to integrate into virtually every test system.

The new DN2.65x series of generatorNETBOX instruments are available with 4, 8 or 16 fully synchronous channels and offer output rates of 40 MS/s or 125 MS/s. Signals with a programmable output swing of up to ±6 V into high impedance or ±3 V into 50 Ohms can be generated. The units also include large on-board memories of up to 2 x 512 MSamples that can be utilized in a number of different operating modes to allow the generation of long and complex waveforms. This includes Single-Shot, Loop, FIFO, Gated and Sequence Replay modes. Signals can even be generated while new waveform data is being loaded to the on-board memory.

Each channel of the AWG is clocked using a phase locked loop (PLL) control system that can be generated internally or from an external clock or reference. Four different filters are available to optimize the output signal quality and help ensure excellent dynamic performance. For example, noise spectral density (NSD) is as low as -142 dBm/Hz, total harmonic distortion (THD) is down to -74 dB, signal to noise ratio (SNR) is as high as 90 dB and spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) is up to 97 dB. It’s a total performance level that allows users to generate the highest quality test signals.

The AWG's flexibility is further enhanced by front-panel, multi-purpose I/O connectors that allow access to synchronous digital (marker) outputs, trigger output, run and arm status, the PLL reference clock or asynchronous I/O lines.

Weighing  6.3 kg, the generatorNETBOX products are portable and can work almost anywhere: freestanding on a test bench, rack mounted with other equipment or even mobile (when powered by the optional 12 or 24 V DC sources).

The instruments are self-contained and come with all the tools necessary to generate an unlimited variety of waveforms. Users can connect them to a host computer (e.g. laptop or workstation) or anywhere on the corporate network and start up Spectrum's SBench 6 Professional software. SBench 6 comes as standard with every unit. It lets users control all the operating modes and hardware settings from a simple graphical user interface. The software also has  built-in features for waveform creation, data analysis and documentation. These include the EasyGenerator function for producing standard wave shapes such as sine, rectangular, triangle, saw-tooth, SINC and DC. Waveforms can also be created from equations, imported from other devices (such as digitizers and oscilloscopes) or other software programs. SBench 6-Pro even allows data import and export in the most popular formats such as ASCII, binary and WAV.

The units come with drivers so that users can write their own control programs in almost any popular programming language. This includes C++, Visual Basic, VB.NET, C#, J#, Delphi and Python code. Third party software support is also provided for LabVIEW, LabWindows and MATLAB.

The generatorNETBOX products are available with immediate delivery. Prices start at $8760. All units are shipped factory tested and include an industry leading, five-year manufacturer’s warranty. Technical support, including software and firmware updates, is available free of charge.

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