March 4, 2014. Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced the 33600A Series waveform generators with exclusive Trueform signal-generation technology. With Trueform, the instruments are able to generate a full range of signals for even the most demanding measurements required by engineers and technicians during electronic device design and manufacturing test.
Agilent’s 33600A Series, which comprises four different one- and two-channel models, can generate waveforms up to 120 MHz at a 1 GS/s sampling rate. The waveform generators provide the lowest jitter (less than 1 ps jitter, or 200x better than previous generation Direct Digital Synthesis generators) and lowest total harmonic distortion in their class, giving engineers the ability to generate the exact signals they need. Better jitter performance means that technicians and engineers can place edges more accurately, which helps them reduce timing errors in their circuit designs. With total harmonic distortion less than 0.03% and nonharmonic spurs below -75 dBc, the 33600A Series offers clean signals that don’t introduce noise, enabling users to get more accurate results.
The 33600A Series’ very low jitter and 3-ns rise and fall times also allow users to set trigger points more accurately. A low-voltage range, 1 mVpp, enables them to make output changes down to 1 µV—a critical capability when testing today’s low-voltage circuits and designs.
As an added benefit, 33600A Series users can take advantage of easy software upgrades to expand their instruments’ capabilities, such as when they need to increase memory to 64 MS or bandwidth to 120 MHz, for example. They can even upgrade their instruments to NISPOM file security.
While traditionally DDS has been the waveform-generation technology of choice, its intrinsic limitations mean users often have to work around its compromised performance or spend up to five times more for a high-end waveform generator. Trueform technology eliminates these challenges by combining the best of DDS with a point-per-clock architecture. When used in the 33600A Series, the results are a range of capabilities not normally found on waveform generators in this class:
- Waveform summing and combining for easily adding noise to signals for margin and distortion testing using only a single channel. On the two-channel 33600A Series model users can sum and combine up to four signals.
- Variable-bandwidth noise for adjusting the bandwidth of the built-in noise generator to control a signal’s frequency content.
- Waveform sequencing for creating multiple configured waveforms with several common segments and building long, complex waveforms using minimal instrument memory.
- Pseudo-random binary sequence (PRBS) pattern generation for testing digital serial buses by streaming standard PRBS patterns–with PN3 to PN32–without a separate pulse generator.
- Optional baseband IQ player for wireless communication engineers wanting to economically play IQ signals without an expensive signal generator, or make adjustments (for example, amplitude gain, channel offset and channel skew) to the signal, as needed, for a more accurate representation.
“Trueform technology represents a revolutionary change in waveform generation from previous techniques such as DDS,” said Huei Sin Ee, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s General Purpose Electronics Measurement Division. “Using an exclusive digital sampling technique, it is able to deliver unmatched performance and superior signal fidelity at the same low price customers expect with DDS. Thanks to these capabilities, our new 33600A Series Trueform waveform generators are now enabling technicians and engineers to dramatically accelerate development of even their most complex waveforms.”
Prices range from $3,995 for a 1-channel, 80-MHz model to $6,695 for a 2-channel, 120-MHz model.
More information on the 33600A Series is available at www.agilent.com/find/33600A. For a video highlighting the new 33600A Series’ key features, go to www.agilent.com/find/33600A_video. A backgrounder on Trueform technology is available at www.agilent.com/find/33600A_backgrounder.