They may be in Tektronix's "value" category. Yet six arbitrary waveform/function generators target a host of design applications, from consumer, medical, and automotive electronics up to high-performance computing and communications equipment and video products. These one-and two-channel units offer a wide range of performance based on a custom "generatoron-a-chip" ASIC and an intuitive GUI enhanced by a 5.6-in. color display.
Compact and portable, the AFG3000 generators include 12 standard waveforms, with sine capability from 25 to 240 MHz (see the figure). The arbitrary waveform capability delivers from 250 Msamples/s to 2 Gsamples/s at 14-bit amplitude resolution. Time base drift is only ±1 ppm per year.
The generators can store four arbitrary waveforms, with lengths of 64k to 128k each. Each unit features continuous, burst, sweep, and modulated (AM, FM, PM, FSK, and PWM) modes. The two-channel versions' "phase align" and "phase adjust" features can be used to generate I and Q channels for testing communications components.
Available without charge, the ArbExpress 2.0 software package simplifies the creation and editing of arbitrary waveforms on a PC as well as the transfer of waveforms from Tektronix oscilloscopes and the MathWorks' Matlab software.
Prices for the six AFG3000 models range from $1780 to $8500.