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LXI Signal Generators generate Signals from DC up to 400 MHz

Spectrum LXI AWG03 August 2016 - Spectrum Instrumentation released a new line of arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs) based on the LXI instrumentation standard. The new generatorNETBOX series features seven new models to give users a wide choice of performance levels. The LXI-based AWGs combine the latest digital-to-analog converter (DAC) technology and can generate signals from DC up to 400 MHz in frequency. Full remote control is achieved through a simple Ethernet connection to any PC or local area network (LAN) for easy integration into any test system.

The generatorNETBOX instruments are available with two, four or eight fully synchronous channels. Top of the range is the DN2.66x series. These fast, high-resolution, AWG's use DACs with 16 bit vertical resolution and offer output rates up to either 1.25 GS/s or 625 MS/s. They also include large on-board memories (up to 2 x 4 GB) and a generous output voltage range of up to ±4 V (±5 V for 625 MS/s models) into high impedance and ±2 V (±2.5 V for 625 MS/s models) into 50Ω.

For lower frequency applications Spectrum has released the DN2.60x series. These products utilize 14 bit DAC technology that can output signals at rates up to 125 MS/s. As such, they offer a cost effective solution for applications where signals with frequency content up to 60 MHz need to be produced.

Advanced waveform replay modes

To allow the generation of long and complex waveforms, the AWGs combine their large (2 GSamples for DN2.66x series and 512 MSamples for DN2.60x series) on-board memories with a number of operating modes such as single-shot, loop, FIFO, gating and sequence replay. In FIFO mode, the instruments can stream data continuously from PC memory to the AWG memory over the GBit Ethernet port. The AWGs can even output signals while new waveform data is being sent to the on-board memory.

Each channel is clocked using a precision phase locked loop (PLL) control system generated internally or from an external clock or reference. Front-panel multi-purpose I/O connectors enhance system flexibility by allowing access to asynchronous digital inputs, asynchronous digital outputs, the trigger output, the run and arm status, the PLL reference clock and a marker output.

Ideal for remote and mobile applications

Small and compact, the generatorNETBOX products can benchtop or rack mounted. For mobile applications they can also be powered by an optional 12 or 24 VDC source.

The instruments are fully self-contained and come with all the tools necessary to generate an almost unlimited variety of waveforms. Simply connect the unit to a host computer (i.e. laptop or workstation) or anywhere on the corporate network. Spectrum's SBench6-Pro software, which comes standard with every unit, provides a simple, easy-to-use, graphical user interface to control all the operating modes and hardware settings.

The software’s built-in features for waveform creation, data analysis and documentation 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 or imported from other devices, such as digitizers and oscilloscopes, or other software programs. SBench6 allows data import and export in the most popular formats, such as ASCII, binary and WAV.

Extensive software support

Included drivers allow users to write their own control programs with almost any popular programming language, such as C++, Visual Basic, VB.NET, C#, J#, Delphi and Python code. Third party software support is also provided for LabVIEW, LabWindows and MatLab.

Using Spectrum’s embedded server option,, a generatorNETBOX can operate remotely as an independent unit or as part of a larger system when connected to a LAN. A powerful CPU, a freely accessible SSD, more memory and a remote software development access method combine to create an open platform where you can run your own software, while at the same time remain connected via LAN for remote access.

The generatorNETBOX products are available now. All units are shipped factory tested and include Spectrum's SBench 6 Professional version software, support drivers for most popular programming languages and a two year manufacturer’s warranty. Technical support, including software and firmware updates, is available free of charge.

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