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Small, fast and powerful new 16 bit AWGs | Spectrum

Six new AWG cards offer advanced specifications and more features
Spectrum Instrumentation has released six new Arbitrary Waveform Generators (AWGs) that are optimized for signal quality, size and cost. The new "65" series AWGs offer the latest 16-bit Digital-Analog-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. With 40 or 125 MS/s speed, high onboard memory of 512 MSamples, output levels of up to ±6 V and four additional multi-purpose outputs, these latest cards will be of interest to all the engineers needing signal generators for frequencies between 1 and 60 MHz in the areas of ultrasound, laser, LIDAR, radar, automotive, medical science and big physics experiments.

Oliver Rovini, CTO at Spectrum, said: “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.”

To allow the M2p.65xx series AWGs to generate long and complex waveforms, each card also comes equipped with a generous 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 segments. The cards also feature a FIFO streaming capability that enables new waveform data to be read over the fast PCIe bus (at rates of up to 700 MB/s) while replaying already transferred information. This flexibility allows users to create ultra-long, single shot waveforms or constantly changing, burst-type signals such as those found in radar, ultrasound, LIDAR or sonar systems. The possibilities are almost limitless.

For applications that require the connection of AWGs and Digitizers, such as stimulus-response or closed-loop applications, Spectrum’s Star-Hub piggy-back module synchronizes up to 16 different M2p class products. The new M2p.65xx AWGs match perfectly with the M2p.59xx 16-bit digitizers released in 2018. The M2p.59xx digitizers offer one to eight channels with sampling rates between 20 MS/s and 125 MS/s. The Star-Hub distributes a common clock and trigger signal to each channel ensuring fully synchronous operation. Star-Hub systems are also perfect for situations where multiple test points, or arrays of sensors, need to be stimulated by different test signals at the same time.

The Spectrum M2p.65xx series AWGs are in full production and available for immediate delivery. All cards are shipped factory tested and include a base version of Spectrum's SBench 6 software for first tests. “The M2p series AWG products represent the culmination of nearly 30 years of PC-based instrumentation design and production. As a result, we’re proud to give an industry-leading, five-year warranty on our products,” stated CEO Gisela Hassler. “Furthermore, software and firmware updates are free of charge for the lifetime of the product. Support is done directly by our skilled in-house team of engineers – normally within a couple of hours after receiving the request.”

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