Testing an electrical/electronic device or system implies applying the right stimuli to the DUT/SUT (Device under Test/System under Test) and analyzing the resulting behavior. In some cases, stimuli come from the real world but in most situations a set of signals must be supplied by an appropriate instrumentation. These sources must be capable of generating a variety of stimuli while their characteristics must be settable in a broad enough range so the DUT’s operating range may be established and validated.
The traditional approach has been to use a specialized device for each stimulus category. This has resulted in a variety of instrument types and subtypes offered by T&M manufacturers:
- AC/DC Power Supplies
- Electronic Loads
- Function Generators
- RF Generators
- Pulse and Pattern Generators
- Arbitrary Waveform Generators (AWG)
The new generation of AWGs can address a broad range of applications and test cases. This primer discusses characteristics and fundamentals of an arbitrary waveform generator and the different implementations available in the market.