Test your device with native signalsFollow article
For testing differential devices, the generators can be coupled and offset from each other. Both, ideal and non-ideal conditions can be simulated. For example, specialized voltage and current profiles synchronized across several channels are required when you want to simulate a startup sequence of an embedded system.
What about the arbitrary waveform generator function?
An arbitrary waveform and pattern generator allows you to easily generate and customize your voltage and current levels over time, just as needed in your application. The free built-in function in R&S power supplies enables to perform battery charge as well as discharge tests and simulate simple TTL signals.
You can program a new pattern directly in the instrument or load a file. In addition, you can program the points via SCPI. Patterns spanning several channels can also be generated by loading individual patterns in each channel of a multiple output power supply. For each step of the pattern, you can set voltage, current, duration and interpolation. The interpolation setting makes it possible to automatically integrate the values between two data points.
The various models have different ranges for programmable voltage, current, dwell time, number of repetitions and number of data points. The versatility of the arbitrary waveform generator makes a wide range of applications possible. The following table summarizes these specifications for the R&S power supply portfolio.
What are the possible applications?
The arbitrary waveform feature allows you to simulate device behaviours. For instance, differential devices, such as differential amplifiers, can be tested against amplitude impairments and phase imbalances.
In many use cases, the function can even replace basic standalone arbitrary waveform generators. Overall, the versatility of the arbitrary waveform generator makes a wide range of applications possible. Several basic and advanced examples are described below.
Square and rectangular waves are among the most basic patterns. They are described by switching the voltage and current between two fixed levels. Square waves can be used to test the durability of a DC motor or to emulate TTL signals.
A ramp changes the voltage or current linearly from one value to another. Building the ramp using the arbitrary function makes it possible to ramp-down a channel or to control the current or introduce disturbances during the ramp.
Sine waves follow the basic mathematical sin(x) function. The main use case of a sine wave on a power supply is to emulate oscillations. Besides, it can also be employed to drive magnetic coils.
Periodically repeated ramp functions result in a sawtooth pattern. The most common applications are vertical and horizontal deflection signals as they occur when rastering a surface.
A pulse is a signal with a given amplitude for a short duration. If the duration is approaching 0, it is called a glitch. These signals can be employed to simulate circuit anomalies in digital designs.
The combination of basic waveforms and/or the arbitrary definition of shapes allows you to adapt the possibilities of the power supply to your specific needs. In addition, on models with more than one channel, combinations across channels such as bit patterns or slow I/Q data streams can be programmed.