Santa Clara, Calif.—It's the eternal engineering challenge when you are doing leading-edge design or test: how to do assess and confirm the performance of your assembly or product? To help engineers test, debug, verify, stress, and confirm, Agilent Technologies has introduced the 81160A high-precision pulse function arbitrary noise generator, which provides unique signal and noise generation/creation and eliminates complicated setups using multiple instruments.
This follow-on to their 81150A generates pulses up to 330 MHz and 500-MHz function/arbitrary waveforms, at a sampling rate up to 2.5 Gsamples/sec and with 14-bits of "vertical" resolution (and with intrinsic jitter under 7 ps rms, for a nearly ideal signal). It allows the user to set crest factors for the white Gaussian noise, which results in deliberate distortion applied to the device or system under test, needed to stress the setup to meet various bus standards.
In addition, it allows timing-parameter changes on-the-fly which are glitch free, for changing the frequency without dropouts or aberrations, and thus allowing for continuous operation without need to re-boot or reset the system under test. It also produces arbitrary yet reproducible bit patterns to further test channel performance.
Of course, carrier signals alone are not sufficient. The 81160A can add FM, AM, PM, PWM, and FSK modulation up to 50 MHz, with one or two channels (coupled, uncoupled, or added). Generated patterns can be ideal or arbitrary, up to 330 or 660 Mbits/sec, using a pseudorandom bit sequence (PRBS) up to 211 length. The digital white Gaussian noise it generates is both repeatable and random, to repeat and confirm strange observations, and can be triggered as desired. "Perfect" digital waveshapes can be deliberately and carefully distorted to test channel performance under a wide variety of stressful conditions.
Price and availability: The Agilent 81160A pulse function arbitrary noise generator will be available in March 2011. Price for the one-channel unit is $16,900; the two-channel version is $20,000.
For more information: http://www.agilent.com/find/81160 .