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Advanced Test and Measurement
Instruments and Power Supplies

News: Time to upgrade your old pulse generator


The content below is no longer current and may not be applicable or relevant.

The last few reasons to keep using an analogue pulse generator are now resolved by the latest digital pulse generators from Aim-TTi

Signal generators have been using Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS) to create steady state waveforms for some time. New precision function generators like the Aim-TTi TG5012 have largely displaced traditional analogue generators as they are now able to provide versatility and high performance at an affordable price.

The situation with pulse generators has not been so clear cut and there are still applications where the venerable Philips/HP Agilent analogue generators are used. There are two main reasons for this. Historically, analogue generators have had the advantage of linear adjustment of the pulse width and delay without aberration, and secondly, the jitter on a triggered signal is typically very low on an analogue generator. With a DDS digital generator, the trigger jitter is one clock period or typically > 3ns.

Both these are addressed with the new TGP3100 Series pulse and universal generators from Aim-TTi. The TGP3100 makes real time calculations for pulse timing and amplitude, allowing glitch free adjustment of parameters. It also uses a trigger jitter compensation system that conventional DDS generators cannot replicate to achieve trigger jitter of only 60ps.

The TGP3100 series overcomes two of the last reasons for using an analogue pulse generator, and then adds all the flexibility of digital: not only can it replicate the capabilities of traditional pulse generators, but it adds facilities such as pulse modulation and the ability to act as a high performance function/arbitrary generator - a truly universal waveform generator.

A comparison between the Aim-TTi TGP3100 series and the Philips PM5714 is included in the flyer linked to below.