Strategic Test Rolls Out First PCI Express Waveform Generators

Strategic Test, one of the world’s leading suppliers of PC-based instrument boards, has announced the availability of the world’s first PCI Express based Arbitrary Waveform Generator (AWG) boards. With synchronous multi-channel capability, the AWG boards are well suited for demanding signal processing applications that include I&Q signal generation, RADAR system development, communications testing, laser positioning, and HDTV signal generation.

There are four new AWG boards in the UF2e-6030 series with a choice of 1, 2 or 4 channels and 14-bit resolution:

  • UF2e-6030: 1 channel, 125 MegaSamples per second (MS/s) maximum
  • UF2e-6031: 2 channels, 125 MS/s each channel
  • UF2e-6034: 4 channels, 125 MS/s on two channels or 60 MS/s maximum on 4 channels

Each channel has its own 14-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) to ensure synchronous output and a choice of three reconstruction filters (5th and 4th order Butterworth lowpass) giving bandwidths of 25 MHz, 5 MHz or 500 kHz. A no-filter option is also software-selectable.

Typical dynamic specifications include signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of better than 61 dB, total harmonic distortion (THD) of less than 71.5 dB and spurious-free dynamic range (SFDR) greater than 72 dB.

As with all UltraFast instrument boards, the advanced sampling clock design consisting of a hardware divider and PLL allows the user great flexibility in defining their optimum sampling rate. In the case of the UF2e-6000 boards, the output rate can be freely selected between 1 kSample/s and the maximum rate of the DAC. The driver automatically adjusts the on-board hardware to provide the closest sampling rate possible. This value can be returned to the user program.

A unique feature is that the board can be equipped with a second user selected quartz crystal oscillator for applications that require a highly accurate specific output rate.

The boards are supplied with 32 MSamples of signal memory as standard, but can be expanded to 2 GSamples through a proprietary onboard DIMM module.

As with all UltraFast AWG boards, the signals can be downloaded to on-board memory, output one time, or continuously until stopped, or continuously streamed gap-free from the host PC RAM or hard disks.

The following options are available for each board allowing the user to customize the instrument:

  • Onboard memory: 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024 or 2048 MegaSamples
  • Multiple Replay (memory segmentation)
  • Gated Sampling (output clock controlled by external TTL signal)
  • Digital Outputs (2 bits per DAC, synchronous)
  • Star Hub (synchronization of up to 5 or 16 boards, or 5 to 16 PCs. Can be used with Digitizer and Digital I/O boards to create mixed mode systems)
  • BaseXIO (adds 8 asynchronous digital I/O lines)
  • Amplifier board (increases output range from +/-3 V to +/- 10 V)

Strategic Test also provides the industry’s most comprehensive software support with the following Software Development Kits available:

  • Windows Vista and XP64, XP, 2000, NT and 98
  • Linux drivers for RedHat, Suse, Fedora and Debian
  • LabVIEW
  • Agilent-VEE
  • LabWindows/CVI
  • DASYLab

Prices start at $4190. All UltraFast boards are supplied with the free-of-charge SBench software that allows users to generate and output waveforms without programming. SBench is available for both Windows and Linux.

About Strategic Test
Strategic Test is a world leading supplier of PC instrument boards and has offices in the USA and Europe. The company’s clients include global electronics, semiconductor, defense, telecommunications and medical instrument companies, government funded research labs and universities on five continents. The company’s first high-speed measurement board for PCs was designed in 1989. Today the product range consists of more than 200 Oscilloscope / Digitizer, Arbitrary Waveform Generator, high-speed Digital I/O and Digital Pattern Generator boards in the industry standard PCI Express, PCI, 3U PXI and 6U CompactPCI formats. Each product can be individually configured from a choice of more than eight hardware options designed to address the needs of specific applications. Software Development Kits are available for Microsoft Windows (Vista, XP64, XP, 2000, NT), Linux (Redhat, Debian, Suse, Fedora, Sarge), LabVIEW, MATLAB, LabWindows/CVI, DASYLab, Agilent-VEE and Excel. All products are supplied with a two year hardware warranty together with lifetime technical support and software updates.