New RF signal generator offers top price-performance ratio

04-03-2015 | Tektronix | Test & Measurement

Tektronix has introduced the TSG4100A series of vector signal generator (VSGs) pitched at the price of basic signal generator. RF signal generators are widely used in product design, testing and manufacturing. Until now, RF engineers and technicians had to choose between basic RF signal generators or far more expensive vector signal generators (VSG). The TSG4100A offers a VSG at an affordable RF signal generator price. Further, as an engineer’s needs change, the TSG4100A can be easily upgraded in the field to deliver more advanced vector and digital modulation capabilities, says the company.

“There is a clear need in wireless design and manufacturing for test solutions that are more affordable and still meet demanding requirements,” said James McGillivary, general manager, RF and component solutions, Tektronix. “Tektronix first made huge strides in filling this void with the highly disruptive RSA306 USB-based spectrum analyzer. Now we are continuing this momentum with the TSG4100A that offers unbeatable price performance in an RF vector signal generator.”

The TSG4100A series includes three models with carrier frequencies from DC to 2GHz, 4GHz and 6GHz respectively. The instruments provide spur-free outputs with low phase noise (–113dBc/Hz at 1GHz), outstanding amplitude accuracy (<+/- 0.4dB at 1GHz, 0dBm CW signal from +16dBm to -100dBm level range) and excellent frequency resolution (1µHz at any frequency). An oven-controlled crystal oscillator time-base provides <±0.002ppm temperature stability and <±0.05ppm aging stability, the most accurate and stable available for a mid-range signal generator.

TSG4100A signal generators offer a wide variety of modulation capabilities. Modes include amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM), phase modulation (FM), and pulse modulation. There is an internal modulation source as well as an external modulation input. Unlike most analog signal generators, the TSG4100A can sweep continuously from DC to 62.5MHz. And for frequencies above 62.5MHz, each sweep range covers more than an octave.

Units can be software upgraded to support VSG applications. With the vector upgrade, TSG4100A series offers full support for vector signal modulation on RF carriers between 400 MHz and 6.0 GHz. It features a dual, arbitrary waveform generator operating at 125 MHz for baseband signal generation. The generator has built-in support for the most common vector modulation schemes: ASK, QPSK, DQPSK, p/4 DQPSK, 8PSK, FSK, CPM, QAM (4 to 256), 8VSB, and 16VSB. It also includes the standard pulse shaping filters used in digital communications: raised cosine, root-raised cosine, Gaussian, rectangular, triangular, and more. For additional flexibility, the rear-panel BNC I/Q modulation inputs support arbitrary vector modulation from an external source, says the company.

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