What’s the Difference Between Signal Generator and Function Generator?

difference between signal generator and function generator

Whether you’re fine-tuning a high-fidelity audio system or debugging cutting-edge radar technology, your signal generator is the maestro behind all your testing, validation, and development efforts. From basic component testing to advanced waveform manipulation, the right generator can be the difference between hours of frustrating troubleshooting and smooth, efficient project completion.

But what’s the difference between signal generator and function generator waveform generator (AWG)? The answer lies in the specific requirements of your test scenarios and the level of sophistication you’re looking to achieve with your waveform generation.

A function generator creates standard test signals like sine, square and triangle waveforms based on user input. These signals help perform services like finding impedance mismatches, checking cable lengths and more.

Demystifying Signal Generators vs. Function Generators: Understanding the Key Differences

They typically use an analogue oscillator circuit to generate the waveforms but more commonly now a digital approach is used which enables much higher levels of performance. Using the latest ARM processors, DSP software, and other modern electronic components ensures excellent performance, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.

An arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) is a more sophisticated type of signal generator that allows you to define a source waveform. This may include a custom waveform, advanced modulation, or even a high-resolution spectrum scan. An AWG is more expensive than a function generator but offers unparalleled flexibility and precision for advanced scenario testing and design applications.

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