An arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) is an advanced signal generator that can generate a waveform of almost any shape. The generated waveform can then be inserted into the device you wish to test and then analysed as it progresses through the device to confirm correct operation, or to highlight a fault. Arbitrary waveform generators are often expensive and so are usually only found in high–end test equipment, however, several PicoScope PC Oscilloscopes include a built–in AWG.
The arbitrary waveform generator is programmed with a data file, supplied by the user, which defines the output voltage at a number of equally spaced points in time. The circuit uses this data to reconstruct the waveform with a specified amplitude and frequency.
Arbitrary Waveform Generators can generate waveforms of almost any shape
PicoScope PC Oscilloscopes that have an AWG, such as the PicoScope 5203 and PicoScope 5204, can be programmed with a standard waveform, such as a sine or a square wave, or can import an arbitrary waveform from a text file. The integrataed AWG editor allows you to create, modify and save waveforms for use with the arbitrary waveform generator.
As PicoScope 6 can export CSV and TXT files, you can capture a waveform and then play it back using the arbitrary waveform generator. (To do this you must first modify the file by removing the header rows and time values.).