Signal Generator Tutorial Support

What is a Signal Generator?

The signal generator, or signal source, is exactly what its name implies: a generator of signals used as a stimulus for electronic measurements.

Most circuits require some type of input signal whose amplitude varies over time. The signal may be a true bipolar AC1 signal (with peaks oscillating above and below a ground reference point) or it may vary over a range of DC offset voltages, either positive or negative. It may be a sine wave or other analog function, a digital pulse, a binary pattern or a purely arbitrary wave shape.

The signal generator can provide “ideal” waveforms or it may add known, repeatable amounts and types of distortion (or errors) to the signal it delivers. This characteristic is one of the signal generator's greatest virtues, since it is often impossible to create predictable distortion exactly when and where it’s needed using only the circuit itself. The response of the DUT in the presence of these distorted signals reveals its ability to handle stresses that fall outside the normal performance envelope. Learn more in the Signal Generator Primer »


Signal Generator Tutorials

The signal generator tutorial information found here will help you learn more about signal generator basics and their contribution to a complete test and measurement solution.


Title Product Series or Application Level
Signal Generator Primer
This 54-page XYZs of Signal Generators Primer explains the basics of Signal Generators, including the many types of generators, their applications and their contribution to a complete test and measurement solution.
Signal Generators Beginner's Guide
Signal Generator Pocket Guide
This pocket-sized guide explains fundamental signal source concepts, including waveform generation principles and an overview of basic waveforms and waveform characteristics. A helpful, quick reference guide to your signal generator.
Signal Generators Beginner's Guide
Understanding Signal Generation Methodologies
This technical brief compares two signal generation architectures and explains how to select the right product for your application.
Signal Generators Beginner's Guide
Characterization of IQ Modulators Counts On Flexible Signal Generator Stimulus
Learn how modern arbitrary/function generators provide a stimulus to characterize high performance IQ modulators thoroughly, with more flexibility and saving considerable time over previously used methods.
Signal Generators Intermediate Guide