AFG2021 Datasheet

Arbitrary/Function Generator

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US $1,560

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The AFG2021 Arbitrary Function Generator gives you the power to create the signals you need at an entry-level price. With 20 MHz bandwidth, 14-bit resolution, and 250 MS/s sample rate, you can generate all manner of signals -- from complex serial data streams to simple audio frequencies or clock signals to the output of an airbag sensor during a crash. With 12 standard waveforms, modulation capability, and a built-in noise generator, you can quickly create the signal you need to thoroughly exercise your designs.

Notice to EU customers

This product is not updated to comply with the RoHS 2 Directive 2011/65/EU and will not be shipped to the EU. Customers may be able to purchase products from inventory that were placed on the EU market prior to July 22, 2017 until supplies are depleted. Tektronix is committed to helping you with your solution needs. Please contact your local sales representative for further assistance or to determine if alternative product(s) are available. Tektronix will continue service to the end of worldwide support life.

Key performance specifications
  • 20 MHz sine, 10 MHz pulse waveforms provide coverage for your most common applications
  • 250 MS/s sampling rate and 14-bit vertical resolution enable the creation of high-fidelity signals
Key features
  • The innovative UI reduces setup and evaluation time with direct access to frequently used functions and parameters
  • The internal 4 × 128 kS memory and the USB memory expansion capability provide substantial capacity for defining complex waveforms
  • USB remote control port and USB flash drive port are included. GPIB and LAN interfaces are available as an option
  • Built-in Modulation, Noise Generator, Burst, and Sweep modes for greater versatility
  • Built-in waveforms provide quick access to commonly used signals
  • Large 3.5 inch color screen displays both graphical and numeric waveform information simultaneously
  • Menu and online help in 8 languages
  • 2U height and half-rack width fits both benchtop and rack-mounted applications
  • Free ArbExpress software makes waveform editing and downloading extremely easy
  • Free SignalExpress software combines Tektronix bench instruments into a low-cost solution for automatic testing
  • Electronic test and design
  • Sensor simulation
  • Education and training
  • Functional test
  • System integration

Superior performance at an affordable price

Most electronic devices, circuits, and systems are designed to handle some form of a signal. These signals can be simple like an audio frequency or clock signal or more complex like a serial data stream or the output of an airbag sensor during a crash. With 20 MHz bandwidth, 14-bit resolution, and 250 MS/s sample rate, the AFG2021 Arbitrary Function Generator can create both simple and complex signals at an entry-level price. With 12 standard waveforms, modulation capability, and a built-in noise generator, you can quickly create the signal you need to thoroughly exercise your designs.

Intuitive user interface

The innovative ease-of-use features first seen on the AFG3000 Series arbitrary/function generators are the building blocks for the AFG2021, providing quick access to setup and operational features. Experienced AFG3000 users will find it especially easy to set up the new AFG2021. A 3.5 inch color TFT screen shows relevant parameters in both graphic and text formats, so you can have full confidence in your settings and focus on the task at hand. The front-panel shortcut buttons and rotary knob provide quick access to the most frequently used functions and settings.

Excellent frequency agility

Traditional function generators created their output signals using analog oscillators and signal conditioning. The Tektronix AFG2021 relies on Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS) techniques. DDS technology synthesizes waveforms by using a single clock frequency to generate any frequency within the instrument’s range. DDS architecture provides exceptional frequency agility, making it possible to program fast frequency and phase changes, which is useful for testing radio and satellite system components, amplifiers, and filters.


Frequency range from 1 μHz to 20 MHz, supports a wide range of amplifier and filter testing applications.

ArbExpress for real-world waveforms with minimal effort

With ArbExpress software, you can quickly create waveforms that can be copied to the AFG2021 to meet custom stimulus requirements. ArbExpress supports direct connection to Tektronix oscilloscopes and AFGs through USB, GPIB, or LAN. The software allows you to import real-world signals captured with an oscilloscope onto a PC, then edit and download them onto an AFG to duplicate the captured waveform. This is extremely useful for automotive, medical, and industrial applications where recreating sensor output is critical to analyzing the integrity of the design.


ArbExpress software helps you easily duplicate real-world signals.

Insert productivity with SignalExpress

Every AFG2021 ships with a free copy of the Tektronix Edition of National Instrument’s LabVIEW SignalExpress software for basic instrument control, data logging, and analysis. SignalExpress supports the range of Tektronix bench instruments enabling you to connect your entire test bench. You can then access each instrument from one intuitive software interface. This allows you to automate complex measurements requiring multiple instruments, log data for an extended period of time, time-correlate data from multiple instruments, and easily capture and analyze your results, all from your PC. Only Tektronix offers a connected test bench of intelligent instruments to simplify and speed debug of your complex design.


Using the front-panel USB host port, you can save your customized waveforms or instrument settings onto a USB memory stick. Reloading the data is easily done by plugging the device back into the USB host port. The USB device port and optional GPIB/LAN ports provide multiple alternatives for connecting the AFG2021 to your PC for waveform download and remote control.

Compact form factor

The 2U height and half-rack width form factor allow the AFG2021 to be stacked on other bench instruments, such as digital multimeters, power supplies, and frequency counters, saving valuable bench space. With the optional RMU2U rackmount kit, GPIB interface, and full SCPI support, the AFG2021 is a perfect solution for automated test systems.

Specifications 1

All specifications are guaranteed unless noted otherwise. All specifications apply to all models unless noted otherwise.

1The given typical values are not warranted. But 80% or more manufactured units will perform to the level indicated at room temperature (approximately 25 °C).

Model overview
Waveforms Sine, Square, Pulse, Ramp, Noise, DC, Sin(x)/x, Gaussian, Lorentz, Exponential Rise, Exponential Decay, and Haversine
General characteristics
Sine wave

1 μHz to 20 MHz

Sine wave in Burst Mode
1 μHz to 10 MHz
Effective maximum frequency out
20 MHz
Amplitude flatness (1 Vp-p)
±0.15 dB (±0.05 dB, typical)
5 MHz to 20 MHz
±0.3 dB(±0.02 dB, typical)
Harmonic distortion (1 Vp-p)
10 Hz to 20 kHz
20 kHz to 1 MHz
1 MHz to 10 MHz
10 MHz to 20 MHz
Spurious (1 Vp-p)
10 Hz to 1 MHz
1 MHz to 20 MHz
Phase noise, typical
20 MHz: p-p
Residual clock noise
–63 dBm
Square wave
1 μHz to 10 MHz
Rise/fall time
≤18 ns
Jitter (RMS)
Ramp wave
1 μHz to 200 kHz
≤0.1% of peak output at 10% to 90% of amplitude range
0.0% to 100.0%
Pulse wave
1 mHz to 10 MHz
Pulse width
30.00 ns to 999.99 s
-- Resolution
10 ps or 5 digits
Pulse duty
0.001% to 99.999% (Limitations of pulse duty width apply)
Edge transition time
18 ns to 0.625 × Pulse Period
-- Resolution
10 ps or 4 digits
Lead delay
-- Range
Continuous Mode: 0 ps to Period Trigger/Gate Burst Mode: 0 ps to Period – [Pulse Width + 0.8 × (Leading Edge Time + Trailing Edge Time)]
-- Resolution
10 ps or 8 digits
Jitter (RMS)
Other waveforms
1 μHz to 200 kHz
Noise bandwidth (-3 dB)
20 MHz
Noise type
White Gaussian
DC (into 50 Ω)
–5 V to +5 V
Arbitrary waveforms
1 mHz to 10 MHz
Arbitrary waveforms in Burst Mode
1 mHz to 5 MHz
Effective analog bandwidth
(–3 dB)
34 MHz
Nonvolatile memory
4 waveforms
Memory: sample rate
2 to 128 k: 250 MS/s
Vertical resolution
14 bits
Rise/fall time
≤20 ns
Jitter (RMS)
4 ns

50 Ω load: 1 mVp-pto 10 Vp-p

Open circuit: 2 mVp-pto 20 Vp-p


±(1% of setting + 1 mV), (1 kHz sine waveform, 0 V offset, >10 mVp-pamplitude)

0.1 mVp-p, 0.1 mVrms, 1 mV, 0.1 dBm, or 4 digits
Vp-p, Vrms, dBm (sine wave only)
Output impedance
50 Ω
Load impedance setting

Selectable: 50 Ω, 1 Ω to 10.0 kΩ, high Z (adjusts displayed amplitude according to selected load impedance)

peak maximum to earth
Short-circuit protection

Signal outputs are robust against permanent shorts against floating ground

External voltage protection

To protect signal outputs against external voltages use fuse adapter 013-0345-00 

DC offset

50 Ω load: ±(5 Vpeak– amplitude Vp-p/2)

Open circuit: ±(10 Vpeak– amplitude Vp-p/2)

-- Accuracy
±(1% of |setting| + 5 mV + 0.5% of amplitude (Vp-p))
-- Resolution
1 mV
Modulation characteristics
Carrier waveforms
All, including ARB, except pulse, noise, and DC
Internal modulating waveform

Sine, square, ramp, noise, ARB (AM: maximum waveform length 4,096; FM: maximum waveform length 2,048)

Internal modulating frequency
2 mHz to 50.00 kHz
AM modulation depth
0.0% to +120.0%
Min FM peak deviation
Max FM peak deviation
10 MHz
Pulse width modulation
Carrier waveform
Internal modulating waveform

Sine, square, ramp, noise, ARB (Maximum waveform length 2,048)

Internal modulating frequency
2 mHz to 50.00 kHz
0% to 50.0% of pulse period
All, including ARB, except pulse, noise, and DC
Linear, logarithmic
Sweep time
1 ms to 300 s
Hold/return time
0 ms to 300 s
Max total sweep time (Sweep + hold + return)

300 s

1 ms or 4 digits
Total sweep time accuracy, typical
Min start/stop frequency

All except ARB: 1 μHz

ARB: 1 mHz

Max start/stop frequency

Sine: 20 MHz

Square: 10 MHz

ARB: 10 MHz

Others: 200 kHz

All, including ARB, except noise and DC
Triggered, gated (1 to 1,000,000 cycles or infinite)
Internal trigger rate
1 μs to 500.0 s
Gate and trigger sources
Internal, external, manual trigger
Auxiliary input characteristics
Modulation input
Input range
All except FSK: ±1 V full scale

FSK: 3.3 V logic level

10 kΩ
Frequency range
DC to 25 kHz (122 kS/s sample rate)
External triggered/gated burst input
TTL compatible
Pulse width
100 ns minimum
Positive/negative selectable
Trigger delay
0.0 ns to 85.000 s
100 ps or 5 digits
Jitter (RMS), typical
10 MHz reference input
1 kΩ , AC coupled
Required input voltage swing
100 mVp-p to 5 vp-p
Lock range
10 MHz ±35 kHz
Auxiliary output characteristics
Trigger output
Positive TTL level pulse into 1 kΩ
50 Ω
Jitter (RMS), typical
500 ps
Max frequency

4.9 MHz (4.9 MHz to 20 MHz: A fraction of the frequency is output)

Common characteristics
Remote programming
(GPIB, LAN 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX, USB 1.1, compatible with SCPI-1999.0 and IEEE 488-2 standards)
Characteristic USB LAN 1 GPIB 1
Function change 95 ms 103 ms 84 ms
Frequency change 2 ms 19 ms 2 ms
Amplitude change 60 ms 67 ms 52 ms
Select user ARB 88 ms 120 ms 100 ms
Data download time for 4k point ARB waveform data (8 KB), typical 20 ms 84 ms 42 ms

1GPIB and LAN interfaces are only available on the instrument with Option GL.

System characteristics
Frequency setting resolution
1 μHz or 12 digits
Phase (except DC, Noise, Pulse)
–360° to +360°

Sine: 0.01°

Other Waveforms: 0.1°

Internal noise add
When activated, output signal amplitude is reduced to 50%
0.0% to 50% of amplitude (Vp-p) setting
Main output
50 Ω
Internal frequency response

All except ARB: ±1 ppm, 0 °C to 50 °C

ARB: ±1 ppm ±1 μHz, 0 °C to 50 °C

±1 ppm per year
Power source
100 V to 240 V, 50 Hz to 60 Hz or 115 V, 400 Hz
Power consumption
60 W
Warm up time, typical
20 minutes
Power on self diagnostics, typical
Accoustic noise, typical
3.5 in. Color TFT LCD
User interface and help language
English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Russian (user selectable)
Physical characteristics
104.2 mm (4.10 in.)
241.8 mm (9.52 in.)
419.1 mm (16.50 in.)
2.87 kg (6.3 lb.)
4.72 kg (10.4 lb.)
EMC, environmental, and safety characteristics
0 °C to +50 °C
-30 °C to +70 °C

≤80%, +0 °C to +40 °C, noncondensing

≤60%, +40 °C to +50 °C, noncondensing


5% to 90%,

5% to 80%, ≥+40 °C to ≤+60 °C, noncondensing

5% to 40%, >+60 °C to ≤+70 °C, noncondensing

Up to 3,000 m (9,842 ft.)
EMC compliance
EU Council Directive 2004/108/EC

UL61010-1; 2004 

CAN/CSA C22.2 No. 61010-1; 2004 

EN61010-1; 2001 

IEC61010-1; 2001 

Ordering information

Arbitrary/function generator
User manual, power cord, USB cable, CD-ROM with programmer manual, service manual, Labview and IVI Drivers, CD-ROM with ArbExpress® software, NIST-traceable calibration certificate.
Please specify power cord and local language for user manual when ordering.
Instrument options
Configuration options
Opt GL
GPIB and LAN interfaces
Language options
Opt. L0
English manual
Opt. L1
French manual
Opt. L2
Italian manual
Opt. L3
German manual
Opt. L4
Spanish manual
Opt. L5
Japanese manual
Opt. L6
Portuguese manual
Opt. L7
Simplified Chinese manual
Opt. L8
Traditional Chinese manual
Opt. L9
Korean manual
Opt. L10
Russian manual
Opt. L99
No manual

Language options include translated front-panel overlay for the selected language(s).

Power plug options
Opt. A0
North America power plug (115 V, 60 Hz)
Opt. A1
Universal Euro power plug (220 V, 50 Hz)
Opt. A2
United Kingdom power plug (240 V, 50 Hz)
Opt. A3
Australia power plug (240 V, 50 Hz)
Opt. A5
Switzerland power plug (220 V, 50 Hz)
Opt. A6
Japan power plug (100 V, 50/60 Hz)
Opt. A10
China power plug (50 Hz)
Opt. A11
India power plug (50 Hz)
Opt. A12
Brazil power plug (60 Hz)
Opt. A99
No power cord
Service options
Opt. C3
Calibration Service 3 Years
Opt. C5
Calibration Service 5 Years
Opt. D1
Calibration Data Report
Opt. D3
Calibration Data Report 3 Years (with Opt. C3)
Opt. D5
Calibration Data Report 5 Years (with Opt. C5)
Opt. R5
Repair Service 5 Years (including warranty)
Opt. R5DW

Repair Service Coverage 5 Years (includes product warranty period). 5-year period starts at time of instrument purchase

Recommended accessories
Rackmount kit
Fuse adapter, BNC-P to BNC-R
Fuse set, 3 pcs, 0.125 A
BNC cable shielded, 3 ft.
BNC cable shielded, 9 ft.
GPIB cable, double shielded
50 Ω BNC terminator


Three-year warranty on parts and labor.
Last Modified: 2017-03-29 05:00:00

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