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Arbitrary Function Generator

AFG2021-SC Datasheet

The AFG2021-SC 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 9 standard waveforms, modulation capability, and a built-in noise generator, you can quickly create the signal you need to thoroughly exercise your designs.

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 × 16 kS memory and the USB memory expansion capability provide substantial capacity for defining complex waveforms
  • USB host port on front panel for saving/reloading arbitrary waveforms and instrument settings
  • 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 Simplified Chinese and English
  • 2U height and half-rack width fits benchtop applications
  • Free ArbExpress software makes waveform editing extremely easy
  • Electronic test and design
  • Sensor simulation
  • Education and training
  • Functional test

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-SC Arbitrary Function Generator can create both simple and complex signals at an entry-level price. With 9 standard waveforms, 25 built-in application 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-SC, providing quick access to setup and operational features. Experienced AFG3000 users will find it especially easy to set up the new AFG2021-SC. 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-SC 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-SC to meet custom stimulus requirements. ArbExpress supports direct connection to Tektronix oscilloscopes and AFGs through USB, GPIB, or LAN (connection type is model dependent). The software allows you to import real-world signals captured with an oscilloscope onto a PC, then edit and copy them onto an AFG through a USB memory device 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.


Using the front-panel USB host port, you can save your customized waveforms or instrument settings onto a USB memory device. Reloading the data is easily done by plugging the device back into the USB host port.

Compact form factor

The 2U height and half-rack width form factor allow the AFG2021-SC to be stacked on other bench instruments, such as digital multimeters, power supplies, and frequency counters, saving valuable bench space.


All specifications are guaranteed 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
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)
<5 MHz
±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
<-70 dBc (<-77 dBc, typical)
20 kHz to 1 MHz
<-60 dBc (<-72 dBc, typical)
1 MHz to 10 MHz
<-50 dBc (<-55 dBc, typical)
10 MHz to 20 MHz
<-40 dBc (<-55 dBc, typical)
<0.2% (<0.15%, typical) 10 Hz to 20 kHz, 1 Vp-p
Spurious (1 Vp-p)
10 Hz to 1 MHz
<–60 dBc (<–71 dBc, typical)
1 MHz to 20 MHz
<–50 dBc (<–68 dBc, typical)
Phase noise, typical
20 MHz: <–110 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset, 1 Vp-p
Residual clock noise
–63 dBm
Square wave
1 μHz to 10 MHz
Rise/fall time
≤18 ns
Jitter (RMS)
<500 ps (<60 ps, typical)
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
<5%, typical
Jitter (RMS)
<500 ps (<90 ps, typical)
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 16 k: 250 MS/s
Vertical resolution
14 bits
Rise/fall time
≤20 ns
Jitter (RMS)
4 ns

50 Ω load: 10 mVp-pto 10 Vp-p

Open circuit: 20 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)

<42 Vpeak 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
±1 V full scale
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
Burst: <500 ps (Trigger input to signal output)
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)

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
<10 s
Accoustic noise, typical
<50 dBA
3.5 in. Color TFT LCD
User interface and help language
Simplified Chinese (default) and English (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%, <+40 °C, noncondensing

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

1 µHz to 20 MHz sine wave, 1-channel arbitrary function generator, Simplified Chinese
Instrument options
Language options
Opt. L7
Simplified Chinese manual
Opt. L99
No manual

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

Power plug options
Opt. A10
China power plug (50 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. 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

Standard accessories
User manual
Power cord
CD-ROM with Specifications and Performance Verification Technical Reference manual
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.
50 Ω BNC terminator


Three-year warranty on parts and labor.