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New AWG5200 Series opens a new era in signal generation

Tektronix has long been a leading manufacturer of arbitrary waveform generators (AWG) that offer an easy and flexible way to generate the signals needed in high speed serial, optical communications, radar test, electronic warfare and advanced research to name a few.

Now we are expanding our lineup with the AWG5200 Series that offers an impressive set of capabilities not previously available in the market in one instrument, including a 10 GS/s sample rate, 16-bit resolution and up to 8 channels per unit along with support for multiple unit synchronization. It includes a flexible waveform generation plug-in suite with comprehensive coverage for a wide variety of standards and digital modulation techniques. It also lowers the cost of ownership for complex multi-signal environments starting at a list price of about $11,000 per channel for the 8-channel instrument.


To understand why the AWG5200 offers this feature set and why we believe it’s the right signal source at the right time, it’s helpful to understand how signal generation needs have changed in three key market segments: general electronics test, military and government, and advanced research. Let’s look at how the AWG5200 is equipped to meet today’s evolving requirements.

Electronics test

In this segment, the rapid pace of commercial technology is starting to leave traditional test and measurement behind. New standards are too fast and complex to test with existing equipment. Also, modern, RF communications are going wider and need multiple, independent high bandwidth RF streams. 

The AWG5200 meets these need with the industry’s best combination of sample rate (10 GS/s interpolated) and vertical resolution (16 bits) and an extremely low noise floor. For scalability and flexibility, every channel on the AWG5200 is truly independent with a full 2G sample of memory on each channel. Users can build highly reliable setups with pre-calibration and pre-compensation software while excellent RF performance ensures highly accurate, detailed signals.


Engineers developing military and electronic warfare systems need to create threat signals or “signals of interest” that are by their nature difficult to detect, intercept and replicate. In many cases, military and government contractors have been relying on expensive purpose-built custom solutions.

With its low noise floor and excellent spurious performance, the AWG5200 allows for the generation of these more complex and true-to-life test signals. It also includes a wide variety of powerful waveform generation plugins that allow for faster waveform design iteration times.

The AWG5200 simplifies test rack requirements with new digital up-conversion functionality combined with a built-in IQ modulator that provides a wide RF output range with no need for additional equipment. For current Tektronix customers, it’s worth mentioning that the AWG5200 is code-compatible with our previous generation AWGs.

Advanced research

A major challenge for many advanced research applications such as quantum computing is affordable scalability. That’s why the AWG5200 offers best in class scalability with up to 8 independent tightly synchronized channels per unit. As a fully-integrated platform it allows for faster waveform loading and cleaner RF performance when compared to modular platforms. The ability to synchronize multiple units enables experiments to scale with greater economy than ever before. In addition to the 8 digital channels, the AWG5200 offers up to 32 digital channels for flexible triggering of additional test equipment.

As you might gather from the above run down, we spent considerable time visiting labs around the world and talking to our customers about their signal generation needs and the very real signal source challenges they are facing. We’re confident that the AWG offers the right combination of signal fidelity, performance, ease-of-use and scalability at the right price. It really is a new era in signal generation. To learn more, go to or contact your local Tektronix account manager.

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