Agilent Technologies Rolls Out N6030A Arbitrary Waveform Generator

9/22/2004 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) introduced the industry's first wideband arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) to deliver 1.25 GSa/s and 15 bits of vertical resolution simultaneously. With Agilent's N6030A arbitrary waveform generator, digital signal processing (DSP) and system engineers can rapidly create realistic wideband signals for the design and test of advanced radar, satellite and emerging communication systems.

Wide bandwidth and high resolution are key performance requirements for most aerospace/defense systems. Wideband AWG's are commonly used to test receiver and transmitter chains by simulating complex real-world scenarios, such as multiple radar echo returns cluttered by ground objects, rain, clouds and sea reflections. The AWG must accurately produce these signals to correctly test the radar receiver's processing chain. Similarly, the wideband AWG must produce clean, baseband signals to help evaluate the radar transmitter's up-conversion blocks. Likewise, emerging wireless communication formats and satellite systems require high-bandwidth signal simulations to evaluate distortions inherent in a receiver chain. Wideband AWGs are used not only to generate the ideal signal, but to add impairments that affect the system's bit error rate (BER).

"Until now, commercial AWGs offered either wide bandwidth or wide dynamic range," said Pat Byrne, vice president and general manager of Agilent's RF and Microwave Communications Business Unit. "The N6030A offers both simultaneously, eliminating performance tradeoffs. It provides the widest combination of bandwidth and dynamic range commercially available. Over the past three years, we've invested heavily in research and technology development. The wide bandwidth AWG is another example of our continued commitment to commercializing innovative technology."

Unprecedented Performance
The Agilent N6030A provides dual differential output channels to drive both single-ended and balanced designs. Each independent channel gives designers access to the most advanced digital-to-analog (DAC) technology commercially available, with 500 MHz of instantaneous analog bandwidth and more than 65 dBc of spurious free dynamic range, resulting in the most realistic, wideband waveform generation. Combining the N6030A with Agilent's flagship PSG high-performance vector signal generator gives designers 1 GHz IQ bandwidth for simulating IF and RF subsystem tests at microwave frequencies.

"Whether you are talking 1.25 GSa/s sample bandwidth to a DSP engineer or 1 GHz IQ wide bandwidth to the RF/microwave engineer, this AWG offers unprecedented performance," said Steve Fossi, general manager of Agilent's Defense, Aerospace & Transportation Solutions Division. "In addition, each channel can output waveforms as an IF or as a baseband signal for IQ upconversion."

The Agilent N6030A has 8 MSa or 16 MSa optional waveform memory for storage of arbitrary and complex waveforms, which is up to four times the memory available today from other wideband AWGs. Additionally, the advanced sequencing engine extends the effective size of the on-board memory.

System Scalability
With its four-slot 3U CompactPCI format, the Agilent N6030A can be used as a standalone AWG or as a scalable system component for generating complex phase-coherent, multi-emitter scenarios. A single module can drive eight total modules to create synchronous operation on a sample-by-sample basis. Multiple programmatic interfaces are included to speed waveform development and system integration, including MATLAB(r), LabView, IVI-C and Microsoft(r).NET framework. The Agilent N6030A includes a complete software suite with an intuitive graphical user interface that aids developers in waveform file creation, transfer and control of all module settings.

Further Information
Additional information about the Agilent N6030A is available at
A backgrounder describing the importance of wideband AWGs is available at
Images of the AWG are available at

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent N6030A arbitrary waveform generator price starts at $50,000. Optional waveform memory expansion to 16 MSa (N6030A-016) is $10,000. Both are expected to be available in November 2004.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2003. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

MATLAB is a U.S. registered trademark of The Math Works, Inc. Microsoft is a U.S. registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

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