Demo Arbitrary Waveform Generator ARB unit brought in by Tristen Tan <> for us to test.

The unit was taken to David Reilly's lab, USYD for noise testing and comparison with Tektronix 5014C AWG (1.2 GS/s). Same SMA cable from minicircuit was used.

The recent testing result on Tektronix 5014C is shown in this link Tektronix5014C

Rise time testing

Both AWGs were connected to Agilent DOS90254A (2.5GHz&20GS/s)

Square Wave f=10MHz Vpp=0.5mV



Tab has 1ns rise time but more ringings.

Tek has 2ns rise time but less ringings.

Harmonics testing

Sine 10MHz Vpp = 0.5V

Connected to Agilent E4407B spectrum analyzer with bandwidth set to 300kHz
  Tab WX2182B Tek 5014C
1st harmonic 55 dB lower 55 dB lower
2nd harmonic 35 dB lower 50 dB lower
Clock signal 60 dB lower 75 dB lower

clock amp

change with Vpp

clock amp does

not change with Vpp

Changing waveform to square does not affect clock signal amp

It seems Tab uses attenuator to change Vpp so clock signal is also changing with Vpp.

If zoom in at the clock signal, carrier modified peaks can be found with 10MHz higher/lower than the clock. For Tab, the two peaks are almost symmetric while for Tek the higher frequency peak is almost invisible.

Then set Vpp = 2V, similar result can be found on both AWG

clock = -54dBm, carrier = -2dBm, huge harmonics

Dynamic range testing

Spec comparison
  Tab WX2182B Tek 5014C
Vertical Resolution 14 bit 14 bit
Vpp range 50mV to 2V 40mV to 9V
Set Vpp Tab's minimum value = 50mV and the output looks similar on both AWG.

Jitter testing

Jitter is the undesired deviation from true periodicity of an assumed periodic signal.


For Jitter test, the OSC trigger was set at the raising edge of the wave. The after half period (falling edge) or full period (raising edge), a small measurement window around 0V was opened (+/- 100uV) and the measurement point falling in that window was recorded. Then the histogram was plotted and the standard deviation (std) calculated. For good periodicity, the std should be small and the histogram should be close to standard distribution.

For this testing, 10MHz 0.5V Vpp square wave was used
    Std σ (68%) 2σ (95%) 3σ (99.7%)
Raising edge Tek 5014C 3 ps 77% 99% 100%
Tab WX2182B 0.9 ps 87% 100% 100%
Falling edge Tek 5014C 2.8 ps 72% 99% 100%
Tab WX2182B 2.6 ps 63% 100% 100%

Low frequency noise testing

Standford SR760 FFT Spectrum Analyzer was used.

The FFT is recorded between 0 to 100kHz.

Tek 5014C only shows 1/f noise.

Tab WX2182B has two channel. Each channel also have DC and AC output. When CH1-DC is connected and turned OFF, a broad peak around 80kHz can be seen. When then channel is turned ON, peaks with ~6kHz spacing can be found. When CH2 is turn on, cross-talking can be recorded.


When CH1-AC was connected, no cross-talking can be recorded. But few peaks with higher amplitude can be found


Tektronix and Tabor AWGs on SR FFT spectrum analyser



Factory test data

The Tabor technician tested WX2184A (similar specs but 4-channel) and WX2182B with the latest firmware.

Low frequency noise

They measured the low frequency noise (1 to 100kHz) and found several peaks at similar positions. But the amplitude is significantly smaller.They measured the spectrum with Vpp = 2V / 500mV / 50mV (left to right)


Please note that the unit is dBm. Using 50 Ohm impedance and converting that to voltage, Vpp ~ 20 microV

Then they tested the WX2182B and WX2184 again (left WX2182B, right WX2184)

4 channel unit has more spikes but the noise floor is lower. Vpp ~ 18 microV for both of them


Clock noise

They got similar result. (left: Vpp = 2V, right: Vpp = 500mV)


Harmonics of carrier signal

They got similar result. (Vpp = 2V / 500mV / 50mV left to right)


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Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
CW2V.GIFGIF CW2V.GIF manage 21 K 03 Jul 2014 - 04:32 RoyLi factory test harmonics Vpp 2V
CW500mV.GIFGIF CW500mV.GIF manage 20 K 03 Jul 2014 - 04:32 RoyLi factory test harmonics Vpp 500mV
CW50mV.gifgif CW50mV.gif manage 33 K 03 Jul 2014 - 04:32 RoyLi factory test harmonics Vpp 50mV
DC2V.GIFGIF DC2V.GIF manage 20 K 03 Jul 2014 - 04:08 RoyLi low f noise 2V factory
DC500mV.GIFGIF DC500mV.GIF manage 18 K 03 Jul 2014 - 04:08 RoyLi low f noise 500mV factory
DC50mV.GIFGIF DC50mV.GIF manage 20 K 03 Jul 2014 - 04:08 RoyLi low f noise 50mV factory
SCLK2G2V.GIFGIF SCLK2G2V.GIF manage 20 K 03 Jul 2014 - 04:27 RoyLi clock noise 2V
SCLK2G500mV.GIFGIF SCLK2G500mV.GIF manage 18 K 03 Jul 2014 - 04:27 RoyLi clock noise 500mV
Tab-rise.pngpng Tab-rise.png manage 3 K 15 Jun 2014 - 06:23 RoyLi  
Tek-rise.pngpng Tek-rise.png manage 3 K 15 Jun 2014 - 06:23 RoyLi  
TektronixFFT.jpegjpeg TektronixFFT.jpeg manage 110 K 21 Jul 2014 - 08:04 OlehKlochan  
WX2182-lowF.GIFGIF WX2182-lowF.GIF manage 17 K 03 Jul 2014 - 04:23 RoyLi  
WX2184-lowF.GIFGIF WX2184-lowF.GIF manage 19 K 03 Jul 2014 - 04:23 RoyLi  
jitterEXT jitter manage 26 K 15 Jun 2014 - 08:23 RoyLi  
jitter.pngpng jitter.png manage 26 K 15 Jun 2014 - 08:24 RoyLi  
noise-2.pngpng noise-2.png manage 11 K 15 Jun 2014 - 08:53 RoyLi Tab DC low f noise
noise-AC.pngpng noise-AC.png manage 5 K 15 Jun 2014 - 08:55 RoyLi Tab AC low f noise
taborFFT.jpegjpeg taborFFT.jpeg manage 113 K 21 Jul 2014 - 08:03 OlehKlochan  
taborfft.jpegjpeg taborfft.jpeg manage 1 MB 21 Jul 2014 - 08:50 OlehKlochan  
tektronixfft.jpegjpeg tektronixfft.jpeg manage 1 MB 21 Jul 2014 - 08:50 OlehKlochan  
Topic revision: r7 - 09 Sep 2014, RoyLi
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