Generating a Signal: Types of Function Generators, DAC Considerations, and Other Common Terminology


Function generators produce a limited number of predefined periodic waveforms at precise frequencies. Arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs) can produce the standard waveforms as well as large, complex, user-defined waveforms. Learn about how signal generators generate analog signals and other topics such as types of signal generators, bit resolution, bandwidth, attenuation, digital gain, digital filtering, and analog filtering.

This white paper is part of our Instrument Fundamentals Series.

Topics Covered

  • Types of signal generators: function generators(FGEN), arbitrary function generators (AFG), arbitrary waveform generators (AWG)
  • Digital-to-analog conversion characteristics: bit resolution, bandwidth
  • Attenuation and digital gain
  • Digital filtering and interpolation
  • Analog filtering
Next Steps