GX1200 Series

Arbitrary Function Generator PXI Card


The GX1200 and GX1201 are high performance, single-channel PXI arbitrary waveform generators that combine a function generator, arbitrary waveform synthesizer, programmable sequencer, pulse generator, and modulation generator in one instrument. The GX1200 Series delivers all this at a lower cost than comparable benchtype or VXI-based instruments.


With high sample rates of 50 MS/s (GX1200) and 100 MS/s (GX1201), the GX1200 Series is an ideal modulation source for troubleshooting encoding schemes. Both models also provide high speed waveforms to stimulate signal distortion, power line cycle dropouts, video signals, components failures and power supply transients.

The GX1200 Series comes standard with 2 M samples of waveform memory, accessible via a high speed interface. Waveform memory is segmentable. This allows for storage and access of up to 4,096 different waveforms rapidly without having to download waveforms multiple times, which in turn enhances test throughput.

ArbConnection Software
The GX1200 Series includes ArbConnection software to control instrument functions, modes, and features. Freehand sketch allows the user to draw custom waveforms - allowing for easy creation of custom analog signals. The built-in equation editor allows for the creation of exotic functions, adding or subtracting components of a Fourier series for the characterization of digital or analog filters, or to inject random noise into a signal to test immunity to auxiliary noise.

The GX1200 Series offers powerful sequencing capabilities which allows linkage of up to 4,096 waveform segments and/or bursts (repeated segments) into strings. A segment can be repeated up to 128 K times in burst mode. Sequenced functions can either run continuously or be initiated via a trigger. It is also possible to mix continuous and triggered segments within one sequence. These sequencing features permit the creation of complex waveforms or pulse patterns using a minimal amount of memory. Sequences are created by writing a sequence table. Sequence table downloads are extremely fast as ArbConnection writes directly to the register and does not require the overhead of an embedded controller.

Combining PXI trigger lines with the GX1200 Series’ sync capability transforms the GX1200 into an Arbitrary Trigger Generator. In addition to continuous output, the instrument can also wait for a trigger to initiate a single waveform, a burst of waveforms or a sequence of waveforms. Triggers can also be used to advance a sequence of waveforms one segment at a time. The GX1200 Series accepts the triggers from multiple sources: eight backplane trigger lines plus the PXI STAR trigger, the front panel trigger input, and manual commands such as *TRG.

Sample Clock
The GX1200 Series offers outstanding low phase noise characteristics and carrier stability. Such characteristics are essential in telecommunication and channel separation applications. Also, the output of the GX1200 Series can be made extremely agile for applications needing sweep, FSK, and FM. The sample clock of the instrument is derived from a Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS) circuit so controlling instantaneous frequency is a matter of changing its input bits. Functions such as wide-band FM, wander, linear, and logarithmic sweep are easily created and executed by the generator. A unique and extremely useful feature of ArbConnection is the FM Composer. The FM composer screen is similar to the Wave Composer screen, except the Y-axis is provided in units of frequency, so waveforms created using the FM composer generate frequency change over time.

Arbitrary Waveforms
The GX1200 Series can also function as an Arbitrary Waveform Generator. Combined with the power of ArbConnection, there is virtually no limit to what can be created and generated. Waveform coordinates can be imported from a variety of sources such as MathLab, ASCII files, etc. Anything displayed on one of the composer screens can be downloaded quickly and generated by the main output. Two or more GX1200 or GX1201s can be placed in a chassis to harness the power of multi-instrument synchronization and create multiple, phase-controlled output channels, then vary module-to-module phase offsets to create a multi-phase signal source.

Programming and Software

The board is supplied with a 32-bit DLL driver. Various interface files provide access to the DLL from programming tools and languages such as ATEasy, LabVIEW, C/C++, Microsoft Visual Basic®, Delphi, and more. The available virtual panel can be used to interactively adjust and control the instrument from a window that displays the instrument's current settings and status. An On-Line help file and PDF User's Guide provides documentation that includes instructions for installing, using and programming the board.