A function generator is a test and measuring device which creates electronic signals in many different waveforms. The generator's main purpose, when connected to a circuit, is to produce controllable waveforms with adjustable frequencies, amplitude outputs, or DC offsets. Function generators help to save time in building oscillators when you are fabricating prototype audio circuits or low and high-pass filters.
Function generators produce a range of different waveforms, such as sine waves, triangular waves, sawtooth waves and square waves. The signal generator can produce repetitive signals and can also change some characteristics of the wave. You can view the signals generated by the device by attaching it to an oscilloscope. Function generators may provide other functions, such as DC offset and variable symmetry. There is usually a screen on the generator which displays the monitoring of the output.
Frequency range and waveforms
- 0.001 Hz to 2000 MHz Sine wave
- 0.001 Hz to 160 MHz Square wave
- 0.001 Hz to 800 kHz Triangle wave
Where are function generators used?
- Integrated electronic testing
- Embedded systems
- Digital circuits
- Analogue signal processing
- Laboratory testing
Function Generators vs. Arbitrary Waveform Generators (AWGs)
Function generators are usually slightly cheaper than AWGs and they perform quite similarly. However, Arbitrary Waveform Generators generally provide more functions and offer the ability to create a custom waveform output of any size. Function generators offer a periodic waveform.