12 MHz Waveform Generator- What Does That Even Mean?

The Analog Discovery 2 has many tools, and one of the most commonly used is the Waveform Generator. You can send a large variety of signals, from your basic sine wave, to modulated signals. It’s also used in the Network Analyzer to provide the frequency inputs.

We say in the spec sheet that the Waveform Generator can provide 12MHz with the BNC adapter, but what does that really mean? Well, that means that when sending a signal of 12MHz with the BNC Adapter the signal will hit the 3dB point, meaning the amplitude will fall to .707. Without the BNC Adapter, this will occur at 9MHz.

Let me show you:

Here is a signal that is well within the spec, a 1MHz sine wave. Here you can see that the amplitude is at a full 1V.

Here you can see the 1MHz signal with full signal integrity.

At 10MHz without the BNC Adapter, we are just above the promised spec of 9MHz, and you can see that the amplitude has fallen below the .707 mark. A usable signal for many projects, but not ideal.

The 10MHz signal with (C1) and without (R1) oversampling. Since it is just outside the spec, it is just under the 3dB point.

Now lets go way out of the range of the specifications, a 25MHz signal.

Here you can see the 25MHz signal. It is way out of the spec so the signal integrity has been significantly diminished.

Here you can see that the amplitude of the signal is between .2 and .4 and the quality of the signal is diminished significantly. Frequencies outside of the spec can be access in no limits mode, but are mainly used for testing by our engineers.

If you want to try out the software that runs the Analog Discovery 2 you can download it and test it in demo mode for free.

Comment below if you have any other specifications you’d like clarified. And make sure to let us know what your working on with the Analog Discovery 2!


Be the 1st to vote.

One Comment on “12 MHz Waveform Generator- What Does That Even Mean?”

  1. Hi Kaitlyn,

    I use an Analog Discovery for many different measurements. I wanted to check a circuit that operates at 14 MHz but found that the Network analyzer stops at 10 MHz. I have BNC cables and therefore could probably get enough input signal strength to measure at that frequency but the Waveform software does not let me set up such a measurement. Do you have any tips for me? If you can help, please send me email.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *