UHF-AWG Q & A

How does programming the UHF-AWG differ from programming other AWGs?
The LabOne AWG Sequencer allows you to work in a high-level language derived from C that is natural to read and write in, rather than having to pile up the sequence as a table of machine instructions as you would do with most AWGs. The LabOne language comes with waveform generation tools and thus lets you define the waveforms together with the sequence, rather than having to split this task out into a separate waveform generation tool or even third-party software like MATLAB®. Editor features like code completion and debugging messages allows new users to program quickly and easily.
How can I benefit from the UHF-AWG's amplitude modulation feature?
It reduces the need for time-consuming waveform uploads, and it simplifies operation when using signals with a sinusoidal carrier. This is because amplitude modulation makes the carrier independent of the programmed waveform. The carrier parameters (frequency, phase, amplitude, offset) are then adjustable with few mouse clicks.
How can I benefit from the UHF-AWG's user registers?
They increase the flexibility in pattern generation. User registers can be used as delays, as an index to select a certain waveform, or to output DIO values. You can change them manually from the user interface, or perform a sweep.
Does the UHF-AWG support sequence branching?
Yes. To include a sequence branch, use an "if" statement in the LabOne sequence program
What kind of waveforms can I generate with the LabOne AWG Sequencer?
Common waveforms (Blackman, Gauss, chirp, sine, square, sinc, DRAG, and more) can be generated right away. You can also add, multiply, cut/concatenate, and scale waveforms, and make use of loop iterations to generate systematic series of waveforms. External waveforms based on CSV files are easily imported.
What is the purpose of the Signal Input connectors?
The UHF Arbitrary Waveform Generator comes with a built-in Oscilloscope to visualize the generated signal. Additional advanced signal detection functionalities, such as demodulation, pulse counting, and boxcar detection, can be added in the form of upgrade options depending on the application requirements.
What is the purpose of the Auxiliary Output connectors?
These connectors support the four-channel mode of the UHFAWG that allows the user to output 4 arbitrary waveforms at a slower rate. They also serve as analog data outputs when the instrument has detection options installed. Finally, they are general-purpose direct voltage outputs (±10 V, 16 bit, 100 mA).
How many marker channels does UHF-AWG have? Where are they?
Four in total. Two BNC outputs are on the instrument front panel, two SMA outputs are on the back panel.
Does the AWG support Amplitude Modulation (AM), Frequency Modulation (FM), Phase Modulation (PM) and Double Sideband Modulation (DSB)?
The UHF-AWG supports AM out of the box. The UHF-MF Multi-frequency option enables quadrature modulation based on two quadrature channels added up internally. With this technique, arbitrary modulation schemes can be realized including FM, PM, or DSB.
Can the UHF-AWG option replace the UHF-MOD AM/FM Modulation option?
Not entirely, because unlike UHF-MOD the UHF-AWG option does not enable AM/FM demodulation. The AWG can generate amplitude-modulated signals but for sinusoidal modulations the UHF-MOD option is better suited than the UHF-AWG. The UHF-MOD option enables phase-coherent addition and subtraction of frequencies, including frequencies that are locked to external references and their harmonics. 
Does working with the UHFLI Lock-in amplifier change when the UHF-AWG option is installed?
The lock-in detection does not change with the UHF-AWG installed, but the Lock-in sine wave generator makes use of the same Signal Outputs as the UHF-AWG so the two can't be used in parallel. However, the UHF-AWG signal can be easily phase-locked to the lock-in amplifier reference.
How can one phase-lock the UHF-AWG and the lock-in amplifier units in the UHFLI?
You can phase-lock the UHF-AWG to the lock-in amplifier by synchronizing it with a common internal reference oscillator. There are two ways to do that. One is to use that oscillator signal as the AWG carrier signal in amplitude modulation mode. The other is to trigger the AWG by the oscillator phase, thus synchronizing the AWG repetition rate with the lock-in frequency.
How can one phase-lock the UHF-AWG and the UHF-BOX boxcar averager?
You can phase-lock the AWG to the UHF-BOX Boxcar averager by synchronizing it with a common internal reference oscillator. To that end, the UHF-AWG can be triggered by the oscillator phase, thus synchronizing the UHF-AWG repetition rate with the boxcar averager frequency.
Can I integrate the AWG into my existing control software?
If you rely on custom MATLAB®, LabVIEW®, Python, or C software, the integration is straightforward using the LabOne APIs. The LabOne graphical user interface helps you in finding the right API command for a given instrument setting through its command log feature.
In what forms can I purchase the UHF Arbitrary Waveform Generator?
You can do that in two forms: as the UHFAWG Arbitrary Waveform Generator instrument or as the upgrade option UHF-AWG for the UHFLI Lock-in Amplifier. The option UHF-AWG can be purchased together with the UHFLI, or added at a later time.
Is the hardware of the UHF Arbitrary Waveform Generator different from that of the UHFLI Lock-in Amplifier?
The hardware is identical except for the front panels.
Do I need a computer to operate the UHF-AWG?
Yes, this instrument is operated from a computer connected via USB or 1GbE. The computer uploads waveform and sequence data to the AWG. Once the AWG is started, it generates its signal autonomously and doesn't strictly depend on the computer any more.
How can I install and update the software?
The LabOne software is freely available on our download center with updates appearing on a regular basis. The LabOne installer includes a utility to update the instrument firmware as well.
How does the AWG compare to a function generator?
The UHF-AWG provides control over every sample of the output signal. It's the right tool when you need precise control of the signal shape, or if you require complicated sequences of pulses. A function generator is better at generating standard signals, like sawtooth waves or pulse bursts. This is because its user interface can be made simpler, and its technology enables rescaling of a waveform in time to change the frequency.
Does the UHF-AWG support a DDS mode?
No.
Can UHF-AWG be synchronized with AWGs from other vendors?
The UHF-AWG provides standard trigger input and output functionalities to synchronize the signal generation of the two instruments. 
I need more than two channels. Can I synchronize multiple UHF-AWG instruments?
Automatic timing synchronization will be available in a subsequent LabOne release. This greatly simplifies the synchronization of signals across instruments.
What are the limitation for using the UHF-AWG and the built-in Scope (including UHF-DIG Digitizer option) simultaneously?
When operating the two simultaneously, the maximum sampling rate of both is reduced. If you require simultaneous dual-channel operation of the Scope and AWG at more than 450 MSa/s, we recommend the use of a separate scope or digitizer.
What are the performance limitations of the AWG?
When working at the full speed (two channels at 1.8 GSa/s), the length of a waveform that can be played in one go is limited to 32k samples. Hence, playing long patterns at the full speed requires some optimization of the sequence and of the waveform memory.

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