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Model 5201

125MS/s PXIBus Arbitrary Waveform Generator

Model 5201 is a Single-Channel Arbitrary Waveform / Function Generator that combines many powerful functions in one small package. Supplied free with the instrument is ArbConnection software, which is used for controlling the 5201 and for generating, editing and downloading waveforms from a remote computer.
Related Documents
Highlights Features Specifications Ordering Info Downloads Reviews
  • Single-channel 125 MS/s PXI-Based waveform generator
  • Sine waves to 50MHz, Square to 30MHz
  • 8Vp-p into 50Ω standard, double into high impedance
  • SINE OUT to 125MHz, 1Vp-p
  • 14 Bit vertical resolution
  • 2M waveform memory
  • 1 ppm clock accuracy and stability
  • Extensive modulation capabilities AM, FM, Arbitrary FM, FSK, Ramped FSK and Sweep
  • 14 digits sample clock frequency setting, limited by 1µS/s
  • Waveform sequencing with up to 4096 segments and sequences
  • Occupies a single slot only
  • Ultra fast waveform downloads using DMA
  • ArbConnection software for easy waveform creation

A Cost Effective Format

The 5201 is a sensible alternative to a GPIB-based waveform generator when developing a PXI based test system. The 5201 provides a synergistic combination of a function generator, arbitrary waveform synthesizer, programmable sequencer, pulse generator, and modulation generator in one instrument. The 5201 delivers all this at a lower cost than comparable bench-type, or VXI-based instruments. This versatility ensures that the Model 5201 will adapt to future testing needs as well as current ones.

Sample Rate

New technology requirements are driving communications systems to use increasingly narrow channel width. A sample rate of 125MS/s makes the 5201 an ideal modulation source for troubleshooting new encoding schemes. The 5201 also provides high-speed waveforms to simulate signal distortion, power line cycle dropouts, video signals, component failures and power supply transients.

14 Bit Resolution

The 14-bit resolution provides 16,384 output levels. This means that even audio waveforms can be generated with excellent fidelity. It also allows video - and other complex waveforms - to be generated with small details superimposed on large signals, in order to test the response of receiving systems.

2M Waveform Memory

The 5201 provides 2M of waveform memory as standard, far more than competitive models. This waveform memory is accessible via a high-speed interface. Also, waveform memory is segmentable, allowing the storage of up to 4096 different waveforms of variable size. This allows test software to switch between many different waveforms rapidly and without having to download multiple times, enhancing test throughput in a way that cannot be duplicated by other competing products.

Sequences of up to 4096 Waveforms

Powerful sequencing capability allows linkage of up to 4096 waveform segments and/or bursts (repeated segments) into strings. A segment can be repeated up to 128k times in burst mode. Sequenced functions run continuously or are initiated by a trigger. It is also possible to mix continuous and triggered segments within one sequence. These sequencing features permit the creation of complex waveform or pulse patterns using minimal amounts of memory. Sequences are created by writing a sequence table. Sequence table download is extremely fast because ArbConnection writes to registers and does not require the overhead of an embedded controller.

Arbitrary Waveforms

The last but not least is flexibility of the 5201 as an Arbitrary Waveform Generator. Combined with the power of ArbConnection, there is no limit to what you can create and generate. Waveform coordinates can be imported from a variety of sources such as MATLAB, ASCII files etc. Anything you can show on one of the composer screens is downloaded in a split of a second and generated by the main output.

Sample Clock Agility

The Model 5201 has outstanding low phase noise characteristics and carrier stability. Such characteristics are very much needed for telecommunication and channel separation applications. On the other hand, the output of the 5201 can be made extremely agile for applications needing sweep, FSK and FM. The sample clock of the instrument is derived from a DDS (Direct Digital Synthesis) circuit so controlling instantaneous frequency is a matter of changing its input bits. You, as a user, should not really care how it is done but the end result is magnificent: functions like 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 looks very much like the Wave Composer screen except the "Y" axis is given in units of frequency, so waveforms you create using the FM composer generate frequency change over time. You can create any arbitrary waveform shape or even use the equation editor to generate exotic shapes which eventually you can use to frequency modulate your main output.

Flexible Triggering Capability

Combining PXIbus trigger lines with the 5201 sync capability transforms the instrument 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 5201 accepts the triggers from multiple sources: eight backplane trigger lines plus STAR trigger, front panel trigger input, and manual commands such as *TRG

Multi-Instrument Synchronization

Place 2 or more Model 5201`s in a chassis and harness the power of multi-instrument synchronization to create multiple, phase-controlled output channels. Then vary module-to-module phase offsets to create multi-phase signal source. Really exciting!


Unlimited Source of Arbitrary Waveforms. With the ArbConnection software you can control instruments functions, modes and features. You can also create virtually an unlimited variety of test waveforms. Freehand sketch allows you to draw your own custom waveform for quick analysis of analog signals. You can use the built-in equation editor to create your own exotic functions. Add or subtract components of a Fourier series to characterize digital or analog filters or, inject random noise into a signal to test immunity to auxiliary noise.

Standard Waveforms
Arbitrary Waveforms
Sequenced Arbitrary Waveforms
Common Characteristics
Run Modes
Trigger Characteristics
Multi-Instrument Synchronization


5201 125MS/s PXIBus Arbitrary Waveform Generator
Download Type
Drivers IVI driver for models 8023, 8024, 8025, 8026, TE5200, TE5201, TE5325 and TE5300 (32 Bit OS) 16/07/2015
Ver. 2.5.36
Download (7.6 Mb)
Drivers IVI driver for models 8023, 8024, 8025, 8026, TE5200, TE5201, TE5325 and TE5300 (64 Bit OS) 16/07/2015
Ver. 3.0.2
Download (8.2 Mb)
Third Party NI-VISA Software (Runtime) 16/06/2015
Ver. 14.0.1
Download (70.9 Mb)
Software ArbConnection 4.3 - Windows 7 Compatible (for SE5082 download version 4.4) 15/06/2015
Ver. 4.3.207
Download (10.4 Mb)
Firmware Firmware for models 5200 and 5201 (64 Bit) 15/06/2015
Ver. 3.1.0
Download (240.6 Kb)
Firmware Firmware for models 5200 and 5201 (32 Bit) 20/02/2014
Ver. 3.1.0
Download (146.7 Kb)
Manuals Users Manual for models 5200 / 5201 02/12/2010
Ver. 2.0
Download (3.3 Mb)
Drivers Windows inf (VISA) driver for model 5201 14/09/2010
Ver. 2.0
Download (1.8 Kb)
Manuals Manual for ArbConnection 4.x 29/07/2010
Ver. 1
Download (4.9 Mb)
Data sheet Data Sheet for model 5201 26/07/2006
Ver. E
Download (208.4 Kb)

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