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A device that is capable of producing repeating or non – repeating electric signals can be termed as a signal generator. The signals produced can be either analog or digital. However, the shape and amplitude of the signals produced can vary. The general purpose signal generators are function generator, arbitrary waveform generator, RF and microwave signal generator, vector signal generator, etc. Whereas the special purpose signal generators are pitch generators and audio generators, video signal generators, etc.
This device generally performs the task of producing repetitive waveforms. The circuit present in the function generator is responsible for producing repetitive waveforms. An electronic oscillator is also a vital part of the function generator. The function generator can produce certain modulation function if the oscillator tends to operate above the frequency range of 20khz.
Arbitrary waveform generator
As compared to a function generator, the arbitrary waveform generator is quite expensive. And also the bandwidth it offers is relatively small. However, it is convenient in terms of the flexibility it provides to specify the source waveform. As a result, a variety of waveforms can be generated within a particular frequency range with adequate accuracy and the level of output. They come handy in design and test applications.
RF and microwave signal generators
The range at which radiofrequency generators operate is in between a few Khz to 6Ghz. Whereas the range at which the microwave signal generators operate is quite broad. It can operate between 1 MHz to 20Ghz or in some cases it can even soar to 70 GHz. These signal generators can be employed in numerous applications such as satellite communications, cellular communications, GPS, radars, WiFi, etc. These generators can either be analog signal generators or vector signal generators. The analog signal generators are again classified as radio frequency signal generators and audio frequency signal generators based on their design and purpose.
Pitch generator is a special purpose signal generator designed for the audio applications. The waveform that is mainly used in this case is a sine wave operating in the frequency range of 20Hz-20Khz. These kind of generators normally include multi pitch generators, sweep generators etc. Audio analyser, oscilloscope or sound level meters are the instruments that are required to be combined with the pitch generators for its use. Some pitch generators can even produce digital output and it is also possible to alter the metadata these digital outputs contain.
Video Signal Generators
Nowadays it’s not difficult to see the variety of video signal generators being used on a large scale because the rate at which visual media content is being produced and received is undoubtedly accelerating. Doesn’t matter what the type of video signal generator is, it surely contains sync pulses or sync words that can be either horizontal or vertical. Colourbust signal can also be seen as a component of the output for certain composite video signals.