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Agilent Technologies Introduces Industry-First 4.2 GSa/s High-Resolution Arbitrary Waveform Generator

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 12, 2010 — Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced the 81180A arbitrary waveform generator, a new generation of instrument that bridges the trade-off between bandwidth and bits. The 8118A is a new class of instrument, an arbitrary waveform generator that provides greater bandwidth and higher resolution.

Until now, engineers had to decide between the optimal bandwidth and optimal signal quality for their application. But many of today’s applications require high bandwidth and high-signal quality. For example, to ensure measurement reliability in aerospace and defense (A&D) applications, high performance and good dynamic range is a must.

“Many of our customers, especially in the A&D industry, are requesting higher bandwidth in conjunction with higher vertical resolution”, said Jürgen Beck general manager of Agilent’s Digital Photonic Test business. “This new dimension of bandwidth and signal quality ensures the required test repeatability. Just high bandwidth instruments are not sufficient.”

Transferring high-volume data requires digital modulation capabilities with a high dynamic range. With Agilent’s new 81180A arbitrary waveform generator, test engineers can achieve both: up to 1.5 GHz bandwidth and 12-bit vertical resolution.

The advanced sequencing in the 81180A supports complex arbitrary waveform. Three levels of sequencing, combined with 64M point’s memory, allow engineers to set up complex real-world signals. The dynamic control connector lets real-time applications control the waveform and allows external select sequences.

Different applications require different signal characteristics. The 81180A arbitrary waveform generator is optimized for three different use cases:

  • working in conjunction with Agilent’s Vector Performance Signal Generator  for Inphase/Quadrature applications;
  • maximum bandwidth and flatness for direct RF applications up to 1.5 GHz; and
  • applications in the time domain with low overshoot and jitter with transition times of 600 ps.

Benefits of the Agilent 81180A include:

  • versatile signal generation, including flatness, low overshoot and excellent signal performance, required to test today’s, and tomorrow’s, complex devices;
  • high-bandwidth signal generation with very low harmonic distortion and unique flatness to ensure reliable measurements;
  • integration with Agilent’s industry-leading Signal Studio, MathWorks’ Matlab® and National Instruments’ LabVIEW(1) software, providing a whole solution approach and easy integration into the customer’s environment; and
  • a function generator for efficient measurements.

Additional information about the Agilent 81180A arbitrary waveform generator is available at  High-resolution images are available at

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Agilent 81180A is available now (at a starting price of $46,500 and starts shipping in May.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world’s premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company’s 16,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $4.5 billion in fiscal 2009. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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