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New Software Expands Test Applications for Signal Generators

Radar, RFID, Wireless LAN and Zigbee Developers
Benefit from New Test Capabilities

October 10, 2006 (Austin, Texas). Signal Forge, LLC, developer of portable, high-performance signal generators, released a new version of its Wave Manager software for the Signal Forge 1000 and Signal Forge 800 Signal Generators. Wave Manager is the embedded software application included with the Signal Forge signal generators which provides setup and control for all of the signal generator functions. The new release provides enhanced waveform functions including chirp, pulsed chirp (pulsed FM) and BPSK. The new waveforms add test capabilities needed by developers of wireless devices such as GSM, RFID, Wireless LAN, and Zigbee. Test methodologies supported by the new software include receiver blocking tests and interfering frequency tests.

The BPSK waveform operates with a carrier frequency between 1 Hz and 100 MHz. It can be modulated internally using a Wave Manager menu selection or via an external controller. BPSK is a form of PSK which uses two phases separated by 180° and is sometimes called 2-PSK. It modulates at 1bit/symbol and is used for testing low data-rate applications such as IEEE 802.11g wireless LAN standard.

BPSK is also suitable for testing low-cost passive transmitters such as those used in the RFID standards which have been adopted for biometric passports, credit cards and other applications. ZigBee devices which operate in the 868–915 MHz frequency band also employ BPSK.

The chirp waveform, which is used to test a variety of communications and radar systems, repeatedly ramps the output between two user-selected frequencies over a specified time. The user simply specifies the chirp duration and the Signal Forge generator automatically calculates the delta frequency and ramp rate for the chirp. When using chirp at a frequency of 100 MHz or less, the SF1000 provides an option to idle at 0 Hz instead of the starting frequency.

The pulsed chirp waveform ramps the output from a user-selected frequency 1 to frequency 2, jumps back to the starting frequency, and then idles there until the next chirp (the non-pulsed chirp waveform immediately begins the next chirp).

Both the chirp and pulsed chirp waveforms operate from 1 Hz to 1 GHz with a frequency step rate of up to 50 KHz. Both waveforms may be used with the Signal Forge generator’s AC-coupled, digital and differential outputs.

Wave Manager release 5 is now shipping with all SF1000 signal generators. Previously shipped SF1000 or SF800 signal generators may be updated with the new release by downloading the Wave Manager release 5 from the Signal Forge website at www.signalforge.com/home/sf1/support_main.html.

Company Background
Signal Forge develops a line of low-cost, high-performance electronic test equipment including the Signal Forge 1000 Digitally Synthesized Signal Generator. The Signal Forge 1000, which provides a frequency range of 1 Hz to 1 GHz, multiple output types and a variety of waveform modulations such as FSK, frequency sweep, FM, AM, OOK, and ASK, provides the features of a signal source, a function generator and an arbitrary waveform generator in a single product. The small size—8.5in x 5.4in x 1.5in—and light weight—1.75 pounds—make the SF1000 ideal for field engineers and service personnel.

Signal Forge, LLC was founded in 2004 by semiconductor industry veterans to develop and market high performance test equipment in small, affordable packages. The company takes an innovative approach to solving problems that the founders faced repeatedly in circuit board and IC design labs over the past 20 years—the need to accelerate product development schedules on a limited budget.

Signal Forge employs a ‘design for cost and portability’ approach to its product designs. It’s first product, the Signal Forge 800 Signal Generator, was released in September 2005.

Editor's Contact:
Dave Race, CEO
512-275-3733 x55

Reader Contact Information:
Signal Forge Sales
Signal Forge, LLC - 2115 Saratoga Dr - Austin TX 78733
T 512.275.3733 - F 512.275.3735
sales@signalforge.com - www.signalforge.com

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