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Square Wave Generator

  1. May 23, 2008 #1

    Sorry to bother you with such a trivial question, but I'm looking for a high frequency (>500 MHz) 2 channels square wave generator.
    Do you know any material (not too expensive if possible) that would match these specifications?

    Many thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2008 #2


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    Gold Member

    Can you be a bit more specific?
    Do you mean a generator with a 500 MHz analog bandwidth OR a generator that can produce a 50-50 square wave with a 1/500e6 s period?
    In either case it sounds like you are asking about something called a pulse pattern generator. You can buy them from e.g. Agilent or Anritsu.
    The price will probably be somewhere in the range $10 000-$30 000.
  4. May 23, 2008 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    500MHz 50 Ohm signal generators are available, but I don't know about the square wave part. What are you intending to use it for? 500MHz square waves exist on high-speed digital integrated circuits, but are not generally driven off-chip.
  5. May 23, 2008 #4
    i was going to suggest DDS but doubt there's any chip out there to work with
  6. May 23, 2008 #5
    f95toli is right, a real 2 channel square wave generator capable of 500Mhz is going to be pretty expensive.

    But I'm guessing that you're interested in making something?

    DDS - (Direct Digital Synthesis) chips are interesting. Analog Devices makes some but I'm not sure if you can get 500Mhz output from these.

    Look up "astable multi-vibrator" circuits. Depends on your purpose, of course, but a simple circuit might be good enough.
  7. May 26, 2008 #6
    I don't know if this would satisfy your needs, but couldn't you take a 500mHz sine wave and put two diodes in anti-parallel across the output, amplify the voltage if necessary, then use zener diodes to help eliminate the non-horizontal parts of the wave?

    The problem comes if you need to alter the duty cycle of one part of the wave.
  8. May 26, 2008 #7
  9. May 27, 2008 #8
    Many thanks for all your answers, I'll see what I can find in commercial pulse generators... I'm afraid I'm not good enough to make such a device on my own.
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