As consumers, we have come to expect an unprecedented level of reliability from our technology. Whether it is our smartphone or our family car, we have grown to expect that devices will work the first time, every time they are used.
That modern devices deliver this remarkable reliability is a testament not only to the capabilities of modern electronics but also to the intensive testing regime of any product that is carried out before it is released.
These testing plans rely on sensitive equipment, and we have already looked at the kind of connectors that are used for test and measurement systems. However important this equipment is, there is a huge volume of testing that takes place before a completed device is ready for use. It is for this reason that signal and power generators are so important.
A signal generator is a device that creates a controlled, calibrated electrical signal that allows the engineer to test the answer to the question, “what if…?” The electrical impulses that are created can be used to test a range of functions. Will a signal travel correctly along a cable, will a sensor correctly identify an unsafe condition, or will a relay trip with the correct stimulus?
The range of uses for signal generators is enormous, and their role is critical to any design. However, the signal that is created is only as good as the cables and connectors that carry it to its destination. Putting new equipment through their paces regularly will require signals that are far higher, faster or more complex than they would be expected to detect in everyday use. Signal generators need to be able to recreate these extreme conditions in order to properly prove the validity of any design.
The connectors used in signal and power and generators must provide both robust mechanical performance to ensure a long and fault-free life, and also the ability to maintain signal integrity. This is becoming even more important as processor speeds and data transfer rates increase. With data speeds of 112 Gbps becoming common, along with signal frequencies in excess of 100 GHz, signal generators are more important than ever to recreate these high-performance systems.
Samtec has a great track record in the manufacture of connectors that deliver superior performance and high reliability. With the recent expansion of its precision RF connector offering, along with the latest high speed board-to-board connectors, Samtec is able to deliver a complete portfolio of connectors that can carry the signals that the modern electronics industry requires.
Signal generators are also called upon to deliver reliable service in a range of harsh conditions. To ensure robust solutions that deliver high reliability, Samtec has created the Severe Environment Testing (SET) program in which connectors are tested far beyond conventional standards for service life, vibration, shock and temperature cycling.
To find out more about how Samtec products are ideal for signal and power generators used in the most demanding test applications, visit the Instrumentation Applications page. To learn more about how the SET program is providing designers with certified products for harsh environments, visit the SET page.