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PicoSource-AS108 Agile Synthesizer

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PicoSource AS108

8 GHz Agile Synthesizer

  • FM, ØM and AM modulation, internal sine or external input
  • Configurable stand-alone operation mode
  • External reference clock I/O and trigger I/O
  • Use sweep lists to emulate schemes such as QPSK, QAM, ASK, FSK
  • Adjustable dwell and trigger sweep or trigger next point modes
  • Work in and convert units of measure to suit application
  • Programming examples for LabVIEW, C, C#, Python, MATLAB
  • Suited to bench, field and system integration applications
  • USB-controlled from Windows PC and display or tablet
  • Touch, mouse, keyboard or remote interface software (API included)
  • Multi-unit operation with synchronized modulation, sweeps, hops and lists

PicoSource AS108

8 GHz Agile Synthesizer

 The PicoSource™ AS108 Agile Synthesizer is designed to meet the needs of  both benchtop and
integrated module applications. Its broad 300 kHz to  8 GHz frequency range, fast settling and
programmable phase, frequency and amplitude match it to a wide range of  applications, with the
added advantages of low cost, small footprint and 12 to 15 V power requirement.

The AS108 has professional-grade performance that is  effective in both static and parameter- agile
applications, making it a bench or field instrument for developers, scientists,  educators,
students, and service and  installation technicians. Its speed, external  clock referencing, trigger
capabilities  and user programmable power-up mode  all suit it to system integrations such as
automated test, unmanned installations  and multi-signal stimulus

The AS108 is a full-function USB controlled vector (IQ) modulating signal synthesizer.  It is
supplied with a clean, easy and  efficient user interface for controlling its  amplitude, frequency
and phase agility;  including modulations, sweeps, hopping  and list modes from Microsoft Windows.
Multiple synthesizers can be controlled from multiple instances of the software  running on a single
controlling PC or device. Remote control is also possible using the API included

The PicoSynth 2 software presents a  clean, efficient, touchscreen compatible user interface for
direct and convenient access to synthesis parameters. These can be typed, scrolled or stepped by  a
configurable increment value, in a selectable unit of measure such as dBm,  mW, V RMS, V pk-pk or
degrees &dradians. Its flexibility matches or exceeds that of  the traditional control panel of a
benchtop  synthesizer.  The controls are presented in three independent parameter tabs, each  of
which holds separate settings for convenient switching of functionality:

• Carrier wave and basic modulations

• Sweep or hopping of parameters

• Arbitrary list of parameters

More Information
ParameterApplicable range and valuesCondition
Frequency range 300 kHz to 8.192 GHz
Frequency resolution
300 kHz to 125 MHz 0.1 Hz
> 125 MHz to 4 GHz 10 Hz
> 4 GHz 20 Hz
Frequency settling time
to ±10 ppm 55 μs maximum 50 μs typical
Frequency accuracy (internal reference) ±5 ppm  
Output power range −15 dBm to +15 dBm  
Output power resolution 0.1 dBm  
Output power setting accuracy ±1.5 dB  
Output match (VSWR)
1.8:1 maximum 1.4:1 typical
Output amplitude settling time
to ±1 dB 25 μs maximum
to ±0.1 dB 200 μs maximum
Output protection 25 V DC pk and 20 dBm  
Phase noise at 10 kHz offset
1 GHz −98 dBc/Hz maximum −100 dBc/Hz typical
2 GHz −94 dBc/Hz maximum −96 dBc/Hz typical
4 GHz −88 dBc/Hz maximum −90 dBc/Hz typical
8 GHz −83 dBc/Hz maximum −85 dBc/Hz typical
−20 dBc maximum −26 dBc typical
Output power set to +10 dBm
−40 dBc maximum −46 dBc typical
Output power set to +10 dBm
−50 dBc maximum −60 dBc typical
Output power set to +10 dBm
ParameterApplicable range and valuesCondition
Frequency range internal sine source 10 Hz to 5 kHz  
Frequency resolution and accuracy 1 Hz resolution ± 0.1% accuracy  
AM depth range
For carrier at 0 dBm 5% minimum 90% maximum
0 dBm to 9 dBm 5% minimum 50% maximum
FM deviation 2% carrier frequency or 200 kHz maximum  
External modulation input bandwidth DC coupled to 10 kHz  
External modulation input sampling 20 kS/s at 12-bit resolution  
External modulation input sensitivity
BNC(f) 600 Ω ±1 Vpk typical
for selected depth or deviation
External modulation input protection 1 V pk  
ParameterInterface and valuesCondition
Internal 10 MHz reference output
BNC(f) 50 Ω −3 dBm minimum 0 dBm typical
Into 50 Ω
External reference input
BNC(f) 50 Ω −6 dBm sensitivity 6 dBm maximum
External reference lock range ±5 ppm  
Trigger input threshold voltage
BNC(f) 1 kΩ 0.5 V minimum 2.6 V maximum
Trigger output logic levels
BNC(f) Low 0.5 V maximum High 3.6 V minimum
Into 1 kΩ
Trigger output rise and fall times 40 ns maximum
Manufacturer Pico Technology
Dimensions 173x 232x56 mm
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