Analog to digital converters (ADCs) have made great progress in terms of speed over the past decade. Sampling rates of 250 mega-samples per second at 16-bit resolution are now commonplace. Such devices
make possible high-speed video processing and even software-defined radio (SDR) applications where digitization takes place at Intermediate Frequency (IF) level. It is easy to understand that this has raised the bar for ADC test equipment, especially for the noise performance of the input signal and sample clock sources used in the test set-up.


Since the price of a signal source rises steeply with the level of performance, careful selection of a generator with the most suitable specifications is valuable, if not crucial. This paper explains how to select the most suitable generator for a particular ADC performance test.