A digital pattern generator is a piece of electronic test equipment or software used to generate digital electronics stimuli. Digital electronics stimuli are a specific kind of electrical waveform varying between two conventional voltages that correspond to two logic states (‘low state’ and ‘high state’, ‘0’ and ‘1’). The main purpose of a digital pattern generator is to stimulate the inputs of a digital electronic device. For that reason, the voltage levels generated by a digital pattern generator are often compatible with digital electronics I/O standards – TTL, LVTTL, LVCMOS and LVDS, for instance. Digital pattern generators are sometimes referred to as ‘pulse generator’ or ‘pulse pattern generator’ which may be able to function as digital pattern generators as well. Hence, the distinction between the two types of equipments may not be clear. A digital pattern generator is a source of synchronous digital stimulus; the generated signal is interesting for testing digital electronics at logic level - this is why they are also called 'logic source'. A pulse generator is of purpose to generate electrical pulse of different shapes; they are mostly used for tests at an electrical or analog level. Another common name for such equipment is 'digital logic source' or 'logic source'. Digital pattern generator can produce either repetitive, or single-shot signals in which case some kind of triggering source is required (internal or external).
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