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” Although solid-state technology overwhelmingly dominates today’s world of electronics, vacuum tubes are holding out in two small but vibrant areas. They do so for entirely different reasons. Microwave technology relies on tubes for their power-handling capability at high frequencies [“Tubes: still vital after all these years,” Robert S. Symons, IEEE Spectrum, April, 1998]. The other area–the creation and reproduction of music–is a more complicated and controversial story.Reference
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A signal generator, also known variously as function generator, pitch generator, arbitrary waveform generator, digital pattern generator or frequency generator is an electronic device that generates repeating or non-repeating electronic signals (in either the analog or digital domains). They are generally used in designing, testing, troubleshooting, and repairing electronic or electroacoustic devices; though they often have artistic uses as well.
There are many different types of signal generators, with different purposes and applications (and at varying levels of expense); in general, no device is suitable for all possible applications.
Traditionally, signal generators have been embedded hardware units, but since the age of multimedia-PCs, flexible, programmable software tone generators have also been available.