A function generator emits a simple, repetitive waveform for the purpose of testing or repairing electronic equipment. Function generators produce numerous types of waveforms, including sine waves, square waves, pulses, triangular waves and sawtooth waves. They also offer the ability to vary frequency, DC offset and duty cycle.
Analog function generators are the original model of function generator, and tend to be cheaper, more accessible and lack frequency limitations. Digital function generators are more modern units which harness the power of direct digital synthesis, offering a low phase noise and high spectral purity. A sweep function generator will sweep its frequency, and arbitrary waveform generators allow engineers to manually designate the waveform the device generates.