Pulse generators can either be internal circuits or pieces of electronic test equipment used to generate pulses (electronic impulses). These pulses can then be injected into a device under test and used as a stimulus or clock or analyzed as they progress through the device, confirming the proper operation of the device or pinpointing a fault in the device.
Simple pulse generators usually allow control of the pulse repetition rate (frequency, pulse width, and the high- and low-voltage levels of the pulses. More-sophisticated pulse generators may allow control over the rise time and fall time of the pulses. Pulse generators may use digital techniques, analog techniques, or a combination of both techniques to form the output pulses. For example, the pulse repetition rate and duration may be digitally controlled but the pulse amplitude and rise and fall times may be determined by analog circuitry in the output stage of the pulse generator.
With correct adjustment, pulse generators can also produce a 50% duty cycle square wave.
The output of a pulse generator may also be used as the modulation signal for a signal generator.