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Photo:  LRS-100 Spread Spectrum Generator.New Wave Instruments has been the leading manufacturer of PN sequence (PRBS) generators for over two decades. Our generators are used in laboratories, factories, and universities throughout the world for spread spectrum and CDMA research, product development, and system test.

Satisfied customers include such outstanding organizations as General Electric, Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, Boeing Aerospace, Lockheed, and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. International customers include Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, Sanyo, and Samsung.

Our generators, which support both DSSS and FHSS spread spectrum, are being used in a broad range of applications, including the development of CDMA and WCDMA cellular communication technology, personal communications services (PCS), wireless LANs (WLAN), military reconnaissance, and communications intelligence (COMINT) equipment.

A number of models are available, ranging from a convenient 16-stage desktop generator, to a dual 32-stage rack-mount generator with GPIB capability. Brief descriptions of the generators are presented on our Products page, while detailed brochures and application notes are available on our Literature page.

Why Spread Spectrum?

Patented by a glamorous Hollywood movie star in the midst of World War II, spread spectrum remained a classified military secret until the 1970s. Even then it was known to only a handful of engineers until the late 1980s. And yet, just a decade later, spread spectrum became one of the hottest topics in wireless communications!

Exactly what is spread spectrum, and what makes it so special?

Simply put, spread spectrum is a method by which a narrowband radio signal is spread out to a much wider bandwidth before transmission takes place. Upon reception of the signal, the receiver recovers the original narrowband signal through a reverse process, naturally referred to as despreading. Spreading and despreading can be accomplished in many ways, but are usually done using one of two common techniques, direct sequence and frequency hopping.

In direct sequence, the radio signal is multiplied by a pseudo-random bit sequence (PRBS) whose bandwidth is much greater than that of the signal itself, thereby spreading its bandwidth. In frequency hopping, the pseudo-random sequence is used to move the radio signal about, in a random fashion, across a broad frequency band.

Regardless of the spreading technique used, the purpose for doing so is to exploit one or more of the many benefits of spread spectrum: Interference rejection, signal hiding, frequency band sharing (code-division multiplexing), anti-jam properties, and FCC Part 15 license-free operation of up to 1 watt.

Interestingly, as exotic as spread spectrum may sound, most everyone has routinely and unwittingly been enjoying its benefits for decades, and were doing so long before the technology was declassified. The ubiquitous FM radio transmitter spreads audio signals by a factor of about ten, thus providing relatively noise-free reception when compared to the older AM radio technology.


SS Buzzwords!

What's the buzz in spread spectrum camps? Check it out with our new QuickGlossary:

Barker Code
BPSK Modulation
Chip Rate
CDMA Technology
CDMA 2000 Technology
Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS, DS)
Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS)
Gold Code
JPL Code
Kasami Code
Linear Feedback Shift Register (LFSR)
Linear Recursive Sequence (LRS)
Multipath Fading
OQPSK (SQPSK) Modulation
PN Code Generator
PN Code
PN Synchronization
Processing Gain
Pseudonoise Code
Pseudonoise Generator
Pseudonoise Sequence
Pseudo-Random Bit Sequence (PRBS)
Pseudo-Random Sequence Generator
Pseudorandom Bit Sequence (PRBS)
QPSK Modulation
Spread Spectrum Technology
Walsh Code
Wideband CDMA (WCDMA or W-CDMA)
Wireless LAN (WLAN)

Other Resources

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RF Resources
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Friends of New Wave Instruments

Popular Spread Spectrum & CDMA Sites

Qualcomm:   Inventors of CDMA One technology.
CDMA Development
  International consortium of CDMA development companies.
CDMA Online:   CDMA seminars, interactive workshops, forums, classified ads, book store.
The 3G Portal:   Internet's largest dedicated provider of information sources to the 3G industry.
3G   3G events around the world.

Relevant Search Terms

For the benefit of those searching the Web, following are search terms relevant to this page:

Spread Spectrum Topics:

CDMA Technology, Direct Sequence CDMA (DS-CDMA), Gold Code Generators, Gold Codes, JPL Code Generators, JPL Codes, PN Code Generators, PN Codes, PN Generators, PN Sequence Generators, PN Sequences, PRBS, Pseudo-Noise Code Generators, Pseudo-Noise Codes, Pseudo-Noise Generators, Pseudo-Noise Sequence, Pseudo-Random Binary Sequence, Pseudo-Random Bit Generators, Pseudo-Random Sequence, Pseudorandom Binary Sequence, Pseudorandom Bit Stream, Pseudorandom Sequence Generators, Pseudorandom Sequences, Spread Spectrum Modulation, Spread Spectrum System, Spread Spectrum Systems, Spread Spectrum Technique, Spread Spectrum Techniques, Spreading Code, Spreading Codes

RF & Microwave Topics:

Communication, Communications


Product, Products, Test Equipment

British Equivalents:


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