News & Analysis

200 Gbps ASIC drives oscilloscope update rate

28th September 2022
Mick Elliott

Rohde & Schwarz is opening a new front in the oscilloscope market by adding an instrument, which it says, boasts a number of industry firsts.

It is claimed that the new R&S MXO 4 series  feature the world’s fastest real-time update rate of over 4.5 million acquisitions per second.

Driving this update rate is an in-house designed 200 Gbps processing ASIC, one of several new technology blocks developed and implemented for the first time by the company’s engineers.

Rohde & Schwarz says that development engineers can now see more signal detail and infrequent events than with any other oscilloscope.

The 12-bit ADC in the R&S MXO 4 series has 16 times the resolution of traditional 8-bit oscilloscopes at all sample rates without any tradeoffs for more precise measurements.

A standard acquisition memory of 400 Mpts on all four channels gives the instrument up to 100 times the standard memory of comparable instruments.

The instruments come in four-channel models with bandwidths of 200 MHz, 350 MHz, 500 MHz, 1 GHz, and 1.5 GHz. They have a starting price of 7,600 euros, many unparalleled functions and excel in both performance and value.

The R&S MXO 4 series also has the lowest noise and largest offset range (+/- 5V with a 500uV/div scaling) in its class. Users can see DC and other signals with more precision than with any other oscilloscope on the market.

In addition to bandwidth and sample rate, memory depth is an important factor and determines whether an oscilloscope can handle a large range of troubleshooting tasks.

More acquisition memory enables oscilloscopes to capture more time and retain rated bandwidth information for shorter time base settings.

With a simultaneous standard acquisition memory of 400 Mpts on all four channels, the oscilloscope has up to 100 times the standard memory of its primary competition. The additional memory also provides extra measurement capability when needed.

Once only available in higher performance instruments with higher price points, the digital trigger comes standard with all R&S MXO 4 series oscilloscopes.

The trigger sensitivity of 1/10 000 division can isolate difficult-to-find small physical layer anomalies in the presence of large signals.

Rohde & Scwarz says that no competitive oscilloscope has this degree of trigger sensitivity for isolating small signals. The digital trigger complements the 18-bit vertical architecture, allowing users to utilise fully the precision of the R&S MXO 4 series.

Many development engineers need to debug products and test in both the time and frequency domains. In addition to time domain measurements, R&S MXO 4 series oscilloscopes have superior RF spectrum measurement capabilities. They are claimed to be the first oscilloscopes to perform 45 000 FFTs (Fast Fourier Transforms) per second, while comparable oscilloscopes deliver fewer than 10 FFTs per second. This base feature lets engineers view more RF signals than with any other oscilloscope in its class.

Using an oscilloscope is a visual experience, where a lot of time is spent viewing a display. This oscilloscope series incorporates a 13.3-inch full-HD capacitive touchscreen and an intuitive user interface.

The instrument’s small footprint, audible noise of less than a whisper, VESA mounting and a rackmount kit for installation in integrated environments make R&S MXO 4 oscilloscopes ideal for any engineering workspace.

When users have more demands, a number of upgrade options are available, including 16 integrated digital channels with a mixed signal oscilloscope (MSO) option, an integrated dual channel 100 MHz arbitrary generator, protocol decode and triggering options for a variety of industry standard buses and other options that expand the oscilloscope’s capabilities.

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