Test & Measurement

High-definition mode enhances oscilloscopes range

28th February 2019
Mick Elliott

Just in time for embedded world 2019 in Nuremberg (February 26-28), Rohde & Schwarz has announced that all R&S RTO and R&S RTP oscilloscopes will be equipped with the high definition mode featuring 16-bit vertical resolution. Users benefit from more measurement performance at the same price.

Higher-resolution waveforms enable more precise analysis of signal details that would otherwise be hidden by noise. Users can trigger on the smallest signal details.

The high definition mode increases the vertical resolution up to 16 bit. This mode now comes as standard with all new R&S RTO and R&S RTP oscilloscopes – at no extra cost. This function is already standard with the R&S RTE oscilloscopes.

In power electronics, it is frequently the smallest details of a signal that are of interest, also for high-amplitude signals, i.e. when characterising switching power supplies.

A high vertical resolution is necessary to measure small details of a signal with an amplitude up to several hundred volts. Rohde & Schwarz oscilloscopes accomplish this with a hardware lowpass filter that filters the signal after the A/D converter.

The filter reduces the noise power, effectively increasing the signal-to-noise ratio and increases the resolution up to 16 bit. The bandwidth of the lowpass filter can be variably adjusted from 10 kHz to a maximum of 2 GHz to match the characteristics of the applied signal. The lower the filter bandwidth, the more the signal-to-noise ratio is improved. Waveforms are displayed in a higher resolution, showing signal details that would otherwise be hidden by noise.

Since hardware lowpass filtering takes place in real time, acquisition and processing rates remain high and the measurement results are available quickly. All analysis tools, including automatic measurements, FFT and the history mode, can be used in high definition mode.

High definition mode makes even the smallest signal details visible. A highly sensitive trigger function digital trigger system allows users to easily isolate these details and investigate them in greater detail.

Each of the up to 16-bit samples is checked against the trigger conditions and can initiate a trigger. This means the oscilloscopes are able to trigger on even the smallest signal amplitudes.

There are no unexpected aliasing effects in high definition mode. Since high definition mode is not based on decimation, the increase in resolution is not accompanied by a reduction in the sampling rate.

When high definition mode is switched on, the full sampling rate can be used, ensuring the best possible time resolution.

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