Test & Measurement

Mixed-signal scope brings 8GHz bandwidth to mid-range market

16th July 2018
Mick Elliott

Lee Morgan, Market Development Manager at Tektronix UK is in no doubt. “The need for designers to address embedded device test is becoming more and more prevalent to accommodate the needs of designers working on faster, more complex embedded systems designs.”

He points to video, motion and position and 3D sensing all generating volumes of high speed data.

All this presents designers with a challenge.

“Embedded designs are using faster clocks and high-speed serial buses to move and process more data. They need higher performance to see faster signals,” says Morgan.

And there are new technologies and requirements as designers minimise power consumption and ensure clean power to complex FPGAs and ASICs.

Now Tektronix has been meeting these needs up to a point with its 5 Series MSO oscilloscopes launched last year and covered applications up to 2GHz.

“We got a very positive response to the 5 Series,” says Morgan. “Feedback we received from the market place has resulted in the development of the Series 6.”

With a low-noise, in-house designed ASIC at its heart Tektronix’s 6 Series MSO mixed signal oscilloscope advances the performance threshold of mid-range oscilloscopes to 8GHz and delivers a 25GS/s sample rate simultaneously on all 4 channels, allowing designers to accurately view up to four high-speed signals at one time.

For example, a DDR3 clock and three DDR3 data channels can be viewed and analysed simultaneously, decreasing the time it takes to fully characterise a design with an instrument that shares sampling systems between channels.

The new 6 Series MSO also boosts measurement confidence with its low-noise inputs especially at the highest sensitivity settings where it matters most.

Today’s and the future’s embedded designs will require clean, precisely-controlled DC power supplies to feed ASIC and FPGA devices. The 6 Series MSO enables designers to measure DC power rails with more resolution and accuracy, reducing the time it takes to understand high frequency influencers on power rails in a design.

Based on the same platform as the 5 Series MSO, the 6 Series MSO provides easy upgradeability for long-term investment protection.

The 5 Series MSO was the result of a clean sheet design. The innovations carry over to the 6 Series MSO including an intuitive user interface, a capacitive pinch-zoom-swipe 15.6in. touchscreen, innovative FlexChannel inputs, a 12-bit ADC that can deliver up to 16 bits of vertical resolution, a completely new industrial design, and optional Windows 10 operating system.

The new low-noise preamplifier ASIC, the TEK061 lowers noise, especially on signals that are in the hundreds of millivolts peak-to-peak.

With its 25GS/s sample rate on four channels, the instrument delivers 16-bit resolution at 200MHz when using the High Res mode.

This means that not only can designers see the interfering signals on their power rail, but they can measure them with a level of accuracy, that until now has not been possible on a scope.

Like the 5 Series MSO, the 6 Series MSO is highly upgradeable and is available with a built-in arbitrary/function generator, a free DVM and trigger frequency counter with product registration, protocol options, and offers a choice of operating system.

And adding a TLP058 logic probe turns any of the instrument’s four FlexChannel inputs into eight digital inputs, providing the most flexible MSO configurations available. The 6 Series MSO also has upgradeable bandwidth, starting at 1GHz and extending up to 8GHz with a simple license upgrade.

Capabilities added since the launch of the 5 Series will be available on both platforms. These include options for decode and trigger support for CAN FD, MIL-STD-1553, ARINC429 and SENT bus and options for serial compliance testing for Automotive Ethernet and USB 2.0.

An advanced power analysis option with two rounds of free enhancements has been introduced along with free capabilities including FastFrame segmented memory and enhanced autoset.

In conjunction with the 6 Series MSO launch, Tektronix is also releasing Visual Trigger capability and a new option for SPMI serial trigger, decode and search, a MIPI power management bus

Launched simultaneously is a series of higher performance probes for easier connection to fast signals. The TDP7700 is a series of TriMode probes with bandwidths of 4, 6 or 8 GHz. TriMode probes enable engineers to make the single-ended, differential, and common mode signal measurements required for high-speed bus analysis, without moving or changing probes.

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