Electronic Design

Digital Oscilloscopes Speed Up Sampling While Extending Memory

The WavePro family of digital oscilloscopes from LeCroy Corp. incorporates a "digitizer-on-a-chip" technology. This approach helps increase sampling rates and memory in the 500-MHz to 2-GHz bandwidth range while reducing prices. A feature of this series is WavePilot, which simplifies quick measurement taking and enables users to display the results with graphing tools. It also allows users to customize the scope for the application.

Included in the WavePro line are three four-channel models. One of these, the WavePro 940, is a 500-MHz bandwidth scope with 250 kpts of acquisition memory and a 4-Gsample/s sampling rate per channel. Another model, the WavePro 950, offers a 1-GHz bandwidth, 250 kpts of memory, and a 4-Gsample/s sampling rate per channel. Memory options allow for 1, 4, and 8 Mpts/channel.

Also available is the WavePro 960, a 2-GHz bandwidth scope that samples at 4 Gsamples/s on each channel with 250 kpts per channel of memory standard. On this unit, memory options provide up to 16 Mpts per channel. Depending on the number of signals being acquired, the sampling rate of the oscilloscopes can be multiplied from that of their single-channel performance. In the case of the WavePro 960, it's possible to achieve up to 16 Gsamples/s when acquiring one signal.

In a similar fashion, acquisition memory can be extended to obtain a single-shot recording of 64 Mpts. Consequently, the 960 can capture signals up to 4 ms long at the full 16-Gsample/s rate. According to LeCroy, this is the industry's fastest real-time sampling rate for a signal of this duration.

Because of their fast sampling and large acquisition memories, the WavePro scopes can accurately measure signals with fast edges as well as long, complex signals. In the past, designers needed two different scopes to measure both signal types. Additionally, the scope contains a rich feature set. Foremost among these attributes is WavePilot, which provides one-touch access to signal-integrity and troubleshooting functions.

One WavePilot button calls up cursor measurements, as another activates a dashboard with up to 26 parameter measurements. A third button initiates graphing functions while the last WavePilot button calls up application-specific analysis programs.

Pricing for the WavePro scopes with the standard 250-kpts/channel memory is $31,990 for the 960, $19,990 for the 950, and $16,490 for the 940. Delivery is four to six weeks ARO.

LeCroy Corp., 700 Chestnut Ridge Rd., Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977-6499; (800) 4-LeCroy; www.lecroy.com.

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