Virtually all electronics products incorporate at least one embedded controller. Many have several processors. Low-cost controllers are getting faster, and more of them incorporate analog signal processing circuits as well. Furthermore, these new designs invariably use one or more of the popular serial communications interfaces.
On top of that, all of these embedded designs are getting more complex. These days, embedded engineers need an oscilloscope tailored for such mixed-signal applications, especially one that cuts development costs and saves time.
The Tektronix DPO3000 series consists of six new models that cover 100, 300, or 500 MHz (see the figure). Offering two-channel or four-channel models, the scopes feature a fantastic 9-in. extra-wide high-resolution WVGA color LCD. The display is designed to show more horizontal axis detail to better reveal glitches and other fine details that otherwise might be missed.
Each model offers a 2.5-Gsample/s rate, a 5-M record length on all channels, and a capture rate of 50,000 waveforms/s. Their serial debug capability incorporates the potential for decode and triggering of the I2C, SPI, CAN, LIN, and RS-232/422/485/UART standard serial interfaces. It also shows the waveform, binary code, and hex code and identifies words as data, address, or other field in a specific protocol. Users can trigger on packet content, search and mark packets, view data in an event table, or look at two buses simultaneously.
Tektronix’s Wave Inspector navigation and search feature automatically finds, identifies, and displays individual or unique events stored in waveform records. It speeds the overall debug process by letting users find problems fast. This feature is further enhanced by the variable persistence with intensity grading to show the frequency of events.
Other features include PC connectivity via USB host or device or 10/100 BaseT Ethernet. Video output ports are provided for a projector or other instrument. Tektronix’s OpenChoice Desktop software is included. Also available is National Instruments’ LabVIEW Signal Express software. Finally, the packaging itself is a major feature. The enclosure is only 5.4 in. deep, freeing up critical bench space, and the scopes only weigh 9 lb.
Prices range from $4450 for the 100-MHz two-channel model to $10,900 for the 500-MHz four-channel model. The serial-interface modules are priced separately at $900 each. If you’re looking for a bit more performance, take a look at the higher-end DPO4000 models with bandwidths to 1 GHz as well as 16 digital input channels.