What’s Really the Difference Between a 12-Bit and 8-Bit Oscilloscope? (.PDF Download)

While the simplistic answer to the headline is four bits, it’s actually quite a loaded question. A four-bit increase in the scope’s resolution would produce a theoretical improvement of 16 times in the scope’s amplitude dynamic range, from 256:1 to 4096:1. This is quite a significant increase, but being engineers we know that there’s no such thing as a “free lunch.”

Perhaps the first of several questions to ask is how did those four bits get added t

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