WaveRunner 12bit High-Res Scopes Target General-Purpose Market

May 11, 2011
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The WaveRunner HRO 6 Zi 12bit oscilloscope is optimised for general-purpose work.

According to LeCroy, its new 12bit resolution WaveRunner high-resolution oscilloscopes (HROs) eliminate the frustrating tradeoff of analysis capability for much-needed high resolution. The 400MHz WaveRunner HRO  64 Zi and 600MHz HRO 66 Zi feature a 12bit ADC, memory up to 256Mpoints/ch (64Mpoints/ch standard), and good dc accuracy specifications. These features couple with the analysis capabilities of the WaveRunner 6 Zi Series (400MHz to 4GHz) launched in February.

Traditional oscilloscopes use 8bit ADCs to digitise data. However, the reduced noise and improved resolution of the 12bit ADC architecture delivers finer measurement accuracy and better waveform clarity, says LeCroy. This is evidenced by the 55dB signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) and ±0.5% dc vertical gain accuracy.

The 256Mpoint/ch memory capability permits long acquisitions to capture 30 seconds of data at 10Msamples/s, or shorter capture times with a maximum resolution of 2Gsamples/s. Performance is augmented by a large offset and time-base delay adjustment to simplify signal and amplifier performance assessment and zoom in on vertical and horizontal signal characteristics.

In addition, a pivoting display enables both vertical and horizontal viewing signals in order to obtain more detail for optimal analysis. This becomes an advantage particularly when viewing up to 36 channels using the mixed-signal option, when operating in the frequency domain using the spectrum analysis package, or when viewing decoded waveforms using the selection of tools focused on the embedded and communications markets.

The toolset includes a range of application packages, triggering to isolate events, a user interface developed for quick navigation, an assortment of probing options, and fast performance to validate designs.

Solving serial data problems requires knowledge of the protocol to get started. With the WaveRunner HRO 6 Zi, users connect their probes or cables and the scope can provide the correct level of detail needed to view, debug, and analyze the serial data signals. A combination of decode, trigger, measure/ graph, ProtoSync, and compliance tools address the embedded, military/avionics, and handset/mobile/cellular market.

A New Way To Navigate And View

The 6 Zi’s pivoting display was introduced by LeCroy in February. By sliding the button on the left side of the display and rotating upwards 90º, the display will automatically change from landscape to portrait mode. The display also pivots upward and downward to optimise the viewing angle.

In addition, function buttons on the front panel of the WavePilot control area provides convenient operation of Cursors, Decode, WaveScan, History, LabNotebook, and Spectrum. The SuperKnob is a joystick-like knob in the center of the WavePilot control area used to navigate through tables, zoom and position waveforms, and quickly document and annotate setups.

A combination of high-bandwidth edge and 10 different SMART triggers, four-stage cascade triggering, measurement trigger, and TriggerScan come standard. The measurement trigger offers an option to qualify a trigger event based on a qualified measurement with high-quality resolution. A range of serial triggers (I2C, SPI,UART, RS-232, Audio (I2S, LJ, RJ, TDM, CAN, LIN, FlexRay, MIL-STD-1553, 8b/10b) is also available.

Customised Tools

LeCroy integrates third-party programs into the oscilloscope’s processing stream by allowing users to create and deploy a new measurement or math algorithm directly into the oscilloscope environment and display the result in real-time. C/C++, MATLAB,  Excel, Jscript (JAVA), and Visual Basic can be used to create customised math functions, measurement parameters, or other control algorithms.

History mode lets users scroll back in time to isolate anomalies, measure them with parameters or cursors, and quickly find the source of the problem. Since history mode is always buffering waveforms, users needn’t save traces other than to invoke the viewer.

TriggerScan employs high-speed hardware triggering capability with persistence displays to capture only the signals of interest, ultimately providing answers up to 100 times faster than other methods. Unlike traditional fast display update modes that work best on frequent events occurring on slow edge rates, TriggerScan excels in finding infrequent events on fast edge rates.

In addition to the general-purpose WaveShape Analysis tools, application-specific solutions are available for serial-data compliance, embedded design, digital design, and automotive. These options not only extend LeCroy’s standard measurement and analysis capabilities, but they expand the WaveRunner HRO 6 Zi’s utility as needs change.


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