Electronicdesign 3150 Xl rto

Scopes’ Signal Acquisition Rate Reaches One Million Waveforms Per Second

July 15, 2010
Test and measurement specialists Rohde & Schwarz are now players in the growing global oscilloscopes market, offering a range of instruments that it claims has the highest active signal acquisition rate available

RTO range

RTM universal scopese

Test and measurement specialists Rohde & Schwarz are now players in the growing global oscilloscopes market, offering a range of instruments that it claims has the highest active signal acquisition rate available.

The company’s two initial product families consist of a total of six instruments. First, there’s R&S’s RTO range of oscilloscopes, which the company says can analyse one million waveforms/s. Conventional scopes capture signals at 0.5% of the acquisition cycle and spend most of their time storing, processing, and displaying data. During that time, any errors may go undetected. To address this issue, acquisition time was increased by a factor of 20, raising it to 10%.

R&S also took a new approach with the trigger system by going with a purely digital trigger architecture. Conventional analogue trigger systems struggle with the time and amplitude offset between the analog trigger path and the digital signal acquisition path. With the digital trigger, the trigger and the captured data share a common signal path and a common time base. This results in very low trigger jitter and exact assignment of the trigger to the signal. In addition, the digital trigger re-arms immediately after a trigger event.

The single-core analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) in the R&S RTO scopes also helps to ensure accuracy. It operates at a rate of 10Gsamples/s, which minimises signal distortion and inherent noise.

The new oscilloscopes will initially be available in two- and four-channel models with bandwidths of 1GHz and 2GHz.

Everyday Tasks
The second range of instruments, designated the R&S RTM universal oscilloscopes, are what the company describes as “the first choice for everyday measurement tasks.” Featuring 500MHz bandwidth and operating at 5Gsample/s, these instruments can perform a range of functions, including testing and debugging of analog and digital circuits with low clock rates.

High signal fidelity is ensured thanks to low inherent noise and full bandwidth even at maximum sensitivity. The RTM oscilloscopes provide color-coded control elements, flat menu structures, and an 8.4-inch XGA TFT color display.

R&S believes these scopes offer accurate signal display, good time resolution even for long sequences, and tools for fast signal analysis and ease of use. With their low-noise front-ends and a low-noise ADC, users can measure very small vertical resolutions. Maximum input sensitivity is 1mV/div without any bandwidth limitations or software-based zooming.

Signal-evaluation analysis tools are easy to access. The QuickMeas function displays the key measurement values for a currently active signal on the waveform, including positive and negative peak voltage, rise and fall time, and mean voltage. The measurement values are updated continuously. Zoom function, event markers, cursor-based measurement functions, FFT function, mask tests, and temperature colors help with troubleshooting.

Also available is a range of active and passive probes. The active probes have two new features. The micro button can be assigned a number of different functions to control the scope directly. And, the RTM scopes feature ProbeMeter, a built-in voltmeter that enables dc voltage measurements. It can quickly check supply voltages or operating points, regardless of the channel settings on the base unit

Says R&S president and CEO Michael Vohrer,  “Our customers expect us to offer a complete line of products, and that includes oscilloscopes. To meet this demand, we are introducing a total of six new products of which we are extremely proud.”

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