Electronic Design

Scopes Look To Embed Themselves On Your Benchtop

Not content to do battle in the premium, high-bandwidth segment of the oscilloscope market, Tektronix and Agilent are now slugging it out in the budget scope arena as well. Hot on the heels of Agilent’s launch earlier this week of a series of 1-GHz scopes with DVM capabilities, Tektronix has rolled out new models, options, and enhancements to its MSO/DPO4000B and MSO/DPO3000 mixed signal oscilloscope series, helping to address a broader range of embedded system test and debug needs at attractive prices.

Embedded designs are only growing more complex over time, but design teams’ budgets for new test equipment are often flat or even shrinking. Thus, both vendors see broad opportunity in the budget market, hoping to lure designers over from their old analog workhorses. Tek’s entries deliver bandwidths from 100 MHz to 1 GHz, enabling designers who are debugging high-speed buses such as USB 2.0 and Ethernet to gain more channels and longer record lengths.

The MSO/DPO4000B series of mixed-signal instruments sports six new models, including two-channel models with 20-Mpoint record lengths and two- and four-channel versions with 5-Mpoint record length (see the figure). The latter models, such as the DPO4102B-L, drop the price of admission to under $10,000. Channel counts include 16 digital channels and either two or four analog channels.

With the 1-GHz oscilloscopes in the MSO/DPO4000B series, designers will receive one TPP1000 1-GHz passive probe per analog channel. The probes feature extremely low 3.9-pF capacitive loading for visibility into the high-frequency signal details found in USB 2.0 and Ethernet devices.

For designers who find their project requirements changing over time, the MSO/DPO3000 series scopes offer an upgrade path to higher bandwidth levels. Users can start with a 100-MHz model and upgrade as required to as much as 500 MHz. The series serves general-purpose debug, power analysis, or serial and parallel bus analysis.

Besides the upgradeable bandwidths, the MSO/DPO3000 series oscilloscopes now support the MIL-STD-1553 and FlexRay serial buses, which are popular in the aerospace and automotive industries respectively. Both the DPO3AERO and DPO3FLEX modules enable triggering on packet-level information as well as analytical tools such as digital views of the signals, bus views, packet decoding, search tools, and packet decode tables with time-stamp information. This further broadens the scopes’ support for communications protocols, which already includes I2C, SPI, CAN, LIN, RS232/422/485/UART, and I2S/LJ/RJ/TDM.

Both series of scopes include extensive advanced analysis capabilities, suites of advanced trigger options, and a full complement of front- and rear-panel connectivity.

The 2-channel, 1 GHz MSO/DPO4000B oscilloscopes are available now starting at $9,990. The upgradeable MSO/DPO3000 models are also available now starting at $3,380.


TAGS: Ethernet
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