These days a desktop oscilloscope is simply a PC with a high-performance data acquisition system built in. The display is often a touchscreen.
There are a number of low-cost oscilloscopes, like the BitScope, that connect to a PC using a USB interface. These are inexpensive options to a desktop since the cost of the display and PC are not included with the device.
Of course, there are other reasons for using a headless scope, and often developers are looking for performance as well as compactness. These types of devices are often used in automated test environments and production lines where devices need to be evaluated using high-performance test systems.
Teledyne LeCroy’s low-profile, 4 GHz WaveRunner 8000-R oscilloscope (see figure) is one of the scopes that brings high performance and functionality in a rack mount, 2U form factor. It can sample at rates up to 40 Gsamples/s and it has a deep memory capable of capturing 128 M data points.
The WaveRunner 8000-R has access to the full toolbox available with the desktop WaveRunner 8000 scopes. This includes analysis capabilities such as the array of serial protocol analysis packages and application-specific packages available for the desktop model. It also uses the same probes as the desktop model, including ProBus active probes.
The WaveRunner 8000-R has dual Ethernet ports as well as USB 2.0 and USB 3.1 ports. GPIB is available as an option. The system also has a DisplayPort and VGA output for connection to a monitor. In addition, the back panel has connections for a reference clock. The four analog inputs are on the front panel. There is also a USB 2.0 port on the front panel.
The rack mount kits are optional. Lastly, the WaveRunner 8000-R has a removable solid-state drive (SSD) that is accessible via the back panel.