18 Aug 2017

Waveform analysis helps validate characteristics of complex devices

Pico Technology, a specialist in PC oscilloscopes and data loggers, has introduced the DeepMeasure analysis tool.

Included as standard with PicoScope 3000, 4000, 5000, and 6000 Series oscilloscopes, DeepMeasure delivers automatic measurement of waveform parameters on up to a million successive waveform cycles. Results can be easily sorted, analyzed and correlated with the waveform display.

As electronic devices become more complex, design engineering teams need better tools to record, analyze and visualize waveform data and measurement statistics. Most digital oscilloscopes provide automated measurements of common parameters such as frequency, period, rise and fall times, duty cycle, and maximum and minimum voltages, but the measurements are usually limited to a single complete waveform cycle captured in the oscilloscope memory. Subsequent waveform cycles in the same acquisition are displayed on the screen but are discarded from the measurement results. Measurement statistics (max/min/average/sum) have to be compiled over multiple acquisitions, and irregular bit patterns are easily missed or ignored.

Oscilloscopes with deep capture memory, such as the PicoScope 3000 Series (512 MSamples) and 6000 Series (2 GSamples) can capture waveforms with thousands of waveform cycles, at full sampling speed with each triggered acquisition. DeepMeasure returns a table of results that includes every waveform cycle captured in the memory. Ten waveform parameters are included in the first version of the tool and over a million results of each parameter can be collected.

The table of captured results can be sorted by each parameter in ascending or descending order, enabling engineering teams to spot anomalies and rapidly identify the cause of complicated issues. So, for example, click on the Rise Time column heading and you can quickly find the fastest (or slowest) rise time out of up to 1 million cycles of the waveform. Double-clicking on a specific measurement highlights the corresponding cycle in the oscilloscope view. For more extensive analysis, such as histograms and advanced data visualization, the table of measurements can be exported for use with tools such as Excel and MATLAB.

“Visualizing real-world test data is key to solving many of today’s engineering challenges,” explained Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager, Test & Measurement, at Pico Technology. “DeepMeasure is a powerful tool that takes advantage of PicoScope deep memory oscilloscopes to enable rapid analysis and debug of complex waveforms ranging from serial data streams to laser pulses and particle physics experiments. Anomalies can be easily pinpointed and correlated with other events captured by the oscilloscope.”

PicoScope with DeepMeasure is free of charge for users of PicoScope 3000, 4000, 5000, and 6000 Series oscilloscopes.

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