04 Jun 2018

16 bit flexible resolution scope provides optimum performance

USB oscilloscopes now offer a huge level of performance and in many instances can match or beat high end bench cased scopes. Adding to their extensive range of USB oscilloscopes, Pico Technology has introduced its 5000D series of FlexRes scopes and MSOs.

These FlexRes USB oscilloscopes feature vertical resolution levels of up to 16 bits and this can be combined with a bandwidth of up to 200 MHz and a 1 GS/s sampling speed. This range of Flex Res USB oscilloscopes builds on the already successful range of 5000A and B scopes.

PicoScope 5000D MSO models add 16 digital channels, providing the ability to accurately time-correlate analogue and digital channels. Digital channels may be grouped and displayed as a bus with each bus value displayed in binary, hex, decimal or level (for DAC testing). Advanced triggers can be set across both the analogue and digital channels.

PicoScope 5000D Series oscilloscopes have waveform capture memory up to 512 megasamples - many times larger than competing scopes. Deep memory enables the capture of long-duration waveforms at maximum sampling speed. PicoScope’s DeepMeasure™ tool uses the deep memory to analyze every cycle contained in each triggered waveform acquisition. It displays results in a table, with the parameter fields shown in columns and waveform cycles shown in rows. The current version of the tool includes twelve parameters per cycle, and can display up to a million cycles.

Serial decoding and analysis is included as standard. Decoding helps users to see what is happening in their design to identify programming errors and check for signal integrity issues. Key applications are addressed with support for 18 protocols:

  • Automotive: CAN, CAN-FD, FlexRay, LIN, SENT

  • Embedded: 1-Wire, I2C, I2S, SPI

  • Avionics: ARINC 429

  • Computer: Ethernet 10 & 100BASE-T, PS/2, UART / RS-232, USB

  • Industrial: MODBUS RTU & ASCII

  • Lighting: DMX512

  • Hobby: DCC

PicoScope 5000D Series oscilloscopes feature a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connection, providing very fast saving of waveforms while retaining compatibility with older USB standards. Although USB 3 is a key feature of the 5000D series, the USB connection is thought to be a bottleneck by many in the industry. This is not the case as the signal processing is undertaken by the advanced processing engine within the USB oscilloscope, and date for the display is passed over the USB link. Adding USB-3 to the PicoScopes enables extends their capability by providing even more bandwidth for the link between the scope and the accompanying computer.

The PicoSDK® software development kit supports continuous streaming to the host computer at rates up to 125 MS/s.

“The 5000D builds on the success of PicoScope 5000A/B Series flexible resolution oscilloscopes that were introduced back in 2013. The 5000D gives designers and test engineers the versatility they need to make measurements on the wide range of waveforms encountered in today’s embedded systems,” said Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager, Test & Measurement, at Pico Technology. “This allows users to capture and decode fast digital signals and to look for distortion in sensitive analog signals, all using the same oscilloscope.”

PicoScope software takes advantage of modern PC processing power with an equation editor that allows users to define complex waveform mathematical functions. These include filters (lowpass, highpass, bandpass and bandstop), trigonometry, exponentials, logarithms, statistics, integrals and derivatives. Waveform maths can also be used to plot live signals alongside historic peak, averaged or filtered waveforms.

The standard software required to run the PicoScope oscilloscopes is available for a free download from the Pico Technology website and this is updated as new developments and advances occur. In this way any oscilloscope bought can be maintained up to date for free. The software features a very easy to use interface, whilst also enabling a plethora of advanced functiosn to be accessed very easily.

Software Development Kit

The PicoSDK software development kit enables users to write their own applications for the PicoScope 5000D hardware. Drivers for Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac (macOS) and Linux (including Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone) are included. Example code, hosted on the Pico Technology GitHub pages, shows how to interface to third-party software packages such as Microsoft Excel, National Instruments LabVIEW and MathWorks MATLAB and programming languages like C, C#, C++, and Visual Basic .NET.

The new PicoScope 5000D series of USB oscilloscopes promises to provide a really advanced oscilloscope, able to compete with the best in the marketplace and with costs well below that of bench top cased scopes, these PicoScopes offer a really attractive option.

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