12 Jun 2018

New high end 8 GHz oscilloscope raises the bar

As electronic circuits and systems become more advanced and complicated, so too does the test equipment which needs to be available today to develop the equipment for tomorrow. 5G, other RF applications and data interfaces with speeds extending into many Gbps require very high performance oscilloscopes to examine waveforms successfully.

To meet the advanced needs of electronic development, Rohde and Schwarz has extended its oscilloscope portfolio with a new high performance oscilloscope: the R&S RTP family of scope.

The new scope boast launch bandwidths of up to 8GHz with more to follow, acquisition rates of one million waveforms a second, real-time compensation for transmission losses from connection cables, quiet operation and very much more.

Looking at the R&S RTP oscilloscope in a little more detail, the scopes available at launch include 4 GHz, 6 GHz, or 8 GHz versions. Lower speed versions can be upgraded at a later date and also a 16 GHz version is due to be launched in 2019, and again this can be upgraded once the option becomes available. Other options including a generator module with two analogue and eight digital channels and a 16 GHz differential pulse source are planned. The easy upgrade means that investment in this scope is secured as it can be easily upgraded to keep pace with the latest trends.

The R&S RTP oscilloscope family aims to combine signal integrity with a high acquisition rate. In standard acquisition mode, it can measure a million waveforms per second and this can be key in aiding developers to find sporadic errors that can occur.

The RTP scope is also able to compensate transmission losses from the signal source to the oscilloscope in a process that is often called deembedding. This means that a length of screened cable or a scope probe can be used and its effects on the measurement cancelled out. Whilst other scopes have this basic capability, R&S say that theirs is the only one that is able to achieve this in real time. It can do this because the de-embedding is achieved using an ASIC within the RTP scope.

Another key feature of the RTP scope is its unique digital trigger architecture which enables it to precisely trigger even on compensated signals. Again this is another unique feature of the RTP oscilloscope range.

During development of the RTP scope, a lot of effort was invested in introducing features that would save time and effort for design engineers. The scope features a wide range of analysis functions and to ensure their optimum operation hardware acceleration provides the best performance. Mask tests, histograms and frequency domain analyses can be performed at high speed for fast results with high statistical reliability. No waiting for results as might have previously been needed.

The R&S RTP is not just an oscilloscope, but it combines multiple instruments: 16 logic channels, four voltage channels and four current measurement channels are available in addition to the analogue oscilloscope channels. The R&S RTP supports protocol analysis of serial bus interfaces and offers powerful spectrum and signal analysis functions. Thanks to its wide range of tools, users can test many different types of signals from complex circuits time-correlated with each other with just one T&M instrument, and find related errors faster.

Although the RTP oscilloscope offers truly high end performance, it has also been designed to occupy a minimum amount of bench space - all engineers need to preserve space on their benches as they accumulate many items of gear there and need space to work. Another key feature of the RTP is that it is really quiet. Many items of electronics equipment have noisy fans, but the RTP has an intelligent system that optimises the fan speed and also the instrument has been designed to be inherently much quieter than other instruments.

Finally to complement the performance of the RTP scope, R&S has a comprehensive range of probes and attachments.

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