17 Jul 2018

Tektronix 6 Series MSO Mixed Signal Oscilloscope Launched

Tektronix has introduced its 6 Series MSO mixed signal oscilloscope. Building on the previous 5 Series Tektronix scopes the new 6 Series scopes offer much enhanced performance whilst retaining aspects like the user interface, etc.

The new 6 Series oscilloscope increases the top bandwidth to 8 GHz and delivers a 25 GS/s sample rate simultaneously on all 4 channels. Variants with 1, 2, 4 6 and 8 GHz are available as options and these can be upgraded later if needed. With 25 GS/s sample rate on all channels, designers can accurately view up to four high-speed signals at one time. For example, a DDR3 clock and three DDR3 data channels can be viewed and analyzed simultaneously, decreasing the time it takes to fully characterise a design with an instrument that shares sampling systems between channels.

The 6 Series uses the TEK49 ASIC which was originally designed for the 5 Series scopes and provides for the very easy to use interface In addition to this a new pre-amp ASIC referred to as the TEK61 has been used for the input circuitry and this provides a particularly low noise making it ideal for many applications including power analysis, memory analysis, or any application where very low noise is needed. In fact the TEK61 ASIC is claimed to offer the best noise performance of any scope being 40% better than the competition.

Upgradability is a key feature of te scope. As laboratories need to make as much of their investment as they can, the 6 series is fully upgradable. It also features a very intuitive user interface, a capacitive pinch-zoom-swipe 15.6-inch touchscreen, innovative FlexChannel® inputs, a 12-bit ADC that can deliver up to 16 bits of vertical resolution, a completely new industrial design, and optional Windows 10 operating system.

The 6 Series has many of the same looks of the 5 Series, it is slightly heavier, and also features the non-collapsible front angling feet. This feature is one which, although simple is likely to be very popular.

The 6 Series offers the visual trigger facility. This enables a waveform to be drawn on the screen and the scope then matches drawn shape to be compared with the incoming waveform and trigger if it matches.

New levels of signal detail

To meet the need for more insight on faster signals, the 6 Series MSO incorporates a new low-noise preamplifier ASIC, the TEK061, that dramatically lowers noise, especially on signals that are in the hundreds of millivolts peak-to-peak. With its 25 GS/s sample rate on four channels, the instrument delivers 16-bit resolution at 200 MHz when using the High Res mode. This means that not only can designers see the interfering signals on their power rail, but they can measure them with a level of accuracy, that until now has not been possible on a scope.

Like the 5 Series MSO, the 6 Series MSO is highly upgradeable and is available with a built-in arbitrary/function generator, a free DVM and trigger frequency counter with product registration, protocol options, and offers a choice of operating system. Also, like the 5 Series MSO, adding a TLP058 logic probe turns any of the instrument’s four FlexChannel inputs into eight digital inputs, providing the most flexible MSO configurations available. The 6 Series MSO also has upgradeable bandwidth, starting at 1 GHz and extending up to 8 GHz with a simple license upgrade.

Expanded decode, analysis

For its next-generation platforms, Tektronix is committed to adding capabilities to meet rapidly evolving market requirements, giving engineers the confidence that they’re making the right choice when they select these scopes. Since the launch of the 5 Series MSO, Tektronix has added the following capabilities that will be available on both platforms:

  • Options for decode and trigger support for CAN FD, MIL-STD-1553, ARINC429 and SENT bus

  • Options for serial compliance testing for Automotive Ethernet and USB 2.0

  • An advanced power analysis option with two rounds of free enhancements

  • New, free capabilities including FastFrame segmented memory and enhanced autoset

  • In conjunction with the 6 Series MSO launch, Tektronix is also releasing Visual Trigger capability and a new option for SPMI serial trigger, decode and search, a MIPI power management bus

New high-performance probe options

Although the passive probes supplied have an input capacitance below 5 pF, and are able to operate to 1 GHz, using an 8 GHz scope, this is not sufficient. To accommodate this need, Tektronix has also launched a series of new higher performance probes well suited to the performance levels of the 6 Series MSO. The TDP7700 is a series of TriMode™ probes with bandwidths of 4, 6 or 8 GHz. TriMode probes enable engineers to make the single-ended, differential, and common mode signal measurements required for high-speed bus analysis, without moving or changing probes.

These probes use the TekFlex™ connector technology which places active buffers at the probe tip for the best signal fidelity while limiting mechanical stress on tiny test points and supports a variety of connectivity methods to the device under test including solder-in tips, direct connection and handheld browsing.

Additionally, the TAP4000 and TDP4000 probes extend the range of Tektronix’ popular active, single-ended and differential probes, respectively, and now support up to 4 GHz bandwidth.

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