Tektronix announces 8 channel 2GHz scope with big screen and up to 64 digital channels


Tektronix 5 Series MSO

Called ‘5 Series’ MSO, analogue resolution is 12bit, and the analogue channels can be traded for up to 64 digital channels via a new front panel connector dubbed ‘FlexChannel’ (see below). At the heart of the instrument is a new asic which combines traditional ADC, demultiplexer, trigger and digital acquisition components in a single device – amongst other things, cutting front-end noise by ~4.5dB compared with earlier mid-range Tektronix MSO offerings, and increasing integration between analogue and digital channels.

The firm links lower noise to higher ADC resolution: “Lower signal to noise drives the need for greater vertical resolution.”

As well as 12bit ADCs, there is a 16bit mode for lower frequency signals. “A DSP filter is applied at each sample rate that limits bandwidth and thus, noise, providing a more accurate view of the signal,” said the firm.

More than four analogue channels, according to Tektronix, are needed for motor control and inverter design, automotive electronics, power supply design and power conversion analysis.

Along with oscilloscope mode, the instrument can also be a logic analyser, arbitrary waveform generator, function generator, protocol analyser, DVM and trigger frequency counter. Some of these are pay-for options. DVM and trigger frequency counter come free, after product registration.

The touch screen is 1,920 x 1,080 with capacitive touch and “a user interface actually designed for touch”, said the firm. It has pinch, zoom and swipe, as well as working with a mouse.

Configuration menus are accessed by double tapping relevant items on the display, and are transparent and movable in case they are blocking something of interest.

Tektronix 5 Series MSOThe FlexChannel connection enables each input to be configured as either one analogue channel or eight digital channels, and any combination of analogue and digital probes is supported. By default, the input is a TekVPI+ connector, that accepts TekVPI analogue probes, but the input converted to eight digital channels by connecting the new TLP058 logic probe.

“Until now, oscilloscopes have been defined with fixed configurations: the user had to decide up front how many analogue channels and whether they want zero or a fixed number of digital channels. Some scopes offer the option of adding digital channels post-purchase, but even then, it’s a fixed quantity of digital channels that can’t be changed as needs evolve,” said Tektronix, adding: “In many instruments, analogue and digital channels are sampled at different rates, triggered using separate hardware, and stored in different-sized records, making precise comparisons impossible.”

The oscilloscope can work in Windows operating system mode, or using its internal proprietary operating system – by adding or removing a solid-state drive that has the Windows license and operating system installed on it. The user interface is identical in either configuration

Tektronix 5 Series MSO“Customers can configure according to their preference. Many customers prefer a simple, secure, dedicated scope without Windows. Others prefer running other applications on the scope, using extended monitors, for example,” said Tektronix, adding: The solid-state drive can be removed at any point in the future, extending the life of the scope as a dedicated instrument, if Windows goes out of support, for example.”

For analysing serial busses, decode and trigger are available for common serial standards, and decoded buses are time-aligned with other inputs. Decoded packet content can also be viewed in tabular form. Optional trigger and decode packages include: I2C, SPI, RS-232, CAN, LIN, FlexRay, USB, Ethernet10/100 and audio busses including I2S.

Also for bus use, there is automated jitter and eye analysis, including a jitter summery that creates: bathtub plot, TIE histogram, TIE spectrum or eye diagram

Amongst nice-to-have features, LEDs map the vertical scale and position knob to the selected waveform colour, and the same thing happens to match the trigger level knob to trigger source trace. There are also ‘non-collapsing front feet’ said the Tektronix, that don’t fold back with weight on them.

As well as the eight trace 2GHz version, there are also four and six channel versions, and lower bandwidth variants at 350MHz, 500MHz and 1GHz.

Tektronix 5 Series MSOFeatures can be upgraded at any time after initial purchase, with bandwidth increases up to 1GHz in the field via a license. For upgrades to 2GHz, the scope needs to go to a Tektronix service centre.

The scope is 200mm deep

Memory up to 125Msample/channel is also a field upgrades via license, as is solid-state drive with Windows license.

5 Series MSO MSO54 MSO56 MSO58
Bandwidth 350MHz, 500MHz, 1GHz or 2GHz
Max analogue channels 4 6 8
Max digital channels
(optional in increments of 8)
32 48 64
Sample rate
(all analogue and digital channels)
6.25Gsample/s
Standard record length
(all analogue and digital channels)
62.5Msample
Max optional record length
(all analogue and digital channels)
125Msample
Capture rate 500,000waveform/s
ADC resolution 12bit
Vertical Resolution 8bit at 6.25Gsample/s
12bit at 3.125Gsample/s
16bit with DSP high res mode
Integrated function generator 50MHz (option)
Integrated DVM + frequency counter Option free with registration
Price £10,600 to £34,200

 



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