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World's first mixed-domain oscilloscope by Tektronix

EM NEWS BUREAU ,  Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 17:21 Hrs  [IST]

Untitled - 49Tektronix, Inc., the world's leading manufacturer of oscilloscopes, recently introduced the world's first mixed domain oscilloscope (MDO) that delivers the functionality of an oscilloscope and a spectrum analyzer in a single instrument. The new MDO4000 Mixed Domain Oscilloscope Series gives engineers the unique ability to capture time-correlated analog, digital and RF signals for a complete system view, helping them to rapidly solve complicated design issues.

More than 60 percent of oscilloscope users also use a spectrum analyzer to troubleshoot embedded system designs with integrated wireless functionality, requiring them to work in both the time and frequency domain. Traditionally, an engineer was either a mixed signal/digital engineer or an RF engineer. But with wireless becoming more commonplace, design engineers must often work in both domains. The MDO4000 Mixed Domain Oscilloscope Series is the first oscilloscope ever to integrate the functionality of a spectrum analyzer to provide a unique toolset which will save days or even weeks of debug time.

With the MDO4000, engineers can replace both a scope and spectrum analyzer with a single instrument. This enables them to continue using their tool of choice, the oscilloscope, to look at the frequency domain rather than having to find and relearn a spectrum analyzer.

And the MDO4000 goes well beyond typical spectrum analyzer functionality by allowing users to capture timecorrelated analog, digital and RF signals across 4 analog, 16 digital and 1 RF channel. The RF input frequency range extends up to 6 GHz and provides a capture bandwidth of > 1 GHz at all center frequencies, 100 times wider than typical spectrum analyzers. Users can even see up to 4 decoded serial and/or parallel buses at one time on the same display. Due to this time correlation between domains, engineers can now make accurate timing measurements to understand delays and latencies between command / control events in their design and changes in the RF spectrum. For example, viewing the spectrum as a VCO/PLL turns on, or measuring the transition characteristics of a frequency hopping RF signal are now simple tasks. And finding the source of intermittent, device-state dependant EMI noise has never been easier thanks to the MDO4000s ability to provide a complete time correlated system view across both domains, something that is simply not possible with today's test equipment.

In another industry first, the MDO4000 allows designers to see the RF spectrum of a signal at any point in time within a long acquisition to see how the spectrum changes over time or with device state. By simply moving the unique and patent pending Spectrum Time throughout the time domain acquisition, designers can see the RF spectrum for any point in their acquisition while simultaneously seeing their analog, digital and/or decoded buses at the same point in time.

Similarly, RF time domain traces are used to show how the amplitude, frequency or phase of the RF input signal changes relative to time. This makes it easy to characterize frequency hop transitions, settling times, and RF event timing relative to other system components and activities. The RF time domain traces are shown in the same window as the analog, digital and serial/parallel bus decoded waveforms, providing instant insight into device operation.

In addition to the standard RF power level trigger, an optional module (MDO4TRIG) allows additional trigger types to use the RF power level as a source, enabling customers to further isolate an RF event of interest. Users can trigger on a specific pulse width, or look for a timeout event or runt, or even include the RF input in a logic pattern defined along with the analog and digital channels. This ability to trigger on whatever the user is interested in regardless of whether it is analog, digital, RF or some combination thereof represents another industry first for the MDO4000 Series.
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