ASIC boost for 10GHz oscilloscope

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Textronix has launched a Mixed Signal Oscilloscope (MSO) with a bandwidth of 10 GHz and 50 GS/sec.

The 6 Series B is aimed at high-speed data movement and processing in embedded designs with up to eight FlexChannel inputs.

“What really sets apart the 6 Series is the ASIC that sits just behind the input,” said Lee Morgan, Senior Technical Marketing Manager at Tektronix EMEA.  “The Tek49 is the building block ASIC on the Series 4, 5 and 6 but it is the Tek61 ASIC that enables us to have really low noise performance one for each channel. The 6B Series reduces the noise by 2dB, about 20 percent. That boosts the 50Gsample/s mode which is available on channels 1 and 2 and gives the lowest noise. If you are using four to eight channels then that’s 12.5Gsample/s across all eight.”

The oscilloscope contributes less than 51.1 µV of noise at 1 mV/div and 1GHz, and less than 1.39mV of noise at 50 mV/div and 10GHz. It is also the industry’s first oscilloscope with bandwidth more than 2 GHz to offer 4, 6 or 8 channels, says Tektronix.

“Embedded systems are such a wide area, from a smartphone to a car. One of the number one pain point is looking at low level signals, especially for power integrity and signal integrity, a high speed databus, or a design in IoT or 5G,” he said. “So you need confidence that the interference you see is not the scope or the probe but the device under test. For automotive engineers for example could be looking at a serial bus with three channels for serial data and the remaining channels for the power circuits.

The design has two identical boards, each with a single Tek49 digital down converter ASIC and four Tek61 ASICs for each of the four channels. The low noise on two channels is possible using the Tek61 and one dedicated Tek49 on each board. “The Tek49 is very capable and each of the two ASICs gives the maximum bandwidth of 5GHz,” says Morgan.

This also allows more spectrum analysis.

“Embedded designs are growing more sophisticated by incorporating additional sensors that generate increasing amounts of data. This instrument addresses the new requirements of testing these systems to advance video, motion and 3D sensing technologies,” said Chris Witt, vice president and general manager at Tektronix.

“With the Tek49 ASIC we can separate frequency and time so you can set up the frequency domain just the way you want it and the frequency domain and correlate those at the same time using separate controls and that speeds up the debug controls considerably,” said Witt.

“We have quite a bit of capability in the Tek49 ASIC that we haven’t switch on. It’s not a RT spectrum analyser, but it might be one day,” he said.

The 6 Series B MSO has a 15.6 inch HD capacitive pinch-zoom-swipe touch display and is capable of switching between Windows 10 and closed operating systems without loss of performance or ease-of-use. The 6 Series B MSO contains a removable SSD; which, along with optional security licenses, enables use of the oscilloscope in secure environments by minimizing cybersecurity threats. 

The TekVPI probe interface communicates seamlessly with a wide range of probes, to simplify setup and reduce errors, furthering an outstanding user experience for engineers. A new 10GHz probe, the TDP7710 TriMode Probe has the ability to switch from making differential to common mode to single-ended measurements, without having to reconnect the probe.

The new 6 Series B MSO is now available worldwide, priced from £ 23.200 / € 25.900. Each unit receives Tektronix’s one-year warranty on the instrument and included probes (one TPP1000 1 GHz voltage probe per channel).

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