ASIC boost for 10GHz oscilloscope

September 15, 2020 // By Nick Flaherty
ASIC design boost for 10GHz oscilloscope
Two ASICs are key to the low noise operation of the 6 Series B 10GHz mixed signal oscilloscope from Tektronix for embedded designs

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

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