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Mixed domain scope reduces debug time

Posted: 08 Sep 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mixed domain oscilloscope  spectrum analyser  RF spectrum 

Tektronix Inc. introduces the MDO4000 Series mixed domain oscilloscope (MDO) that combines the functionality of an oscilloscope and a spectrum analyser in a single device while offering a unique toolset that is said to save days or even weeks of debug time.

 Tektronix MDO4000 Series mixed domain oscilloscope

The MDO4000 Series goes well beyond typical spectrum analyser functionality by allowing users to capture time-correlated analogue, digital and RF signals across four analogue, 16 digital and one RF channel. The RF input frequency range extends up to 6GHz and provides a capture bandwidth of ≥1GHz at all centre frequencies, 100 times wider than typical spectrum analysers, said Tektronix. Users can even see up to four decoded serial and/or parallel buses at one time on the same display. This allows engineers to make accurate timing measurements to understand delays and latencies between command/control events in their design and changes in the RF spectrum. For example, observing spectrum changes over time during turn on of VCO/PLLs, measuring the transition characteristics of a frequency hopping RF signal and finding the source of intermittent, device-state dependant EMI noise are now simple tasks.

By simply moving the patent pending Spectrum Time throughout the time domain acquisition, designers can see the RF spectrum at any point in their acquisition while simultaneously seeing their analogue, digital and/or decoded buses at the same time, described Tektronix.

Similarly, RF time domain traces show how the amplitude, frequency or phase of the RF input signal changes relative to time. This makes it easy to characterise 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 analogue, 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 isolate an RF event of interest. Users can trigger on a specific pulse width, look for a timeout event or runt, or even include the RF input in a logic pattern defined along with the analogue and digital channels. This ability to trigger on whatever the user is interested in regardless of whether it's analogue, digital, RF or some combination represents another industry first for the MDO4000 Series, the company said.

Tektronix said the MDO4000 performs wideband analysis of dual band transceivers. For example, it can capture both Zigbee at 900MHz and Bluetooth at 2.4GHz in a single acquisition. It can also analyse the root cause of radiated or coupled emissions and can measure switch-mode power supply effects on the rest of the system.

The MDO4000 Series oscilloscopes will be available globally beginning late August 2011. Pricing starts at Rs.8.92 lakh ($19,900).

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