Rohde & Schwarz enters scope market with mid range families

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Test and measurement specialist Rohde & Schwarz is completing what it says is the last piece in its product portfolio with the launch of two families of oscilloscopes.

According to ceo Michael Vohrer, the justification is that his customers expect the company to offer such products. "We asked them what products they associate with Rohde & Schwarz and they said 'scopes', even though we've never sold them."

But a more serious justification is that scopes are used in a wide range of sectors and for a wide range of tasks and Vohrer sees a market worth $1billion a year as a suitable target. "We have thought about launching scopes for some time," he admitted, "Because customers expect them. And the move offers the potential for future growth." R&S has divided the market for scopes into three parts, with the key parameter being bandwidth. Its new offerings – the RTM and RTO series – will both address the mid range, with the low end of the market will be handled using the Hameg brand. So far, there is no indication of if and when the company may target high end requirements. The RTO family – said to offer the fastest acquisition and analysis rate of any available scope – will initially be available in two and four channel models, with bandwidths of 1GHz and 2GHz, a maximum sampling rate of 10Gsample/s and a memory of 20Msample/channel. Meanwhile, the RTM family will feature 500MHz bandwidth models capturing 5Gsample/s and boasting a memory depth of up to 8Msample. The functions of the top end models are underpinned by an in house designed asic. This 15million gate device, manufactured on a 90nm process, has an area of 250mm2. This is complemented by another custom device – a 10GHz a/d SiGe converter with an effective number of bits of 7.5. Similarly, R&S has developed a Windows based operating system that allows fast booting of the scopes. Data is displayed on RTO models using a 10.4in touchscreen, with extensive analysis functions available to the user.