Tektronix looks to redefine oscilloscopes market

2 min read

Tektronix has added two new oscilloscopes to its product line up with the launch of the 3 Series MDO and the 4 Series MSO.

Engineered for a wide range of demanding applications they have been designed to meet the development challenges of engineers who need test instruments that are capable, versatile and, most of all, easy to use. The 3 Series MDO and 4 Series MSO feature the largest display sizes in their class, highly intuitive touchscreen user interfaces, class-leading performance and advanced analysis capabilities.

The 3 and 4 Series share a user interface design with touchscreens and front panels that keep key controls close at hand. Rather than digging through multiple menus to find settings, simply double-tap the appropriate readout or measurement on the display.

According to Chris Witt, vice president and general manager, Time Domain Business Unit at Tektronix, “We made usability and versatility a top priority, so engineers can focus on innovation and solving difficult problems and not time wasted trying to figure out how to use their scopes.”

Large oscilloscope displays are intended to enhance user experience and speed up debugging and analysis tasks. The 4 Series MSO features a 13.3-in. display with 1920 x 1080 HD resolution, the largest and highest resolution in its class. It offers bandwidths up to 1.5 GHz and uses 12-bit ADCs for the highest vertical resolution in its class as well. It is the first scope in this class to offer six input channels together with FlexChannel technology, meaning that any input channel can be converted from an analogue to eight digital channels simply by connecting a logic probe.

The 4 Series MSO is available with bandwidths starting at 200 MHz and is supported with options including serial decode and analysis, an arbitrary/function generator and a DVM/frequency counter. The new Spectrum View feature offers time correlated frequency domain analysis with independent spectrum controls. A power analysis package is available to automate AC line, switching device, ripple and sequencing measurements.

Bandwidth and options are all field upgradeable. All models deliver a 6.25 GS/s sample rate on all analog and digital channels. Standard record length is 31.25 Mpoints with option for 62.5 Mpoints.

With a starting price point at just over four thousand dollars, the 3 Series MDO features a sleek industrial design and the largest display in its class at 11.6-in. with full high-definition resolution. It uses the same intuitive user interface as the rest of the portfolio with a similar set of knobs and buttons but takes up less than 6 inches of depth on a bench.

According to Tektronix, the 3 Series MDO is more than an oscilloscope and can cover a wide range of debugging and validation tasks. It offers an optional spectrum analyzer up to 3 GHz, with a separate RF input and specifications comparable to a standalone analyzer. This enables engineers to quickly debug wireless components in their designs or quickly track down sources of unwanted EMI emissions without having to use another instrument. Sixteen digital input channels are available for mixed signal analysis. Comprehensive serial protocol debugging and triggering options, optional power measurement and an optional AFG set the standard for versatility. A DVM/frequency counter is included for free with product registration.

The 3 Series MDO is available in bandwidths starting at 100 MHz and extending to 1 GHz. Models are available with 2.5 GS/s or 5 GS/s sample rates on all analog and digital channels. Standard record length is 10 Mpoints. For investment protection, bandwidths and options are fully field upgradeable.

The distance between the front of the oscilloscope to the device under test are critical to gaining insight into troublesome circuits. Both the 3 Series MDO and 4 Series MSO use the TekVPI probe interface, giving access to the full range of Tektronix differential voltage probes, active voltage probes, and current probes, plus the recently-introduced power rail probes and optically-isolated differential probes.