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Tektronix introduces mixed domain oscilloscopes combining scope and spectrum analyser functions

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article image Tektronix MDO4000 series mixed domain oscilloscope

Manufacturer of oscilloscopes, Tektronix, Inc. has introduced an innovative range of mixed domain oscilloscopes (MDO) that combines scope and spectrum analyser functionalities in a single instrument.  

The new MDO4000 mixed domain oscilloscopes series gives engineers the unique ability to capture time-correlated analogue, digital and RF signals for a complete system view, helping them rapidly solve complicated design issues. The MDO4000 offers all the feature-rich tools of Tektronix MSO4000B mixed signal oscilloscope series combined with the features of mainstream spectrum analysers.  

The MDO4000 was designed to meet the needs of oscilloscope users, 60% of whom also use a spectrum analyser to troubleshoot embedded system designs with integrated wireless functionality, which requires them to work in both the time and frequency domain.  

With wireless becoming commonplace, design engineers must often work in both mixed signal/digital and RF domains. The MDO4000 mixed domain oscilloscopes integrate the functionality of a spectrum analyser to provide a unique toolset, which will save days or even weeks of debug time for design engineers.  

According to Roy Siegel, General Manager, Oscilloscopes at Tektronix, the MDO4000 Series breaks down the barrier between time and frequency domains, as it fundamentally changes what’s involved in debugging designs with RF where there is a need to correlate events in the frequency domain with the time domain phenomena that caused them.  

He expects the MDO to become the new standard for designs that increasingly include RF capabilities, the same way mixed signal oscilloscopes (MSO) became the standard for embedded design tests.  

Key advantages of MDO4000 mixed domain oscilloscopes:  

  • Allows engineers to replace both a scope and spectrum analyser with a single instrument 
  • Enables users to capture time-correlated analogue, digital and RF signals across 4 analogue, 16 digital and 1 RF channel 
  • RF input frequency range extends up to 6 GHz, providing a capture bandwidth of ≥1 GHz at all centre frequencies, 100 times wider than typical spectrum analysers 
  • Users can see up to 4 decoded serial and/or parallel buses at one time on the same display 
  • Time correlation between domains allows engineers to make accurate timing measurements to understand latencies between command/control events in their design and changes in the RF spectrum 
  • Simplifies tasks such as viewing the spectrum as a VCO/PLL turns on, or measuring the transition characteristics of a frequency hopping RF signal 
  • Finds the source of intermittent, device-state dependant EMI noise easily 
  • Allows designers to see the RF spectrum of a signal at any point in time within a long acquisition to see how the spectrum changes over time or with device state 
  • RF time domain traces are used to show how the amplitude, frequency or phase of the RF input signal changes relative to time 
  • Easily characterises frequency hop transitions, settling times and RF event timing relative to other system components and activities 
  • Optional module allows additional trigger types to use the RF power level as a source, enabling customers to further isolate an RF event of interest     
Applications of MDO4000 mixed domain oscilloscopes:
  • System-level debug of wireless-enabled designs 
  • Timing analysis for mixed domain designs 
  • Tracking down sources of noise or interference    
Tektronix oscilloscopes are available in Australia from TekMark Australia .

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