Mixed domain oscilloscope adds spectrum analyser

February 25, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
On the back of the introduction of a six-in-one multifunctional oscilloscope, Tektronix announces another series of Mixed Domain Oscilloscopes. The MDO4000B series carries the same price tag as the well-known MSO4000B — with the difference that the new series is equipped with an additional built-in spectrum analyser. The MSO4000B will be phased out.

This spectrum analyser with 4 analog channels and 16 digital signal inputs is the USP of the new model, enabling engineers to capture synchronized analog, digital and RF signals for a time-correlated system view, significantly saving on debug time.

According to Tektronix' observation, the majority of system designs in development today include at least one form of RF capability such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or ZigBee. With RF becoming mainstream, designers expect superior RF test support from their test equipment. Even for designs without wireless technologies, engineers are facing EMI, noise, modulation and other types of frequency related signals.

“There's a fundamental shift with regard to wireless in embedded systems", said Dave Farrell, general manager, Mainstream Oscilloscopes at Tektronix. "RF technologies are becoming as accepted and widely used as serial data was a few years ago.” The proliferation of RF functionality goes along with electromagnetic interference (EMI) - which has become a common problem requiring looking at the RF spectrum of even non-wireless systems.

Under the new pricing structure, Tektronix offers MDO4000B-3 models with a built-in 3 GHz spectrum analyser at the same prices as current MSO4000B oscilloscopes with equivalent analog bandwidth across the entire lineup. With this change, the company said it will discontinue the MSO4000B oscilloscopes.