Midrange oscilloscopes target EMI, power, debug

-February 26, 2014

This product is featured in EDN's Hot 100 products of 2014. See all 100 here.
Rohde & Schwarz has introduced the RTE line of midrange oscilloscopes with bandwidths of 200 MHz, 350 MHz, 500 MHz, and 1 GHz. Each bandwidth is available with two or four analog channels, making eight models in all.

Aimed at solving problems with EMI, power analysis, power integrity, embedded systems, and cross-domain debugging, the RTE line has an MSO option that adds 16 logic inputs (100 Msamples/ch). With the logic inputs, you can time correlate digital signals with analog signals displayed in the time domain or frequency domain.

All models can sample at rates up to 5 Gsamples/s per channel regardless of analog bandwidths. Analog signal memory is 10 Msamples per channel with 20 Msamples and 50 Msamples per channel available as options, you can combine memory from all four channels into one channel for measurements that require long periods. For example, you might need to look at a power-supply or motor startup signal where you need one channel but long memory.

The RTE line of oscilloscopes are upgradeable for bandwidth and memory length through encrypted software keys. You don't have to return the instrument to the factory for upgrades.

Acquiring and storing waveforms is necessary, but the primary job of an oscilloscope is to let you see the signals. The RTE oscilloscope line can move 1 million waveforms/s to the screen. "That kind of update rate is especially important for viewing fast FFTs," said Rohde & Schwarz North American product manager Dave Rishavy when I spoke to him about the product this week.

The ability to see analog, digital, and frequency waveforms lets you find problems where one can affect the other. For example, the RTE oscilloscopes can decode serial and parallel buses while simultaneously viewing analog waveforms where noise from, say, crosstalk can disrupt a digital bus. Looking across time and frequency can reveal when noise from one line can interfere with another or when noise from a clock can disrupt digital data. When used with an EMI probe, the oscilloscope can help you find emissions in the time domain or frequency domain.

The RTE oscilloscope will be on display at EE Live! 2014. Dave Rishavy described EE Live! as the RTE's "coming out event." I plan to meet with Rishavy prior to the event for a product demonstration.

Rohde & Schwarz, www.rohde-schwarz.com

RTE oscilloscope product page

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Stop by the Rohde & Schwarz EE Live! booth #2012 March 31-April 3, 2014 to see the RTE oscilloscope. EE Live! is owned by UBM Tech, EDN's parent company. Follow updates about event programs and sessions on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ and register for the San Jose-based event here.

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