Enhanced Scopes Race To 20 GSamples/s

July 15, 2008
These high-performance four-channel oscilloscopes offer bandwidths to 6 GHz with sampling rates to 20 GSamples/second per channel and an innovative approach to memory management.

Oscilloscopes are still a main workhorse measurement tool for evaluating transient and difficult-to-find signal anomalies, and LeCroy Corp. has been relentless in its pursuit of improved scope performance. But the enhanced performance of the company's WavePro 7Zi series of digital oscilloscopes may wipe away any thought on an engineer's part that these are "just another" test instrument. The WavePro 7Zi digital oscilloscopes provide the performance and features that can speed and simplify high-speed troubleshooting, while also increasing measurement accuracy.

The 7Zi series instruments build on the legacy of LeCroy's WavePro model line, with high sample rates and generous memory allotments. The line features a high sample rate of 20G Samples/s on all four channels, with interleaved performance to 40 GSamples/s. The scopes provide long record lengths, with 10 Mpoints/channel standard and as much as 128 Mpoints/channel as an option. The instruments include both 50-ohm and high-impedance 1-Mohm input ports with bandwidths from 1.5 to 6.0 GHz, with individual models available with bandwidths of 1.5. 2.5, 3.5, 4.0, and 6.0 GHz. The firm is also introducing the related SDA 7Zi series serial data analyzers with 2.5, 3.5, 4.0, and 6.0 GHz bandwidths, as well as the DDA 7Zi series disk-drive analyzers with bandwidths of 3.5 and 6.0 GHz.

The WavePro 7Zi series digital oscilloscopes incorporate LeCroy's proprietary X-Stream II fast-throughput streaming architecture for memoryintensive operations. It handles long waveforms as variable waveform segment lengths, resulting in 10 to 20 times faster speed when processing long records compared to traditional digital oscilloscopes that process long waveforms in a single length. The X-Stream II architecture is augmented with an Intel Core 2 Quad microprocessor, highspeed data buses, a 64-Gb operating system (OS), and as much as 8 GB of random-access memory (RAM).

With LeCroy's high-speed LSIB interface, the new scopes offer extremely fast data transfer over the PCI Express X4 high-speed data bus. The LSIB connection, which requires an optional card in the oscilloscope and a host card in the remote computer, provides considerably faster data transfers than GPIB (about 1 Mpoints/s), 100BaseT Ethernet local area network (LAN, to 10 Mpoints/s), or 1000BaseT Gigabit Ethernet (to 22 Mpoints/s). The LSIB supports data transfers at rates to 500 Mpoints/s for records of 100 Mpoints and longer.

The WavePro 7Zi digital oscilloscopes also feature a host of new tools, including TriggerScan, which detects and captures anomalies by using highspeed trigger hardware to detect signals with undesired behavior, and capturing and displaying them in a persistence mode. TriggerScan captures only the signals of interest and provides answers in minutes instead of hours. The new oscilloscopes also offer SMART trigger 200-ps pulse-width triggering and 80-b/3.125-Gb/s high-speed serial pattern triggers to simplify debugging.

The oscilloscopes allow the low (50 ohm) and high (1 Mohm) impedances to be switched on the same input, for use with any LeCroy probe. The scopes can display as many as eight different grids on their large screens, while maintaining full vertical resolution. In addition, a new option called WPZi-SPECTRUM provides spectral analysis capability for measuring power density and Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) signal types.

The WavePro 7Zi series digital oscilloscopes show results on a 15.3-in. WXGA touch-screen display. A second integrated display featuring a 15.3-in. WXGA screen is available as an option. LeCroy Corp., 700 Chestnut Ridge Rd., Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977-6499; (800) 4Le-Croy (800) 453-2769), (845) 425-2000, FAX: (845) 578-5985, Internet: www.lecroy.com.

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