Scope And Probe Capture 40 Gsamples

June 17, 2005
This 13-GHz, real-time oscilloscope and probing system promises to capture anything in its band including previously invisible, high-speed signal anomalies.

Testing modern high-speed data formats such as Fibre Channel, serial ATA, and PCI-Express poses a challenge for even the best instruments. With rise times exceeding 50 ps on pulse edges, these data formats are now reaching transmission speeds of 4.0 to 8.5 Gb/s. Transients and signal harmonics only add to the testing difficulty. Fortunately, the Infiniuum 80000 series of real-time oscilloscopes from Agilent Technologies (Palo Alto, CA) provides bandwidths of 8, 10, 12, or 13 GHz—with a blazingly fast sampling rate of 40 GSamples/s—to capture and display even the briefest transient event occurring in these data transmissions.

The Infiniuum 80000 series scopes (see figure) are not limited to measurements with 50-Ω test fixtures. The series' fastest member, the model DSO81304A, tracks a bandwidth of 13 GHz, allowing it to test the highest-speed data signals. Its 40-GSample/s sampling rate can capture even the most fleeting intermittent events. The standard acquisition memory for all of the scopes in the series is 0.5 Mpoints on two channels and 0.25 Mpoints on four channels. The optional acquisition memory is 2 Mpoints on two channels and 1 Mpoint on four channels. At a sampling rate of 4 GSamples/s, this option also enables 64 Mpoints on two channels. At 2 GSamples/s or less, it provides as much as 32 Mpoints on four channels. Hence, the 13-GHz scope has as much as 2 Mpoints MegaZoom memory at the 40-GSample/s sample rate. At 4 GSamples/s, it has 64 Mpoints MegaZoom memory.

On two channels, the maximum sample rate for the DSO81304A oscilloscope is 40 GSamples/s with a 13-GHz real-time enhanced bandwidth or 12-GHz real-time bandwidth. At an equivalent-time bandwidth of 13 GHz, the maximum sample rate provides 500-fs point spacing on four channels. The maximum sample rate for 8-GHz real-time bandwidth on four channels is 20 GSamples/s.

Trigger jitter is less than 500 fs root mean square (RMS). In addition, the oscilloscope offers a jitter-analysis option that supports simple and straightforward jitter measurements. Electronic attenuators in the Infiniuum 80000 scopes eliminate the reliability and electrostatic-discharge (ESD) concerns that are associated with mechanical attenuator relays.

It also stands out for its low vertical noise floor and jitter measurement floor. The oscilloscope flaunts a jitter-analysis option that is both easy to use and understand. The DSO81304A scope is bundled with a high-bandwidth active probing system—the InfiniiMax II series, which combines probe amplifiers and probe heads. Probe amplifiers are available with 10- and 13-GHz bandwidths while probe heads are available with capacitances as low as 0.21 pF for differential measurements and as low as 0.35 pF for single-ended measurements. Agilent Technologies, Inc., 395 Page Mill Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94306; (877) 424-4536, FAX: (650) 752-5300, Internet: www.agilent.com.

About the Author

Nancy Friedrich | Editor-in-Chief

Nancy Friedrich began her career in technical publishing in 1998. After a stint with sister publication Electronic Design as Chief Copy Editor, Nancy worked as Managing Editor of Embedded Systems Development. She then became a Technology Editor at Wireless Systems Design, an offshoot of Microwaves & RF. Nancy has called the microwave space “home” since 2005.

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