Rohde & Schwarz Enters Global Scope Arena

July 16, 2010
Munich, Germany: Test and measurement specialist Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) chose the picturesque setting of Tegernsee in Southern Bavaria to announce its entry into the global oscilloscope market. Speaking at the event, R&S President and CEO Michael Vohrer ...

Munich, Germany: Test and measurement specialist Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) chose the picturesque setting of Tegernsee in Southern Bavaria to announce its entry into the global oscilloscope market. Speaking at the event, R&S President and CEO Michael Vohrer said, "Our customers expect us to offer a complete line of products, and that includes oscilloscopes. To meet this demand, we are introducing a total of six new products of which we are extremely proud" (see photo of Vohrer).

ACCORDING TO THE COMPANY, its new scopes have the highest signal-acquisition rate on the market, the first purely digital trigger system, and touchscreen operation for ease of use. R&S believes that the oscilloscope market has been stable for decades and is continuously growing. The company estimates the annual global market value for oscilloscopes to be approximately 1 billion.

Rohde & Schwarz is starting out with two new product families consisting of a total of six instruments. The first family is the R&S RTO range of oscilloscopes, designed to analyze one million waveforms/sec (see photo of scope). Conventional scopes capture signals at 0.5 percent of the acquisition cycle and spend most of their time storing, processing, and displaying data while any anomalies occurring in the meantime can go undetected. To address this issue, R&S has increased the acquisition time by a factor of 20, thereby raising it to 10 percent.

The company also has taken a new approach with the trigger system. Conventional analog trigger systems struggle with the time and amplitude offset between the analog trigger path and the digital signal-acquisition path. With the purely digital trigger architecture implemented in the new scopes, the trigger and the captured data share a common signal path and time base. The result is very low trigger jitter and exact assignment of the trigger to the signal. In addition, the digital trigger re-arms immediately after a trigger event.

The single-core analog-to-digital converter (ADC) in the R&S RTO scopes also helps to ensure accuracy. It operates at a rate of 10 GSamples/s, which results in minimal signal distortion and low inherent noise. The new oscilloscopes will initially be available in two- and fourchannel models with bandwidths of 1 and 2 GHz and a maximum sampling rate of 10 GSamples/s.

The second range of instruments, designated the R&S RTM universal oscilloscopes, are described as the first choice for everyday measurement tasks. With 500 MHz bandwidth and 5-GSample/s operation, these instruments can perform a range of functions including testing and debugging analog and digital circuits with low clock rates. Features like very low inherent noise and full bandwidtheven at maximum sensitivityensure high signal fidelity. The R&S RTM oscilloscopes provide color-coded control elements, flat menu structures, and an 8.4-in. XGA TFT color display.

R&S asserts that these scopes offer accurate signal display, good time resolution (even for long sequences), and tools for fast signal analysis and ease of use. The low-noise front ends and a low-noise ADC enable users to measure very small vertical resolutions. Maximum input sensitivity is 1 mV/div. without any bandwidth limitations or software-based zooming.

The analysis tools that support the evaluation of signals are easy to access. The QuickMeas function displays the key measurement values for a currently active signal on the waveform including positive and negative peak voltage, rise and fall time, and mean voltage. Measurement values are updated continuously. To aid troubleshooting, the RTM scopes offer zoom function, event markers, cursor-based measurement functions, Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) function, mask tests, and temperature colors.

R&S also is offering a range of active and passive probes with these instruments. The active probes have two new features. The micro button can be assigned a number of different functions to control the scope directly. In addition, the RTM scopes have ProbeMeter, a built-in voltmeter that enables DC voltage measurements. This tool is handy for quickly checking supply voltages or operating points, regardless of the channel settings on the base unit.

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