Scopes Capture 62-GHz Real-Time Bandwidth

May 17, 2012
This line of high-speed, real-time oscilloscopes includes models capable of capturing two 62-GHz analog channels or four 33-GHz analog channels with low noise and jitter.

Oscilloscope measurement capability has taken a giant leap forward with the introduction of the 90000X-Series oscilloscopes from Agilent Technologies. Offering models with as much as 63-GHz analog bandwidth per channel for two channels and 33-GHz analog bandwidth per channel for four channels, these instruments sample at rates to 160 GSamples/s and reach a jitter measurement floor of 75 fs.

The Agilent 90000 Q-Series oscilloscope models (Fig. 1) include instruments with analog channel bandwidths from 20 GHz to almost 63 GHz (see table). Sampling rates range from 80 to 160 GSamples/s across two channels to 80 GSamples/s across four channels. In addition, these oscilloscopes can more accurately study high-speed digital signals.

The 90000 Q-Series models achieve their performance with the help of several proprietary technologies, including a set of integrated circuits (ICs) in the oscilloscopes based on an in-house indium-phosphide (InP) semiconductor process. These InP chips include a probe amplifier, an analog-to-digital-converter (ADC) amplifier, an input preamplifier, and a sampling demultiplexer.

The company's Quick Film three-dimensional (3D) packaging, which leverages the cooling power and high-frequency performance of precision ceramic substrates, protects the ICs while achieving exceptional signal integrity in the oscilloscopes. Agilent has dubbed its combination of InP chips, development of thin-film components, and circuit fabrication and packaging techniques "RealEdge Technology."

All of this measurement power is made easier to use, thanks to some new software programs. Those programs include the model N8900A InfiniiView application software, which runs on a personal computer (PC). It allows operators to view and analyze captured data on a PC, as well as to control measurements on the oscilloscope.

The InfiniiView software allows as many as eight waveforms to be viewed simultaneously. Operators can pan and zoom anywhere in a data record, and can control horizontal scope settings from 5 ps/div to 20 s/div and vertical scope settings from 100 V/div to 1000 V/div, with as much as 1000 V offset control.

The N8900A InfiniiView software does come with a price ($750 USD), although a free 14-day trial version is available. Also, the 90000 Q-Series oscilloscopes are supplied with the free model N2807A PrecisionProbe Advanced software, which helps to characterize and correct for the contributions of coaxial cables and test fixtures to 62 GHz (Fig. 2). P&A: $191,000 (92004Q) to $419,000 (96204Q); stock.

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About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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