An oscilloscope is an essential instrument for making power integrity (PI) measurements, but to apply it effectively, you’ll need situational awareness. Be aware of the oscilloscope features, the signal features, and potential measurement artifacts that could impede your view of the real signal. Key scope features include the bandwidth, sample rate, time base, vertical scale, input impedance, channel bandwidth, and probe bandwidth.
Demonstrations of measurements on sample microcontroller boards illustrate six tips that you can apply to your own PI debug tasks. In addition to an oscilloscope, you will need high-performance probes and the ability to choose the optimum versions—including 10x passive, power-rail, near-field, current, and differential probes—for your application.