An oscilloscope may be the closest thing to a “universal” test instrument for most engineers. One is usually found on every testbench and design station, for checking both high-frequency analog and high-speed digital designs. But with electronic designs growing denser and more complex, traditional two- or four-channel oscilloscopes lack the firepower needed to test multiple-channel circuits and systems.
Fortunately, the designers at Tektronix have spent time looking and listening to what modern mixed-signal engineers need in terms of oscilloscope capability. The end result is an instrument family for today and tomorrow: the 5 Series mixed-signal oscilloscope (MSO) family, with as many as eight simultaneous measurement channels. Of course, having all of hose channels without top-level performance would be meaningless, and the 5 Series MSO instruments deliver with bandwidths as wide as 2 GHz, 12-b vertical resolution, and real-time sampling rates to 6.25 Gsamples/s.
The 5 Series MSO oscilloscopes are the culmination of some serious industrial as well as electronic design efforts. They are attention-grabbing and game-changing in both appearance and performance. In terms of appearance, perhaps the most noticeable features are the eight input ports and the large display screen. The eight input ports provide plenty of measurement flexibility—they can each be used for any variety of signals, including analog, digital, and power signals. The large screen is in strong contrast to a typical oscilloscope, where a screen might be about one-half of the front face, while all of the controls fill the rest of the instrument’s front face.