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Use segmented memory to improve DAQ

Posted: 18 Feb 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:data acquisition? digital oscilloscopes? FastFrame Segmented Memory?

High-speed digital technologies have opened up new technological possibilities and enabled widespread innovation. However, they have also created problems for design engineers who must characterize and troubleshoot them.

Chief among these problems are infrequent or intermittent events such as laser pulses or metastability. Difficult to identify and characterize, these events require test and measurement equipment that offer both high sample rate and extended data capture. This places extreme demands on oscilloscope performance, which has historically necessitated a compromise between resolution and capture length. All oscilloscopes have a finite amount of memory depth; using higher sample rates fills the instrument?s memory more rapidly and decreases the time window of DAQ. Conversely, capturing data over long periods of time has come at the expense of horizontal resolution (sample rate). Given the high sample rates and bandwidths of today?s oscilloscopes, the critical issue is now optimizing the quality of information captured by the instrument. This includes capturing multiple events at a sufficiently high horizontal resolution for effective analysis, and optimizing the use of memory by storing and displaying only the necessary data.

Modern oscilloscopes such as those from Tektronix feature FastFrame Segmented Memory, which removes the need for compromise by improving both the efficiency of memory usage and quality of DAQ.

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