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32GHz oscilloscopes deliver low noise, jitter

Posted: 29 Apr 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:oscilloscope? probing system? analog? DSP?

Infiniium 90000 X-Series oscilloscope

Agilent Technologies is offering 10 models of its Infiniium 90000 X-Series that provide true analog bandwidth between 16GHz and 32GHz, along with extremely low noise floor of 2mV at 50mV/division (32GHz), oscilloscope noise floor of ~180 femtoseconds and memory of up to 2Gpts all of which the vendor maintains are well ahead of competitive offerings.

The instrument is more than just a high-performance, analog-centric box. It also includes sophisticated probes and probing systemwithout which the oscilloscope can't reach its potentialand a broad set of jitter, triggering, analysis, and display tools along with compliance-testing software and suites, and support for high-speed serial buses.

This analog bandwidth allows users to measure, for example, the fall time on a 13.5psec edge. Agilent says the all-analog front-end approach is superior to alternatives such as DSP boosting or digital bandwidth interleaving, which increase noise density, cause measurement inaccuracies, and causes non-flatness in frequency response). The vendor also claims that this unit has 46 percent less jitter at equal bandwidth than closest competitive units on the market.

A high-performance scope without commensurate probes is like a high-end, custom-crafted bicycle frame without wheels: nice, but it won't get you far. The 30GHz probing system includes connectors, cables, both zero-insertion-force and solderable probe heads, probe tips, adapters for various impedances. Since calibration is critical at these bandwidths and accuracies, the system includes AC calibration via a precision probe (claimed to be an industry first), which encompasses the entire probing system including the probe tips, and provides individual S-parameter files for every probe amplifier.

Since many of the measurements made with such an oscilloscope involve specific tests and masks as well as more-general investigation, Agilent offers over 40 software tools and packages for jitter analysis, clock recovery, basic- and advanced-signal de-embedding, and protocol analysis supporting PCI, I?C/SPI, CAN/Flexray, USB, PCIe, SATA/SAS, MIPI D-PHY, among others.

Key to the oscilloscope is a front-end set of five proprietary indium phosphide (InP) ASICs, optimized for RF and low noise, and engineered and fabricated internally by Agilent. These ASICs comprise gold-plated coax to ensure shielding, 32GHz preamplifiers, an edge-trigger chip operating at higher than 20GHz, and a 32GHz sampler.

The DSOX91604A model, with four channels, 16GHz bandwidth, 80/40GSps sample rate (two-/four-channel), and 2Gpts memory is $131,000. The high-end DSAX93204A 32/16GHz unit, with 80/40GSps sample rate (two-/four-channel) and 2Gpts memory, is $286,000. Probe systems range from $14,400 (16GHz probe amp) to $29,000 (30GHz). Shipments of the Infiniium 90000 X-series begin in July; the unit is being demonstrated now.

- Bill Schweber
Planet Analog

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