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Tektronix employs IBM's 9HP SiGe process for 70GHz scopes

Posted: 01 Jul 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Tektronix? IBM? oscilloscopes? 9HP SiGe? serial data?

Tektronix recently revealed that their next generation high performance real-time oscilloscopes will incorporate IBM's latest 9HP silicon-germanium (SiGe) chip-making process. This process, along with other advances such as patent pending Asynchronous Time Interleaving, will create oscilloscopes with bandwidth capability of 70GHz and improvements in signal fidelity.

"By extending our long-standing relationship with technology leader IBM, Tektronix is continuing to push the envelope on what can be achieved in high-fidelity, High-Speed Data Acquisition systems. Early adoption of 9HP has allowed our engineers to explore innovative architectures and performance thresholds once thought unattainable," said Kevin Ilcisin, chief technology officer, Tektronix.

Operating at speeds up to 350GHz, 9HP is the first SiGe technology in the industry featuring the density of 90nm BiCMOS and delivers higher performance, lower power and higher levels of integration than current 180nm or 130nm SiGe offerings.

"The advanced 9HP SiGe BiCMOS technology provides the faster switching speeds, high integration levels, and low noise our next generation of performance instrumentation requires to meet customer requirements," added Ilcisin.

The next generation of performance oscilloscopes from Tektronix is due for availability in 2014. With real-time bandwidth of 70GHz, and the potential for more in future iterations, the new Oscilloscope platform will deliver the performance and signal fidelity needed for applications such as 400Gbit/s and 1Tbps optical communications and fourth generation serial data communications.

In addition to leveraging the advances made possible by 9HP, Tektronix' forthcoming oscilloscopes will benefit from the use of Asynchronous Time Interleaving technology to improve signal-to-noise ratio beyond the frequency interleaving approach in use by some vendors today. In traditional frequency interleaving, each analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) in the signal acquisition system only sees part of the input spectrum. With Asynchronous Time Interleaving, all ADCs see the full spectrum with full signal path symmetry. This offers the performance gains available from interleaved architectures but without the same impact to signal fidelity.

-Jean-Pierre Joosting
??EE Times

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