The new four-channel PicoScope 6404 PC Oscilloscope from Pico Technology has an analog bandwidth of 500 MHz. This is matched by a real–time sampling rate of 5 GS/s, which guarantees accurate representation of signals up to the full bandwidth. The scope also has an ultra–deep 1 gigasample buffer memory that allows capture and analysis of complex waveforms, even when sampling at full speed.

As well as the headline specifications, the scope offers a built–in function generator, arbitrary waveform generator, mask limit testing, switchable bandwidth limiting on each channel, and switchable 1 megohm and 50 ohm inputs. This is in addition to the spectrum analysis, advanced triggering and serial decoding that are standard features of Pico PC Oscilloscopes.

The scope connects to any Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 computer with a USB 2.0 port. It can be used with a PC to save workbench space, or connected to a laptop to create a portable instrument that’s suitable for field servicing and on-site demonstrations. The high sampling rate and bandwidth make this scope applicable for analog and digital circuit designers, test engineers and installers. If users want to write their own application to control the scope or use it as a digitizer, Pico provides a software development kit, including example code, free of charge.

Like all the company’s PC Oscilloscopes, the PicoScope 6404 is said to represent good value for money. “It includes valuable features such as segmented memory, serial decoding and advanced digital triggers at no extra cost,” explained Managing Director Alan Tong. “Many of our competitors sell these as optional extras. Their deep memory upgrades, for example, often cost more than one of our scopes.”