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32 GHz True Analog BandwidthOscilloscope

June 13, 2010
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The Agilent Infiniium 90000 X-Series is a real time oscilloscope with 32 GHz of true analog bandwidth, and features the industry's lowest noise floor, lowest jitter measurement floor and flattest frequency response. This combination of performance results in a real time oscilloscope with industry leading accuracy. In addition, the 90000 X-Series comes with a complete lineup of probes and accessories rated to 30 GHz (see Figure 1) and a comprehensive set of measurement specific software. The complete combination of hardware performance, probing and software allows any designer and debugger to complete their tasks faster and to specify tighter specifications with their devices, ultimately leading to greater profitability for their company.


Figure 1 The industry's first 30 GHz probing system.

The Infiniium 90000 X-Series is the first Agilent equipment to take advantage of a new transistor technology developed internally by Agilent using Indium Phosphide (InP) double hetero-junction bipolar transistor (DHBT) technology. The InP technology extends the capabilities of well established InGaP/GaAs HBT IC technology, enabling oscilloscope performance up to 32 GHz without sacrificing the reliability and manufacturability associated with GaAs bipolar devices. The InP-based process provides cut-off frequency to 200 GHz. While InP is rarely mass produced as it is difficult to achieve excellent economies of scale, it is ideal for test and measurement equipment, which need thousands of chips as opposed to millions.

Figure 2 Front-end module for Infiniium 90000 X-Series.

In addition to the InP-based process, the company achieved the unprecedented performance using proprietary advanced thick film microcircuit processes and design techniques, known internally as Quick Film 3D Microcircuits. Unlike traditional thick film dielectrics, the Quick Film dielectrics are characterized by very good broadband electrical properties that are stable through microwave frequencies. These microcircuits are used to package the 90000 X-Series and InfiniiMax III InP chipsets and optimize their outstanding pulse fidelity, low jitter and flat broadband response. Using the quick film technology, Agilent has developed its new multi chip module (MCM). This MCM houses five newly developed InP-based chips (see Figure 2) including a new pre-amplifier (rated to the full 32 GHz) and the fastest edge trigger at > 20 GHz. A "lid" is then placed on the MCM to shield the circuit and ensure high signal integrity.

Comparing the 90000 X-Series oscilloscope with its predecessor, the 90000A Series oscilloscope, the 90000 X-Series features significantly lower noise, ½ the jitter measurement floor, and two and ½ times the true analog bandwidth. The 90000 X-Series features a pre-amplifier bandwidth of 32 GHz, resulting in true analog bandwidth performance to the full 32 GHz. This compares to other products that only achieve 16 GHz of pre-amplifier performance, meaning the 90000 X-Series has double the analog performance, avoiding techniques such as digital signal processing (DSP) boosting or frequency interleaving to achieve > 16 GHz bandwidth. While these techniques allow for higher bandwidth, they cause tradeoffs that designers may not want. DSP boosting causes nearly a doubling of oscilloscope noise density. Frequency interleaving can cause significant harmonic distortion and increasing of noise density over the analog hardware performance. The 90000 X-Series, with its true analog bandwidth to 32 GHz, results in significantly less noise and none of the tradeoffs associated with other technologies used to increase bandwitdth.

In addition to the low noise, the 90000 X-Series has a sample clock jitter that is less than 150 fs, which combined with its low noise floor, means a jitter measurement floor (the actual jitter measured) of less than 150 fs. In comparing similar bandwidths from other comparable oscilloscopes, this is as much as 1/10th the jitter measurement floor.

In addition to being targeted at fast serial busses, the 90000 X-Series is also targeted at satellite and radar communications. The bandwidth allows one to directly digitize signals in the L-, S-, C-, X-, Ku-, Ka-, K- and low Q-band. This means the ability to directly digitize signals from 1 to 32 GHz, avoiding the need to down convert and add unnecessary noise. The 90000 X-Series will also come standard with "tune and zoom" software, allowing for locking on a carrier frequency and re-sampling the interesting content around the frequency of interest. This provides industry leading speed on its FFTs. The low noise down, which can be tuned to 7 mV/div in hardware and 1 mV/div through software expansion, provides details on signals at high frequencies that previously would be buried in oscilloscope noise. The 90000 X-Series can also be combined with Agilent's 89600 Vector Signal Analyzer software, making it possible to easily look at constellation diagrams and diagnose complex modulation. The 90000 X-Series provides segmented memory, which is ideal for radar applications, enabling it to only capture the needed signal at a very fast capture rate. In segmented mode, the 90000 X-Series can provide up to 4 Gpts of deep memory. Finally, the 90000 X-Series provides higher effective bits at higher frequencies (currently > 6 effective bits at > 15 GHz) than any other real time oscilloscope.

The 90000 X-Series is the fastest real time oscilloscope available today. Its world class hardware makes it possible to see details that are buried in other oscilloscope's noise. The scope is ideal for many technologies including high speed serial busses, high end physics, satellite and radar communications. The performance reduces oscilloscope noise caused by tradeoffs found in other oscilloscopes.

Agilent Technologies Inc.,
Santa Clara, CA
(800) 829-4444, www.agilent.com.
RS No. 303

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