There has been conjecture over the years as to if and when Rohde & Schwarz would enter the oscilloscope market. The long awaited answer came on Monday 28 June when the company launched two new product families of oscilloscopes onto the global market. They will be marketed under the banner – the Scope of the Art – and signal Rohde & Schwarz’ intention to make significant inroads into a market that the company has identified as having a global volume of around $1 B.

With the final piece of the company’s test and measurement portfolio in place, Roland Steffen, head of the R&S test and measurement division, focused on the task ahead. During the product launch he said, “Of course we have to convince customers that we are the right partners to work with. We have expertise in making our own analog and digital circuits. We have made test and measurement equipment for over 75 years and for oscilloscopes we can leverage a lot of our existing development skills, production expertise and experience of using oscilloscopes in-house.”

He promised, “Our goal is to become number three in the market.”

The man charged with overseeing and developing the Rohde & Schwarz oscillators capable of achieving this goal, Josef Wolf, head of spectrum and network analyzers, EMC tests and oscilloscopes subdivision, commented, “The general intention was not to build just another scope with a couple of additional software features. We had to come up with products that offer a real differential, provide significant new features and add value.”

The result is the RTO family aimed at the high-performance sector and the RTM range designed for universal applications. These new introductions supplement the basic range of oscilloscopes that Rohde & Schwarz has marketed under the Hameg brand since it acquired the company five years ago.

The RTO oscilloscopes will initially be available in two and four channel models with bandwidths of 1 and 2 GHz. The single-core A/D converter operates at a rate of 10 Gsample per second, helping to ensure high accuracy. The range also features the first digital trigger system to be implemented in an oscilloscope. The trigger and the captured data share a common signal path and a common time base and the result is exceptionally low trigger jitter and exact assignment of the trigger to the signal.

To address the issue that conventional oscilloscopes capture signals at only 0.5 percent of the acquisition cycle Rohde & Schwarz developed a special CMOS ASIC, in 90 nm technology, that achieves real time processing of the digital measurement values, thus increasing the acquisition time by a factor of 20, raising it to 10 percent. As a result, the new scopes can analyze one million waveforms per second.

Usability is also a key factor, with the RTO oscilloscopes featuring a 10.4 inch touch-screen with semitransparent dialog boxes, movable measurement windows, configurable toolbar, and preview icons with live waveforms.

The RTM universal oscilloscopes are designed for everyday measurement tasks, have a bandwidth of 500 MHz, offer 5 Gsample per second and have a memory depth of up to 8 Msample. Features such as very low inherent noise and full bandwidth even at maximum sensitivity ensure high signal fidelity and reliable results.

With an 8.4 inch XGA TFT color display the range features color-coded control elements and flat menu structures. The extremely low-noise front-ends and a low-noise A/D converter enable users to precisely measure even the smallest vertical resolutions.