Tektronix has released new firmware for the 5 Series and 6 Series mixed signal oscilloscopes (MSO), providing a new analysis tool called Spectrum View. A free upgrade, Spectrum View shows both time and frequency analysis on the big, high-resolution displays of the 5 and 6 Series MSOs. This mixed domain capability can be added to any 5 or 6 Series MSO by installing the firmware; all new instruments will have this functionality installed.

The Tektronix MDO4000C mixed domain oscilloscope has been the only oscilloscope offering synchronized time and frequency domain analysis with independent control over waveform and spectrum views. It accomplishes this by incorporating a full spectrum analyzer with its own dedicated input channel.

To provide the capability for RF analysis in the 5 and 6 Series MSOs, Tektronix has taken a different approach that does not require a separate input channel, yet offers similar capabilities. The new firmware uses patented technology already in the scopes to enable the hardware to simultaneously generate the analog waveform and spectral views, with independent controls in each domain.

With the spectrum view, any analog signal may be viewed as a time domain waveform, a frequency domain spectrum or both simultaneously. The spectrum can be controlled using the familiar center frequency, span and resolution bandwidth, without affecting the time scale in the waveform view. The opposite is also true; changes to the horizontal time scale do not affect the spectrum view. Independent controls make it easy to correlate frequency domain activity with time domain phenomena.

Both the 5 and 6 Series MSOs have FlexChannel inputs, meaning meaning each input may be used as a single analog channel or eight digital channels and any input can be used to look at analog waveforms, frequency spectra or digital waveforms. The digital channels are enabled by simply attaching a TLP058 logic probe to any input.