Microwave Journal

Tektronix real-time oscilloscopes to achieve 70 GHz performance

March 19, 2013

Tektronix Inc. announced that lab testing has shown that its next generation performance oscilloscopes - due for availability in 2014 - will deliver real-time bandwidth of 70 GHz, with significant upside potential. The new oscilloscope platform will deliver the performance and signal fidelity needed for applications such as 400 Gbps and 1 Tbps optical communications and fourth generation serial data communications. Tektronix also announced an investment program that will give customers a cost-effective migration path to the new platform.

The extraordinary gain in bandwidth performance, with improved signal fidelity, is due in part to the development by Tektronix engineers of a patent pending signal processing architecture called Asynchronous Time Interleaving. The new real-time oscilloscope platform will also include a number of other enhancements and refinements to improve overall performance and measurement precision.

"With these latest innovations, Tektronix is continuing to push the envelope on what can be achieved in high-fidelity, high-speed data acquisition systems," said Kevin Ilcisin, chief technology officer, Tektronix. "The development of the industry's first production-ready Asynchronous Time Interleaving architecture is a significant breakthrough that will improve signal-to-noise ratio beyond the frequency interleaving approach used by competing oscilloscope vendors."

The limitation of frequency interleaving approaches lies in how the various frequency ranges are added together to reconstruct the final waveform, a step which compromises noise performance. In traditional frequency interleaving, each analog-to-digital converter (ADC) in the signal acquisition system only sees part of the input spectrum. With Tektronix' new Asynchronous Time Interleaving technology, all ADCs see the full spectrum with full signal path symmetry. This offers the performance gains available from interleaved architectures while preserving signal fidelity.

Investment Protection

Over the past decade, Tektronix has consistently anticipated the proper levels of bandwidth support for the leading serial standards, and is an active participant in such bodies as the IEEE Society, PCI-SIG, SATA-IO and USB-IF. The Tektronix Performance Oscilloscope Investment Protection Program provides customers with a cost-effective migration path to higher-performance oscilloscopes as their needs evolve. If interested, customers are urged to contact their Tektronix Account Manager to discuss future migration plans.