Rohde & Schwarz Rolls Out 8-Channel, 4.5 M Acquisition/s Oscilloscope
With more channels than its predecessor, the MXO 5 series gives new insight into your circuit’s performance.
In a bid to add more versatility to advanced measurement and characterization, Rohde and Schwarz have today announced the availability of its MXO 5 series of oscilloscopes. The new release builds off of the previously released MXO 4 series and adds new functionality and performance benefits that make it both a powerful and unique test tool for leading-edge designers.
The MXO 5 series offers high-performance specs with 8 analog channels, providing all-new capabilities when testing and debugging custom designs.
Amongst these new features, perhaps the most evident is the inclusion of 8 analog channels, providing designers with the ability to simultaneously monitor signals in complex devices. With continued innovation in fields such as electric vehicles (EVs) and power electronics, the additional channels coupled with the improved performance make the new scopes a worthy contender for bench space.
To find out more about the MXO 5 series, we sat down with Elizabeth McKenna, product manager at R&S, and Joseph Faulkner, R&S industry segment manager, to learn more about the new oscilloscope series, and will use their insight and the known specs to find out how designers can make best use of features in the MXO 5 series.
Modern Problems and Modern Solutions
In the race to make things faster and more integrated, engineers oftentimes must begin thinking about a testing strategy even before fabricating a prototype since complex systems demand equally complex test and measurement techniques. This is especially true in fields such as power electronics or smart grid development, where the presence of 3-phase AC can quickly consume 3 oscilloscope channels, leaving only one to use for testing.
The MXO 5 series’ 8 channels can be used for power sequencing test and measurement, where 8 power levels can be measured and characterized simultaneously. (Click on image to enlarge)
The MXO 5, however, doesn’t only have to be used in hyper-sophisticated systems. McKenna discussed who may see benefits from the new series of scopes. “The MXO 5, while it does fit really nicely in some specific applications, it’s still going to be a really great general-purpose product as well,” she said. “Any debugging needs measurements, math functions are going to be really popular, protocol analysis or any of that logic analysis. A lot of different things can fit into this [general-purpose] bucket, but we don’t want to forget about that Swiss Army knife kind of tool.”
So, while the MXO 5 members may be suited particularly well for some engineers, the specs afforded by the scope make it an option for everyone to consider.
The MXO 5 series is offered in both 4- and 8-channel configurations, with bandwidths from 100 MHz to 2 GHz. The scope updates at a rate greater than 4.5 million waveforms per second, with 12-bit resolution (18-bit in HD mode) and 500 Mpoints of memory standard (with extensions up to 1 Gpoints). Furthermore, the scope also reports high spectral analysis performance, with up to 45,000 FFT/s and four simultaneous spectra.
It's this efficiency in the frequency domain that helps make the MXO 4 and MXO 5 series a great general-purpose tool. When referencing the performance of the legacy MXO 4, Faulkner said, “The cool thing about the MXO 4 is, because of how powerful the FFT spectrum analysis option is, it really is kind of a jack-of-all-trades instrument.”
The frequency-domain update rate allows designers to see in near-real-time the effect of signals in the frequency domain, simplifying EMI and other testing strategies. (Click on image to enlarge)
The performance boost of the MXO 5 series can be attributed to the MXO-EP ASICs included onboard the scopes. Compared to the FPGAs that are typically onboard some scopes, McKenna says they really like the performance they can get using a custom ASIC.
“A lot of our lower-end scopes use the general FPGA, but when you go up to higher performance, starting with our MXO 4 series scope, the ASIC lets you incorporate additional custom features not possible with an FPGA.”
The MXO 5 series is available now from Rohde and Schwarz and distribution partners. In addition, Rohde and Schwarz will be demoing the new scopes at several events in the coming months.
Faster Test and Measurement
The speed boost of the MXO 5 series not only makes the scope faster but also increases the speed at which designers can test and debug custom devices. Eight channels combined with more memory and spectrum analysis make the scope a high-performance tool, while the ASIC’s digital triggering allows designers to isolate even the smallest glitches in their systems.
This is always the goal of a test and measurement group according to McKenna.
“It allows the user to be able to detect and catch signal faults or anomalies. So rare errors, glitches, any of that kind of stuff, quicker, faster, you don't have to sit around waiting for the glitch to occur. You can see it very quickly and be able to increase your confidence in your measurements.”
So, for designers needing a precision scope with the ability to monitor more signals simultaneously, the MXO 5 series offers a high-performance option to gain more insight into custom designs.
All image used courtesy of Rohde and Schwarz