Tektronix Expands Portfolio to Give Digital Designers More Choices For Signal Integrity Measurements

10/10/2002 - Tektronix, the world's leading maker of oscilloscopes, announced a new set of signal integrity measurement and analysis tools for digital engineers developing fast serial-bus-based systems and computing, networking, and communications devices.

Emerging technologies such as PCI Express, USB2, and many others are defined by their high data rates and by the engineering challenge of capturing and analyzing the signal integrity of the system elements and components. Importantly, these technologies are migrating into mid-market products, whose developers need measurement tools with uncompromised performance and signal fidelity from probing, to acquisition, and analysis. Three new products, the TDS6404 digital storage oscilloscope (DSO), and the P7225 and P6241 active probes, deliver exceptional signal fidelity and performance in their class. In addition, the new OpenChoiceTM software toolset, standard with Tektronix' open Windows® oscilloscopes, supports automation, analysis, and networking by integrating a broad selection of industry-standard drivers for third-party software or customized programming.

"Our digital design customers have asked us for tools that can efficiently acquire accurate signal integrity data and turn it into useful information to guide their designs," said Colin Shepard, Vice President and General Manager, Oscilloscope Products, Tektronix, Inc. "With the simultaneous introduction of these new probes, a new oscilloscope, and powerful integrated software tools, Tektronix now offers the industry's broadest range of signal integrity solutions providing customers with the exact combination of performance, features, and pricing for their particular application."

New Probes Deliver Superior Signal Fidelity, Expand Tektronix Leadership
With the introduction of the P7225 and P6241, Tektronix continues its probing leadership by providing the greatest breadth and highest fidelity in the industry. The new P7225 active probe's extraordinarily low capacitance, 0.8 picofarads (pF) or less, minimizes the impact of probing on the device under test (higher capacitance tends to "load" the signal being probed, potentially distorting it). The P7225's 2.5 Gigahertz (GHz) bandwidth is a perfect match for oscilloscopes such as the TDS7254 and the CSA7154, since it pairs with the oscilloscope to deliver a true system bandwidth of 2.5 GHz. In addition, the probe has +4 volt dynamic range to meet the needs of a wide range of logic device families. The P7225's bandwidth, low capacitance, dynamic range, and other attributes add up to excellent signal fidelity, providing reliable acquisition data for the signal integrity measurement and analysis process.

The P6241 active probe offers 4 GHz bandwidth and is equipped with the TekProbe II interface, providing compatibility with proven TDS models such as the TDS694C and TDS794D. The P6241's input capacitance is a mere 0.5 pF, again ensuring minimal impact on the signal. Like the P7225, the P6241 has +4-volt dynamic range. Its broad bandwidth supports the full system bandwidth of both the TDS694C and TDS794D oscilloscopes.

TDS6404 Brings Top Sample Rates to Mid-Range Applications
Many digital design projects do not require the industry leading 6 GHz bandwidth of Tektronix' TDS6604. Yet oscilloscope users characterizing signal integrity have asked for tools with a high sample rate, to capture signal details such as transients and fast rise times. The new TDS6404 is a four-channel DSO that gives engineers 4 GHz bandwidth and a full 20 GS/s sample rate on two channels simultaneously. The TDS6404's rise time, only 95 picoseconds (ps), provides excellent signal fidelity when paired with an appropriate high-bandwidth probe. Except for its bandwidth, the TDS6404 shares the full range of TDS6604 attributes and options, such as parametric measurements, enhanced spectral analysis, jitter and timing analysis, serial pattern trigger and mask testing with clock recovery.

OpenChoice Software Environment Opens The Door To Automation, Analysis
OpenChoice software environment is now a standard element of all Tektronix' open Windows oscilloscopes. OpenChoice is unique in the oscilloscope market, in that commonly available PC applications can be installed within the instrument and can interact with the measurement subsystems. Development tools can reside within the instrument platform. Consequently it is possible to use VisualBasic, for example, to write a custom toolbar for Excel, then use the tool bar to automate setups and store acquisition results in the spreadsheet. This information is exchanged via the oscilloscope's internal PCI bus, which delivers dramatically higher throughput than the more common GPIB path. Finally, PC and Unix networking is as simple as connecting an ordinary PC.

OpenChoice is made possible by the open Windows oscilloscope architecture, a feature available only on Tektronix instruments. Independent microprocessors run the measurement and control processes, respectively, ensuring that neither impedes the other. With OpenChoice comes a broad selection of industry-standard drivers and easy connectivity to widely used third-party applications such as National Instruments' LabView. Application programming interfaces (APIs) such as C and C++, LabWindows, ActiveX, PNP/IVI, and VISA can also be used.

With OpenChoice, users can install Tektronix' application-focused software and transform the oscilloscope into a specialized analysis tool. This ever-expanding software portfolio provides users with capability to perform functions, such as jitter and timing analysis, communications standards testing, optical storage measurements, power measurements and much more. This expansion capability gives customers a cost-effective method to increase an existing instrument's utility.

About Tektronix
Tektronix, Inc. is a test, measurement, and monitoring company providing measurement solutions to the communications, computer, and semiconductor industries worldwide. With more than 55 years of experience, Tektronix enables its customers to design, build, deploy, and manage next-generation global communications networks and advanced technologies. Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Tektronix has operations in more than 20 countries worldwide.

Tektronix is a registered trademark of Tektronix, Inc.

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