Tektronix Simplifies Oscilloscope Programming, Analysis Tasks

7/11/2003 - Tektronix, Inc. (NYSE: TEK), the world's leading manufacturer of oscilloscopes, announced important new features to its OpenChoice oscilloscope software that simplifies programming and analysis tasks for Tektronix oscilloscope end-users and application developers alike.

Technical professionals who use oscilloscopes today face challenges that range from managing volumes of acquired data to creating automated measurement packages for commercial sale. Increasingly, oscilloscopes are used in engineering networks that share design information and test results. Users accustomed to using the familiar Windows“ operating systems and interfaces in both their instruments and their computers, need intuitive solutions that offer a high level of connectivity between the oscilloscope and the PC.

Tektronix' additions to its OpenChoice feature set for oscilloscopes include industry-standard Interchangeable Virtual Instrument (IVI) drivers that bring a uniform programming environment to every model in the TDS5000, TDS6000, and TDS7000 Series as well as simplified interaction with applications such as National Instruments LabVIEW, MATLAB, and others. A new software development kit (SDK) speeds developers' work as they create application-specific measurement routines for in-house use or commercial distribution. Added utilities include a Windows-based report generator that automatically creates customized reports.

"To accelerate their engineering processes and meet tough competitive deadlines, our customers need to use their oscilloscopes as open tools that communicate readily with their existing programming and data management environments," said Colin Shepard, Vice President, Oscilloscope Products, Tektronix, Inc. "Most modern laboratory oscilloscopes have Windows interfaces but only Tektronix oscilloscopes, with their OpenChoice architecture, can offer industry-standard interfaces and easy communication between the instruments' Windows environments, external Windows applications, and the users' measurement data, making the oscilloscope a full partner in the design and manufacturing process."

Industry Standards, Open Platforms Add Up To Productivity
The entire OpenChoice feature set directly leverages the open Windows operating system that is at the heart of every TDS5000, TDS6000, and TDS7000 instrument. In each of these series, the oscilloscope and its Windows platform work together as one. For example, oscilloscope waveform displays can run alongside Windows applications, both visible on the oscilloscope screen at the same time. Network and peripherals connectivity, data interchange formats, and the user interfaces are all innate in the familiar Windows platform.

OpenChoice includes new IVI drivers that were developed with the VIVID development toolset from Vektrex Electronic Systems, Inc. to ensure full compliance with the IVI standards. The drivers provide a consistent programming interface across all of the open Windows TDS models, and will enable faster and easier oscilloscope programming in C++, Visual BASIC, LabVIEW, MATLAB, and more.

Also included with the latest enhancements to OpenChoice is a software development kit (SDK) that offers a full set of driver documentation, source code examples, installation programs, application articles, links, and more. Provided on a single CD-ROM, the SDK gives the programmer all the resources and information needed to begin building applications using the TDS oscilloscopes and software entities such as ActiveX, IVI and PnP drivers, etc.

The new OpenChoice utilities are exemplified by the automated report generator, which provides an easy-to-use template builder that allows customization of the report format. Once the format is defined (using simple click-and-drag layout techniques) the tool automatically fills in data, including measurements and the screen image if desired, from the oscilloscope. The report generator was written using the new IVI drivers described earlier.

Joining the TDS5000 Series of digital phosphor oscilloscopes (DPO) at the time of this introduction are two new models: the 4-channel TDS5034 and the 2-channel TDS5032. Both are cost-effective 350 MHz DPOs with long record length, and the same unprecedented performance and feature set of the other TDS5000 models. Both models include the full OpenChoice feature set.

About The TDS DPO Series Oscilloscopes
Tektronix' TDS DPOs (digital phosphor oscilloscopes) include the TDS5000 family as well as the TDS3000B and TDS7000 Series. As DPOs, these oscilloscopes offer the unique feature of Digital Phosphor technology enabling the user the power to acquire the fastest waveforms quickly - up to 400,000 wfms/s -- and with concise clarity. The continuum of models includes a Communication Signal Analyzer (CSA7000 Series) that spans the bandwidth range of 100 MHz to 4 GHz, with sample rates up to 20 GS/s.

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' Web address is www.tektronix.com.

Tektronix is a registered trademark of Tektronix, Inc.

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