Relief has come to engineers working with very fast edges or long, complex high-speed signals. The WaveMaster model 8600A digital storage oscilloscope from LeCroy Corp. (Chestnut Ridge, NY) can capture signals up to a 6-GHz bandwidth with a 75-ps rise time. At the same time, it promises superb signal fidelity. The scope can perform many standard measurements up to 100 times faster than other oscilloscopes. It also provides users with the ability to create customized parameter measurements or waveform-math functions and insert them into the scope's user interface (see figure).
The instrument inherits its speed from LeCroy's X-Stream technology. This is an extremely fast streaming architecture for handling and analyzing data in a digital oscilloscope. The front end of the X-Stream architecture starts with silicon-germanium (SiGe) amplifiers and analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) that track the incoming signal. The signal is digitized at 10 GSamples/s on each of the four input channels. Data is then streamed to fast complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) memory chips that can accept the 10-GB/s data rate for up to 48 million points of acquisition.
Though the X-Stream architecture begins with hardware, much of its power and speed actually comes from its software algorithms. They enable the data packets and the enabling routines that perform measurements on those packets to simultaneously reside in the microprocessor cache. This eliminates the trade-offs between long record lengths and fast processing. Thanks to its SiGe trigger circuit, the WaveMaster 8600A also offers extremely low trigger jitter and maximum trigger sensitivity at high bandwidths. At 1 PPM, the scope's high-stability internal sample clock ensures precise timing measurements. Up to 1 Mpoint can be captured with the standard memory in four-channel mode.
The display has a high resolution of 800 × 600 pixels. It features a 20-percent larger viewing area for the clear display of signals. When coupled with the easy-to-use graphical-user interface (GUI), the front-panel controls allow the user to control the scope from the touchscreen, front panel, mouse, or a combination of these elements. LeCroy Corp., 700 Chestnut Ridge Rd., Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977-6499; (845) 425-2000, Internet: www.lecroy.com.