Cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) have traditionally dictated the minimum size of a high-performance oscilloscope. LeCroy Corp. (Chestnut Ridge, NY) broke with tradition several years ago with their WaveSurfer line of general-purpose oscilloscopes based on a bright 10.4-in. liquid-crystal-display (LCD) screen that resulted in only 6 in. of instrument/screen depth. The company has gone one step further by bringing that instrument form factor to high-performance measurements, in its new line of WaveRunner digital oscilloscopes with interleaved sample rates to 10 GSamples/s and measurement bandwidths to 600 MHz.
The new WaveRunner oscilloscopes (see figure) include the 600-MHz WaveRunner 64Xi, 600-MHz WaveRunner 62Xi, and 400-MHz WaveRunner 44Xi. The WaveRunner 64Xi and 44Xi are four-channel models while the WaveRunner 62Xi is a two-channel instrument; each offers 2 MPoints/ channel of standard waveform memory, with 4 MPoints/channel of waveform capture in interleaved sampling mode and options for as much as 12 MPoints/channel (24 MPoints/channel interleaved) of waveform memory.
All three boast the 10.4-in. color LCD touch-screen display with simultaneous sampling to 5 GSamples/s on all channels, and interleaved sampling rates to 10 GSamples/s (with half the channel counts). The high sample rates (10 or more oversampling for the measurement bandwidths) result in significantly better signal fidelity for fast edges or high-frequency signals, and ensure accurate timing measurements when using all channels. The large waveform memory equates to a capture time of 400 microseconds at the full sampling rate for 2 Mpoints/channel of capture memory.
The digital oscilloscopes are loaded with built-in measurement functions, including extensive waveform math. The instruments feature flexible triggering functions, including full-bandwidth versions of the firm's SMART trigger technology. Triggers are provided for runt, slew rate, video, and AC testing.
The LCD touch screen is bright and sharp, helping to eliminate measurement ambiguities. But for engineers who prefer an analog look, the WaveRunner Xi scopes are equipped with the WaveStream Fast Viewing Mode which arms the LCD with brightness-graded intensity and an extended decay time similar to the action of phosphor on an analog screen. This viewing mode operates to the full sampling rate with an update rate as fast as 8000 waveforms/s. The LCD touch screen includes a builtin stylus as well as two dedicated cursor knobs to simplify the user interface.
The oscilloscopes feature a user interface that can select from one of nine different languages. The scopes, which run under the Windows XP operating system, need not be rebooted to change languages.
Each scope has a front-mounted USB port, an Ethernet port, and RS-232C interface. A port is also provided for an external SVGA monitor. Each scope is shipped with a set of 50-MHz, divide-by-10, high-impedance passive probes (one per channel). P&A: $7,500 and up. LeCroy Corp., 700 Chestnut Ridge Rd., Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977-6499; (800) 553-2769, (845) 425-2000, FAX: (825) 425-8967, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Internet: www.lecroy.com.