Power Electronics

Mixed Domain 'Scope Includes Spectrum Analyzer

Tektronix, Inc. introduced the world's first mixed domain oscilloscope (MDO) that delivers the functionality of an oscilloscope and a spectrum analyzer in a single instrument. The new MDO4000 Mixed Domain Oscilloscope Series gives engineers the unique ability to capture time-correlated analog, digital and RF signals for a complete system view, helping them to rapidly solve complicated design issues.

More than 60 percent of oscilloscope users also use a spectrum analyzer to troubleshoot embedded system designs with integrated wireless functionality, requiring them to work in both the time and frequency domain. Traditionally, an engineer was either a mixed signal/digital engineer or an RF engineer. But with wireless becoming more commonplace, design engineers must often work in both domains. The MDO4000 Mixed Domain Oscilloscope Series is the first oscilloscope ever to integrate the functionality of a spectrum analyzer to provide a unique toolset which will save days or even weeks of debug time.

"We believe that the MDO4000 Series is the most revolutionary product to hit the oscilloscope market in the last 20 years, for the first time breaking down the barrier between time and frequency domains," said Roy Siegel, general manager, Oscilloscopes at Tektronix. "It fundamentally changes what's involved in debugging designs with RF where there is a need to correlate events in the frequency domain with the time domain phenomena that caused them. Just as the mixed signal oscilloscope (MSO) is the standard for embedded design test, we expect the MDO will become the new standard for designs that increasingly include RF capabilities."

"The complexity of debugging issues in modern wireless systems, combined with the lack of equipment designed for the task has forced us to spend many hours focusing on the test setup rather than the design issue itself," said Ward Ramsdell, Electrical Engineer and Owner of Prototype Engineering. "Based on our early usage of the MDO series, we believe that these oscilloscopes will help us to deliver our designs to our customer faster than ever before, and with more comprehensive verification of the system's functionality. This is because for the first time we're able to simultaneously visualize multiple points in a design, looking at analog, digital and RF aspects of the system's operation, which allows us to quickly track down design issues and better understand the real-world performance of the system at a high level.

The Mixed Domain Oscilloscope signifies a fundamental change in the test equipment landscape, and will absolutely improve the way we approach our work."

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