Latest news at Pico Technology

Product news

Focus on: PicoSource PG900 fast differential pulse generators

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You probably know about our oscilloscope range but did you also know that we offer high-speed pulse generators? The PicoSource PG900 Series can generate test pulses with 40 to 60 picosecond edges for TDR, TDT, microwave and high-speed digital testing. Use them for single-ended testing, or use the dual deskewable outputs for driving differential transmission lines.

Like our oscilloscopes, the PicoSource generators are USB-connected, extremely compact and priced from only $8095. Supplied with Windows control software, they can generate programmable pulse trains and PRBS bit patterns. The models with integrated pulse drivers also have programmable output amplitude up to 6 V. A range of matching attenuators, power dividers and cables is available. PicoSource PG900 Specifications

Free update to PicoSample 3 software

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PicoSample 3.22.0, the latest update to the software for PicoScope 9300 Series sampling oscilloscopes, is now available for download. It includes some major improvements including:

  • Upgrade of the user interface for touchscreen operation
  • New random sampling mode
  • TDR support through COM object (allowing other programs to control the oscilloscope in TDR mode)
  • Access to waveform database through COM object

If you don't have a PicoScope 9300 Series oscilloscope, you can still download PicoSample 3 and try it out in demo mode. Read more [2016-07]

New PicoScope 2000A and 2000B oscilloscopes now shipping

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The latest PicoScope 2000 Series low-cost, ultra-compact oscilloscopes give you better performance and more features than ever before – all in an extremely portable package. Now you can carry an oscilloscope, function generator, arbitrary waveform generator (AWG), spectrum analyzer, logic analyzer and serial protocol decoder with you wherever you go. PicoScope USB oscilloscopes run on practically any PC or laptop with Windows 7, 8 or 10.

Up to 100 MHz bandwidth • Up to 1 GS/s sampling on analog channels • Mixed signal (MSO) models with 16 digital channels • Up to 128 MS deep buffer memory • Up to 1 MHz function generator and AWG • Serial decoding, math channels, spectrum analyzer, color persistence display, mask limit testing included as standard

Entry-level models from only $129 / €109 / £79 without probes

Deep-memory models from only $379 / €319 / £229 including probes

Read PicoScope 2000 Series detailed description and specifications

Watch Picoscope 2208B unboxing video (YouTube) produced by the Code and Life blog [2016-05]

New PicoScope 2-channel, 4-channel and mixed-signal models!

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The brand new PicoScope 2000 Series low-cost, ultra-compact oscilloscopes give you better performance and more features than ever before – all in an extremely portable package. Now you can carry an oscilloscope, function generator, arbitrary waveform generator (AWG), spectrum analyzer, logic analyzer and serial protocol decoder with you wherever you go. PicoScope USB oscilloscopes run on practically any PC or laptop with Windows 7, 8 or 10.

These oscilloscopes may be small, but just look at the features that are included in the price:

  • Up to 100 MHz bandwidth
  • Up to 1 GS/s sampling on analog channels
  • Mixed signal (MSO) models with 16 digital channels
  • Up to 128 MS deep buffer memory
  • Decode up to 15 serial protocols
  • Up to 1 MHz function generator and AWG
  • Free software updates
  • Beta software for Linux and OS X
  • Free Software Development Kit (SDK)

There are 15 models to choose from in the new PicoScope 2000 Series with varying channel counts, bandwidths and buffer memory depths. Here is just a selection of the models available in the PicoScope 2000 Series:

Model Bandwidth Channels AWG? Price
PicoScope 2204A without probes 10 MHz 2 Yes $129 / €109 / £79
PicoScope 2206B 50 MHz 2 Yes $379 / €319 / £229
PicoScope 2408B 100 MHz 4 Yes $1235 / €1045 / £749
PicoScope 2205A MSO 25 MHz 2+16D Yes $489 / €419 / £299
PicoScope 2208B MSO 100 MHz 2+16D Yes $1075 / €909 / £649

Read about all 15 models in the new PicoScope 2000 Series, watch the video presentation and download a data sheet [2016-04]

New PicoSource Pulse Generators!

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The new PicoSource PG900 Series differential pulse generators can stimulate a transmission path, device or network with a broad-spectrum signal in a single instant. These signals are invaluable for making high-speed broadband measurements in many fields such as time-domain reflectometry, semiconductor testing, gigabit interconnect and port testing, and in radar systems.

Despite the dominance of high-speed differential data in today's digital, computing, interconnect and telecommunications systems, it was hard to find cost-effective, fast-transition differential pulse generators... until now!

Highlights of the new PicoSource PG900 Series differential pulse generators:

  • 60 ps edge step recovery diode outputs, amplitude adjustable up to 6 V (PG911)
  • 40 ps edge tunnel diode outputs, fixed > 200 mV amplitude (PG912)
  • Dual-technology model (PG914) with both types of output
  • Differential outputs with programmable deskew in 1 ps steps
  • Signal characteristics specified in detail
  • USB-connected
  • Graphical control software (for Microsoft Windows) included

PicoScope 9000 Series sampling oscilloscopes latest

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The PicoScope 9000 Series sampling oscilloscopes are specialized USB-connected measuring instruments for viewing high-speed, repetitive signals such as serial data streams and test patterns. They are available with bandwidths of 12 GHz and 20 GHz, and with optional TDR (time-domain reflectometry), TDT (time-domain transmissometry) and optical-input capabilities.

Updated Programmer's Guide

For those developing custom applications for the PicoScope 9300 Series sampling oscilloscopes, an updated PicoScope 9300 Series Programmer's Guide is now available. This includes new instructions on programming the oscilloscopes in TDR (time-domain reflectometry) and TDT (time-domain transmissometry) applications as well as measurement of optical parameters. These sampling oscilloscopes can be controlled from a PC through either the USB or Ethernet port to provide all the functions available in the PicoSample 3 software, including:

  • Time-domain display and characterization of repetitive signals up to 20 GHz bandwidth
  • Multiple math functions of input channels
  • Eye pattern analysis
  • Automated amplitude and timing measurements to IEEE 1057–2007
  • Measurement of optical parameters (with the PicoScope 9321 optical-input model)
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Differential TDR probing challenge solved

Pico Technology now recommends the GigaProbes DVT30-1MM Dual Probe TDR Interconnect Analysis Kit for use with the PicoScope 9000 Series. The DVT30 is a 30 GHz balanced odd-mode 100 Ω differential time-domain reflectometry (TDR) probe, featuring conductive diamond-tipped contacts that can make a reliable connection to differential striplines and device pads on PCBs. It is thus ideal for making accurate measurements of signal levels and impedances on high-speed differential data lines. The DVT30-1MM can also be used on 50 Ω single-ended circuits using the adaptors included in the kit. [2009-08]

Pico news

Demo corner: PicoScope 6 AWG

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Hamid Naghizad kindly sent us this waveform that shows off the capabilities of the PicoScope arbitrary waveform generator (AWG).

This unusual waveform demonstrates that the PicoScope AWG can generate any conceivable function of voltage against time within the physical limits of the hardware. You can create your own waveforms using PicoScope's built-in graphical editor, or you can import a list of predefined sample points from a text file. Hamid's example was supplied as a CSV file which we simply loaded into the PicoScope AWG editor (click Import from CSV) and sent it to the oscilloscope (click Apply).

Can you do better? Post your AWG waveform on our forum and you could win a prize. Find out more about the PicoScope 6 AWG.

Pico is 25 years old!

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This month we celebrate our 25th anniversary! Back in 1991 we released the the ADC-10, the world's first PC Oscilloscope. We followed that with the first oscilloscope with digital triggering and the first high-resolution oscilloscope.

Today we employ over 100 people around the world in our Test & Measurement, Automotive and RF and Microwave divisions. Our founder and Managing Director Alan Tong ensures that Pico looks after its customers and employees with equal care. As Alan stated earlier this year:

"On 1st July we will celebrate with our employees; but we will also have in mind other people—suppliers, partners, distributors and former employees—who have enabled us to deliver 25 years of continuous growth."

Anniversary video on YouTube

Timeline of Pico products [2016-07]

Videos from International Microwave Symposium

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Pico recently attended the IEEE International Microwave Symposium 2016 in San Francisco, where we presented a range of products for RF and microwave test and measurement. On show were the PicoScope 9000 Series sampling oscilloscopes and the new PicoSource PG900 fast-edge pulse generators.

In our first video, Mark Ashcroft, RF Business Development Manager for Pico Technology, gives an insight into Pico Technology's products at the 2016 International Microwave Symposium. Watch now

Video: Richard Boyd presents the PicoScope 2000 SeriesIn the next video, Pico Technology's Richard Boyd describes the new low-cost PicoScope 2000 Series oscilloscopes, shows how easy it is to use the built-in arbitrary waveform generator, and explains why you might need a scope with deep buffer memory. Watch now [2016-07]

PicoScopes and USB Type-C

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You may have noticed USB Type-C connectors appearing on some new devices. PicoScope oscilloscopes and PicoLog data loggers are compatible with these connectors: just use the blue USB cable provided with your device in conjunction with our TA285 USB Type-C to Type-A adaptor.

You don't need to know about the complexities of USB Type-C cables and power supply currents when connecting a PicoScope or PicoLog device to your computer, but for users of other peripherals we have written a brief guide. For more information on USB Type-C and its compatibility with peripherals, see Will my Pico oscilloscope or data logger work with a USB Type-C port? [2016-06]

PicoScope 2208B MSO review

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Joonas Pihlajamaa's Code and Life blog has a new review of the PicoScope 2208B MSO ultra-compact mixed-signal oscilloscope.

Joonas surveys the differences between the various models in the PicoScope 2000 Series before diving into the details of the 2208B MSO. Along the way you will find out how to: compensate a scope probe; use the basic controls such as timebase, number of samples and channel settings; find signal irregularities using persistence mode; decode serial data; and use your scope as a logic analyzer.

The "Pros and Cons" list at the end will help you with your purchasing decision.

Read PicoScope 2208B MSO Review on Code and Life blog [2016-06]

New PicoScope Beta 6.11.13.3 for Linux

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The PicoScope Beta software for Linux now supports all PicoScope 2000 Series oscilloscopes including the new models launched in April. This series includes:

  • Two-channel oscilloscopes from the PicoScope 2204A (10 MHz) to the 2208B (100 MHz)
  • Four-channel oscilloscopes from the PicoScope 2405A (25 MHz) to the 2408B (100 MHz)
  • Mixed-signal oscilloscopes from the PicoScope 2205A MSO (25 MHz) to the 2208B MSO (100 MHz)

PicoScope Beta for Linux is available from online repositories for Debian, Ubuntu, Mint (using apt-get), OpenSUSE (using zypper) and Fedora 20 / CentOS 6 (using yum).

Guide to installing PicoScope for Linux [2016-06]