PicoScope® 3000 Series

Power, portability and performance

PC Oscilloscopes & Mixed Signal Oscilloscopes

PicoScope 3000 mixed signal oscilloscopes

Power, portability and performance

PicoScope 3000 Series USB-powered PC oscilloscopes are small, light, and portable and can easily slip into a laptop bag while offering a range of high-performance specifications.

These oscilloscopes offer 2 or 4 analog channels and a built-in function / arbitrary waveform generator. MSO models add 16 digital channels. Key performance specifications:

  • 200 MHz analog bandwidth
  • 1 GS/s real-time sampling
  • 512 MS buffer memory
  • 100,000 waveforms per second
  • 16 channel logic analyzer (MSO models)
  • Decode over 30 serial protocols as standard
  • Arbitrary waveform generator
  • USB 3.0 connected and powered
  • Serial decoding and mask testing as standard
  • Windows, Linux and Mac software

Supported by the advanced PicoScope software, these devices offer an ideal, cost-effective package for many applications, including embedded systems design, research, test, education, service, and repair.

deep memory oscilloscope showing zoom

High bandwidth and sampling rate

Despite a compact size and low cost, there is no compromise on performance with bandwidths up to 200 MHz.  This bandwidth is matched by a real-time sampling rate of up to 1 GS/s, allowing detailed display of high frequencies. For repetitive signals, the maximum effective sampling rate can be boosted to 10 GS/s by using Equivalent Time Sampling (ETS) mode.

Other oscilloscopes have high maximum sampling rates, but without deep memory they cannot sustain these rates on long timebases. The PicoScope 3000 Series offers memory depths up to 512 million samples, more than any other oscilloscope in this price range, which enables the PicoScope 3406D MSO to sample at 1 GS/s all the way down to 50 ms/ div (500 ms total capture time).

Managing all this data calls for some powerful tools. There’s a set of zoom buttons, plus an overview window that lets you zoom and reposition the display by simply dragging with the mouse or touchscreen. Zoom factors of several million are possible.  Other tools such as the waveform buffer, mask limit test, serial decode and hardware acceleration work with the deep memory making the PicoScope 3000 series some of the most powerful oscilloscopes on the market.

Mixed-signal capability / logic analyzer

The PicoScope 3000D Series Mixed-Signal Oscilloscopes include 16 digital inputs so that you can view digital and analog signals simultaneously.

The digital inputs can be displayed individually or in named groups with binary, decimal or hexadecimal values shown in a bus-style display. A separate logic threshold from –5 V to +5 V can be defined for each 8-bit input port. The digital trigger can be activated by any bit pattern combined with an optional transition on any input. Advanced logic triggers can be set on either the analog or digital input channels, or both to enable complex mixed-signal triggering.

The digital inputs bring extra power to the serial decoding options.  You can decode serial data on all analog and digital channels simultaneously, giving you up to 20 channels of data.  You can for example decode multiple SPI, I²C, CAN bus, LIN bus and FlexRay signals all at the same time!

Application note: Debugging an I²C Bus with a PicoScope Mixed–Signal Oscilloscope

Mixed Signal Oscilloscope / Logic Analyzer (roll over red circles for description)

Mixed Signal Oscilloscope / Logic Analyzer

  1. Channel controls:
    Channel controls are used to manage probe types, assign channel names, set vertical scaling, input coupling, and other signal conditioning parameters before making measurements on the device under test (“DUT”).
  2. Serial decoding:
    PicoScope can decode over 30 protocols, including I2C, SPI, UART/RS-232 and CAN standards for automotive and embedded system applications.
    Decoded packets can be displayed in Graph format showing the decoded data (in hex, binary, decimal, or ASCII) in a data bus timing format, beneath the waveform on a common time axis, with error frames marked in red. These frames can be zoomed in to investigate detailed waveform characteristics. Packets can also be displayed in Table format that shows a list of the decoded frames, including the data and all flags and identifiers.
  3. Trigger types:
    Trigger types include basic edge triggering and a number of advanced trigger types that enable the capture of complex signals. This makes them ideal for troubleshooting circuits with glitches, timing violations, dropouts and other signal integrity issues in analog and digital circuits. Using a Pulse width trigger, for example, it is easy to detect a pulse that is narrower than it should be. The Runt trigger can be used to isolate under / over height pulses that result from setup & hold violations in digital circuit designs.
  4. Time base control:
    Time base control is used to set the timing of an acquisition using the seconds / division control. Sampling controls provide a choice of time base operating modes: Buffer memory priority adjusts sampling rate to maintain a fixed capture memory depth. Sample rate priority adjusts memory depth to maintain a fixed sampling rate.
  5. Digital channel controls:
    Digital channel controls, on MSO models, display a digital signal as either a logic high or logic low, depending on whether the voltage on that channel is above or below a set threshold. The digital channels are displayed individually or can be grouped together in a bus display, all time correlated with the analog channels around the same trigger point. The bus value can be displayed in hex, binary, decimal, or level for DAC testing.
  6. Toolpark:
    Toolpark houses secondary functions such as Measurements, Math channels, Serial decoding, Rulers, Mask testing and Actions etc., are just one touch away and can be favorited to create a custom UI layout that suits user preferences and work patterns.
  7. Math channels:
    PicoScopes offer advanced math functions: multiplication, division and integration as well as basic functions like addition and subtraction. Multiplication can be used to calculate power from V & I waveforms, and energy by integrating the power waveform.
Serial decoder

Serial bus decoding and protocol analysis

PicoScope can decode 1-Wire, ARINC 429, CAN & CAN FD, CAN XL, DALI, DCC, DMX512, Ethernet 10Base-T and 100Base-TX,  FlexRay, I²C, I²S, I3C, LIN, PS/2, Manchester, MIL-STD-1553, MODBUS, SENT, SPI, Parallel Bus, PMBus, Quadrature, SBS Data, SENT Fast/Slow, SMBus, SPI MISO/MOSI, SPI SDIO, UART (RS-232 / RS-422 / RS-485), and USB 1.1 protocol data as standard, with more protocols in development and available in the future with free-of-charge software upgrades.

Graph format shows the decoded data (in hex, binary, decimal, or ASCII) in a data bus timing format, beneath the waveform on a common time axis, with error frames marked in red. These frames can be zoomed in to investigate noise or signal integrity issues.

Table format shows a list of the decoded frames, including the data and all flags and identifiers. You can set up filtering conditions to display only the frames you are interested in or search for frames with specified properties. The statistics option reveals more detail about the physical layer such as frame times and voltage levels. PicoScope can also import a spreadsheet to decode the data into user-defined text strings.

More information on Serial bus decoding and protocol analysis - overview >>

PicoScope arbitrary waveform generator

Arbitrary waveform and function generator

All PicoScope 3000D units have a built-in function generator (sine, square, triangle, DC level, white noise, PRBS etc.) on the front panel. PicoScope 3000D MSO models have the connector on the rear panel.

As well as basic controls to set level, offset and frequency, more advanced controls allow you to sweep over a range of frequencies. Combined with the spectrum peak hold option this makes a powerful tool for testing amplifier and filter responses.

Trigger tools allow one or more cycles of a waveform to be output when various conditions are met such as the scope triggering or a mask limit test failing.

A 14 bit 80 MS/s arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) is also included. AWG waveforms can be created or edited using the built-in AWG editor, imported from oscilloscope traces, or loaded from a spreadsheet.

More information on Arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) >>

PicoScope spectrum measurements

Increasing the number of points in a FFT to 1 million increases frequency resolution and reduces the noise floor.

FFT spectrum analyzer

The spectrum view plots amplitude against frequency and is ideal for finding noise, crosstalk or distortion in signals. The spectrum analyzer in PicoScope is of the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) type which, unlike a traditional swept spectrum analyzer, can display the spectrum of a single, non-repeating waveform.

A full range of settings gives you control over the number of spectrum bands (FFT bins), window types, scaling (including log/log) and display modes (instantaneous, average, or peak-hold).

You can display multiple spectrum views alongside oscilloscope views of the same data. A comprehensive set of automatic frequency-domain measurements can be added to the display, including THD, THD+N, SNR, SINAD and IMD. A mask limit test can be applied to a spectrum and you can even use the AWG and spectrum mode together to perform swept scalar network analysis.

More information on Spectrum analyzer >>

oscilloscope front end shielding

Signal integrity

Most oscilloscopes are built down to a price. PicoScopes are built up to a specification.

Careful front-end design and shielding reduces noise, crosstalk and harmonic distortion. Years of oscilloscope design experience can be seen in improved bandwidth flatness and low distortion.

We are proud of the dynamic performance of our products, and unlike most oscilloscope manufacturers publish our specifications in detail. The result is simple: when you probe a circuit, you can trust in the waveform you see on the screen.

USB 3.0 PC oscilloscope

USB connectivity

The USB connection not only allows high-speed data acquisition and transfer, but also makes printing, copying, saving, and emailing your data from the field quick and easy. USB powering removes the need to carry around a bulky external power supply, making the kit even more portable for the engineer on the move.

PicoScope 3000 Series oscilloscopes feature a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connection, making the already-optimized process of data transfer and waveform update rates even faster. Further benefits of a USB 3.0 connection include faster saving of waveforms and faster gap-free continuous streaming of up to 125 MS/s when using the SDK, while the scope is still backward-compatible with older USB systems.