The majority of digital oscilloscopes still use an analog trigger architecture based on comparators. This causes time and amplitude errors that cannot always be calibrated out and often limits the trigger sensitivity at high bandwidths.
Over 20 years ago Pico first pioneered the use of fully digital triggering using the actual digitized data. This technique reduces trigger errors and allows our oscilloscopes to trigger on the smallest signals, even at the full bandwidth. Trigger levels and hysteresis can be set with high precision and resolution.
The reduced rearm delay provided by digital triggering, together with segmented memory, allows the capture of a new waveform every microsecond until the buffer is full.
The PicoScope 4824 offers an industry-leading set of advanced triggers including pulse width, runt pulse, windowed, logic and dropout.
Ever spotted a glitch on a waveform, but by the time you’ve stopped the scope it has gone? With PicoScope you no longer need to worry about missing glitches or other transient events. PicoScope can store the last ten thousand oscilloscope or spectrum waveforms in its circular waveform buffer.
The buffer navigator provides an efficient way of navigating and searching through waveforms, effectively letting you turn back time. Tools such as mask limit testing can also be used to scan through each waveform in the buffer looking for mask violations.
Some oscilloscopes struggle when you enable deep memory; the screen update rate slows and controls become unresponsive. The PicoScope 4824 avoids this limitation with use of a dedicated hardware acceleration engine inside the oscilloscope. Its parallel design effectively creates the waveform image to be displayed on the PC screen. PicoScope oscilloscopes manage deep memory better than competing oscilloscopes, both PC-based and benchtop.
The PicoScope 4824 is fitted with third-generation hardware acceleration (HAL3). This speeds up areas of oscilloscope operation such as allowing waveform update rates in excess of 100 000 waveforms per second and the segmented memory/rapid trigger modes. The hardware acceleration engine ensures that any concerns about the USB connection or PC processor performance being a bottleneck are eliminated.
An important specification to understand when evaluating oscilloscope performance is the waveform update rate, which is expressed as waveforms per second. While the sample rate indicates how frequently the oscilloscope samples the input signal within one waveform, or cycle, the waveform capture rate refers to how quickly an oscilloscope acquires waveforms.
Oscilloscopes with high waveform capture rates provide better visual insight into signal behavior and dramatically increase the probability that the oscilloscope will quickly capture transient anomalies such as jitter, runt pulses and glitches – that you may not even know exist.
The PicoScope 4824 oscilloscope uses hardware acceleration to achieve up to 100 000 waveforms per second.
Mask limit testing allows you to compare live signals against known good signals, and is designed for production and debugging environments. Simply capture a known good signal, draw a mask around it, and then attach the system under test. PicoScope will check for mask violations and perform pass/fail testing, capture intermittent glitches, and can show a failure count and other statistics in the Measurements window.
PicoScope can decode 1-Wire, ARINC 429, CAN, DCC, DMX512, Ethernet 10Base-T and 100Base-TX, FlexRay, I²C, I²S, LIN, PS/2, SENT, SPI, 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 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.