PicoScope 6000E Series

Ultra-deep-memory, high-performance oscilloscopes and MSOs

PicoScope 6000E Series software

PicoScope 6 ultra-high-resolution screen shot

Ultra-high-definition display

PicoScope PC-based instruments use the host computer’s display, which is typically larger and of higher resolution than the dedicated displays installed in traditional benchtop oscilloscopes. This allows room for simultaneous display of time- and frequency-domain waveforms, decoded serial bus tables, measurement results with statistics and more.

PicoScope 6 software scales automatically to take full advantage of the improved resolution of larger display sizes, including 4K ultra-high definition models. At 3840 x 2160 resolution—over eight million pixels—PicoScope allows engineers to get more done in less time through split-screen views of multiple channels (or different views of the same channel) from the device under test. As the example shows, the software can even show multiple oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer traces at once.

Large, high-resolution displays really come into their own when viewing high-resolution signals with the PicoScope 6824E and 6424E 8- to 12-bit FlexRes models. With a 4K monitor, PicoScope can display more than ten times the information of some of our competitors’ scopes, solving the problem of how to match a big display and features with a small-footprint portable oscilloscope.

PicoScope also supports dual monitors: instrument control and waveforms displayed on the first, and large data sets from serial protocol decoders or DeepMeasure results on the second. The software can be controlled by mouse, touchscreen or keyboard shortcuts.

PicoScope 6000E with zoom into ultra-deep memory

Ultra-deep memory

PicoScope 6000E Series oscilloscopes have waveform capture memories of up to 4 gigasamples – many times larger than competing scopes. Deep memory enables the capture of long-duration waveforms at maximum sampling speed. In fact, the PicoScope 6000E Series can capture waveforms 200 ms long with 200 ps resolution. In contrast, the same 200 ms waveform captured by an oscilloscope with a 10 megasample memory would have just 20 ns resolution. The scope automatically shares the capture memory between the enabled analog channels and MSO ports.

Deep memory is invaluable when you need to capture fast serial data with long gaps between packets, or nanosecond laser pulses spaced milliseconds apart, for example. It can be useful in other ways too: PicoScope lets you divide the capture memory into a number of segments, up to 10 000. You can set up a trigger condition to store a separate capture in each segment, with as little as 300 ns dead time between captures. Once you have acquired the data, you can step through the memory one segment at a time until you find the event you are looking for.

Powerful tools are included to allow you to manage and examine all of this data. As well as functions such as mask limit testing and color persistence mode, PicoScope 6 software enables you to zoom into your waveform up to 100 million times. The Zoom Overview window allows you to easily control the size and location of the zoom area. Other tools, such as the waveform buffer, serial decoding and hardware acceleration work with the deep memory, making the PicoScope 6000E Series some of the most powerful oscilloscopes on the market.

More information on Deep memory oscilloscopes >>

Persistence mode

PicoScope’s persistence mode options allow you to see old and new data superimposed, making it easy to spot glitches and dropouts and estimate their relative frequency – useful for displaying and interpreting complex analog signals such as video waveforms and amplitude modulated signals. Color-coding and intensity-grading show which areas are stable and which are intermittent. Choose between Digital Color, Analog Intensity, Fast and Advanced display modes or create your own custom setup.

An important specification to understand when evaluating oscilloscope performance, especially in persistence mode, is the waveform update rate, which is expressed as waveforms per second. While the sampling 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 6000E Series’ HAL4 hardware acceleration can achieve update rates of 300 000 waveforms per second in fast persistence mode.

More information on Persistence modes >>

PicoScope 6000E with FlexRay decoding

Serial bus decoding and protocol analysis

PicoScope can decode 1-Wire, ARINC 429, BroadR-Reach, CAN & CAN-FD, DALI, DCC, DMX512, Ethernet 10Base-T and 100Base-TX, FlexRay, I²C, I²S, LIN, PS/2, Manchester, Modbus, 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

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.

Click on a frame in the table to zoom the oscilloscope display and show the waveform for that frame.

More information on Serial bus decoding and protocol analysis >>

PicoScope 6000E screenshot with DeepMeasure


One waveform, millions of measurements

Measurement of waveform pulses and cycles is key to verification of the performance of electrical and electronic devices.

DeepMeasure delivers automatic measurements of important waveform parameters, such as pulse width, rise time and voltage. Up to a million cycles can be displayed with each triggered acquisition. Results can be easily sorted, analyzed and correlated with the waveform display.

More information on DeepMeasure >>

PicoScope 6000E screenshot with mask limit testing

Mask limit testing

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 (or have PicoScope auto-generate) a mask and then measure 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.

More information on Mask limit testing >>

Waveform buffer and navigator

Ever spotted a glitch on a waveform, but by the time you’ve stopped the scope it has gone? With PicoScope you don’t 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.

More information on Waveform buffer >>

FFT spectrum analyzer

10 MHz sine wave showing 60 dB SFDR

10 MHz sine wave showing 60 dB SFDR

Spectrum view of FM radio broadcasts

FM radio broadcasts

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 that, unlike a traditional swept spectrum analyzer, can display the spectrum of a single, non-repeating waveform. With up to a million points, PicoScope’s FFT has excellent frequency resolution and a low noise floor.

PicoScope 6 showing harmonics of a square wave signal

Harmonics of a square wave signal

With a click of a button, you can display a spectrum plot of the active channels, with a maximum frequency of up to 500 MHz. 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 >>

PicoScope 6 with mask fail alarm


PicoScope can be programmed to execute actions when certain events occur.

The events that can trigger an alarm include mask limit fails, trigger events and buffers full.

The actions that PicoScope can execute include saving a file, playing a sound, executing a program and triggering the signal generator or the AWG.

Alarms, coupled with mask limit testing, help create a powerful and time-saving waveform monitoring tool. Capture a known good signal, auto-generate a mask around it and then use the alarms to automatically save any waveform (complete with a time/date stamp) that does not meet specification.

PicoScope 6000E math channels and filters

Math channels and filters

With PicoScope 6 you can select simple functions such as addition and inversion, or open the equation editor to create complex functions involving filters (lowpass, highpass, bandpass and bandstop filters), trigonometry, exponentials, logarithms, statistics, integrals and derivatives.

Display up to eight real or calculated channels in each scope view. If you run out of space, just open another scope view and add more. You can also use math channels to reveal new details in complex signals, for example graphing the changing duty cycle or frequency of your signal over time.

More information on Math channels >>

Custom probe dialog in PicoScope 6

Custom probes in PicoScope oscilloscope software

The custom probes feature allows you to correct for gain, attenuation, offsets and nonlinearities in probes, sensors or transducers that you connect to the oscilloscope. This could be used to scale the output of a current probe so that it correctly displays amperes. A more advanced use would be to scale the output of a nonlinear temperature sensor using the table lookup function.

Definitions for standard Pico-supplied oscilloscope probes and current clamps are included. User-created probes may be saved for later use.

More information on Custom probes >>

PicoSDK® – write your own apps

Frequency response analyzer screenshot Frequency Response Analyzer code. Copyright (c) 2014-2017 Aaron Hexamer. Distributed under GNU GPL3.

Our free PicoSDK software development kit allows you to write your own software and includes drivers for Windows, macOS and Linux. Example code supplied on our GitHub organization page shows how to interface to third-party software packages such as National Instruments LabVIEW and MathWorks MATLAB.

Among other features, the drivers support data streaming, a mode that captures continuous gap-free data directly to your PC or host computer at rates of over 300 MS/s, so you are not limited by the size of your scope’s capture memory. Sampling rates in streaming mode are subject to PC specifications and application loading.

There is also an active community of PicoScope users who share both code and whole applications on our Test and Measurement Forum and the PicoApps section of the website. The Frequency Response Analyzer shown here is a popular application on the forum.

More information on PicoSDK >>

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