Test & Measurement


Tektronix unveils the 'world's fastest probe'

14 May 2008 Test & Measurement

Tektronix has developed what it claims is the world's fastest probe to complement its high-speed four-channel realtime oscilloscope. At 20 GHz, the new P7520 probe matches the DSA72004 digital serial analyser for bandwidth, providing electrical engineers with a highly advanced oscilloscope and probe combination. When used with the DSA72004, the probe enables R&D engineers to debug and validate high-speed serial data circuits up to 10 Gbps.

Customers in the consumer, communications, computer, and semiconductor areas are increasingly tasked with designing for rapidly evolving standards and having to use more exacting measurement techniques. Moving from a signal environment with moderate consideration for RF effects to one that is dominated by them, they now need to connect to and acquire multiple, fast, complex signals simultaneously. To do this, they need fast, accurate, and easy-to-use test instruments, beginning with the probe that provides the connection to the device under test (DUT).

The P7520 provides patent-pending TriMode measurements, which enables engineers to switch between differential, single-ended and common-mode measurements without moving the probe connections. The probe's speed allows engineers to debug and validate the 3rd harmonic of 10 Gbps signals and do compliance testing to the 5th harmonic on signals up to 8 Gbps including PCI-Express 3, SATA Gen-3 and HDMI 1.3.

With less chip real estate available for connecting probes, engineers often have difficulty attaching a probe to the DUT. The probe body of the P7520 is streamlined so that several probes are able to fit into confined spaces. Interchangeable probe tip modules provide miniature solder-in tips, interchangeable extension cables assist with reaching difficult to probe areas, and a needle-nose handheld style probe module can be used for both fixtured and handheld applications.





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