Pico Technology Announces Two New 8 GHz Optical Sampling Oscilloscopes

20 December 2010
Category: Oscilloscopes

The new PicoScope 9221A and 9231A Sampling Oscilloscopes are high-performance, low-cost and compact instruments for characterizing and pre-compliance testing of optical and electrical signals.

At their heart is a wide-bandwidth PC sampling oscilloscope specially designed for use with repetitive signals such as serial data and test pulses. This technology delivers an effective sampling rate of up to 5 TS/s and a time resolution down to 0.2 ps, allowing the scopes to operate with timebases as short as 10 ps/div. Both models have an 8 GHz optical-to-electrical converter and two 12 GHz electrical inputs, enabling them to analyze a wide range of standards including SONET/SDH up to OC192, Fibre Channel up to 10GFC, Ethernet up to 10 Gb, InfiniBand, XAUI, G.703 up to 155 Mb/s, ANSI T1 up to STS3, RapidIO, G.984.2, PCI Express and Serial ATA. Over 150 industry-standard masks for these tests are included.

The PicoScope 9221A and 9231A have three trigger inputs: a 1 GHz direct trigger, a 10 GHz prescaled trigger, and a clock-recovery trigger input for serial data from 12.3 Mbps to 2.7 Gb/s. They also have a pattern-sync trigger, which automatically detects bit rate, pattern length, and trigger divide ratio to display data-dependent eye diagrams. Eye diagrams can also be drawn in averaging mode.

The PicoScope 9231A has dual fast signal generator outputs for use in TDR (time-domain reflectometry) and TDT (time-domain transmission) testing, and is supplied with a TDR/TDT accessory kit. It also has an Ethernet port for remote operation over a network.

The PicoScope 9221A and 9231A connect to any Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 computer with a USB 2.0 port. As Alan Tong, Managing Director of Pico Technology, explained, “Our oscilloscopes are not like traditional bench-top instruments that contain their own PC and screen and take over your workbench. We’ve made them as small and energy-efficient as possible, so if you’re working at a customer’s premises, the only extra equipment you need to carry is a laptop and a mains adapter.”

The PicoScope 9221A and 9231A are on sale now, priced at only £12,495 and £13,995. Prices include free technical support, free software updates, a 5-year warranty, and a fully documented software development kit (SDK) for those who wish to write custom software to control the scopes.