Pico Technology launches landmark software in landmark year

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13 September 2021
Category: Automotive Diagnostics

In its landmark 30th anniversary year, Pico Technology has released the first stable version of its latest generation of automotive oscilloscope software, PicoScope 7 Automotive. This release builds on extensive use by vehicle manufacturers and independent repairers to ensure it is ready for everyday diagnostic use in workshops. It is available to download for free by automotive, heavy-duty and off-highway vehicle repairers worldwide from today.

PicoScope 7 Automotive represents a major step forward in design and usability, having been developed from the ground up to fully support the touchscreen devices commonplace within vehicle repair workshops. It retains all the PicoScope 6 Automotive benefits that made it an industry standard and introduces usability enhancements, to make it easier for all technicians to learn and use, as well as performance improvements under the hood. For the first time, PicoScope 7 Automotive is now available on macOS and Linux operating systems, in addition to Windows 10.

PicoScope 7 Automotive’s modern user interface has: the most important settings and features placed where users most naturally look for them; fewer controls with less visual clutter; consistent styling and behaviors that quickly feel familiar and intuitive; and personalization that allows users to shortcut chosen tools. This makes PicoScope faster to navigate, learn and use, easier on the eye and helps technicians to quickly and confidently capture, view and analyze their waveforms. With support for additional displays, full-screen waveforms and multiple views, PicoScope 7 Automotive also allows you to make the best of your workshop display setup.

PicoScope’s popular Guided tests (including Electric Vehicle guided tests in PicoScope 7 Automotive) and Waveform library have both been redesigned and rebuilt and are accessible within their own dedicated browsers with touchscreen-friendly navigation and controls. The Waveform library also supports Windows, macOS and Linux operating systems.

One significant new feature is the intelligent probe interface. It builds on the impressive capabilities introduced with Pico Technology’s PicoBNC+® probes and PicoScope Automotive 4225A and 4425A oscilloscopes. By automatically setting up PicoScope, warning users if the wrong probes are connected and suggesting suitable alternative accessories, the new interface saves users time and gives them more confidence in their test setup and results than ever before.

Alan Tong, Chief Executive Officer at Pico Technology, said “We’re very proud of PicoScope 7 Automotive. We have listened to feedback from thousands of users about how to improve PicoScope 6. PicoScope 7 represents the summation of all of that. In particular, we were asked to support an even wider range of users and devices and we have achieved that. It feels very appropriate that we are launching this stable version in our landmark 30th anniversary, as we look to continue our 30 years of continuous growth.” Phil Service, Pico Technology’s Automotive Business Development Manager, added “PicoScope 7 Automotive is the platform from which we will launch other game-changing features and products: our aim is to keep ourselves and our users at the cutting edge of vehicle diagnostics. We believe PicoScope 7 Automotive is exactly the software we need to keep us driving the future together.”

 

Try PicoScope 7 Automotive now! It is directly available for free, with no subscription or registration required, from www.picoauto.com/downloads.

NEW PicoLog Cloud: View and save live captures on any device, anywhere, for FREE!

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14 September 2021
Category: Data Acquisition

14th September, 2021 – Pico Technology, market leader in PC-based test & measurement products, today announced the general availability of the PicoLog Cloud® data logging software, which enables any Pico data logger or real-time oscilloscope to save data to a local disk or stream the capture directly to a secure online Cloud store.

Now you can set up and control captures on a source PC and then remotely view them on any number of client devices running the software. You can also view, on a standard browser, live or previously saved captures on any PC or tablet device connected to the internet.

A simple server-side API allows PicoLog Cloud to transfer live capture data from a data logger or oscilloscope to a third-party application while the capture is running. With the PicoLog data residing on a server, this API allows programmers to request the data in batches. This feature is particularly useful to users who want to add extra functionality such as emailing alarms or captures, plotting data in a different way (fill tanks, throttle needle, large numerical displays and so on), adding logger data to existing databases and much more.

“This new major feature stays true to our vision of creating a data logging application with a simple user interface, and is equally straightforward for use by technical or non-technical users,” said Kieran Winstanley, Product Manager at Pico Technology, adding “The new cloud service is completely free for all new and existing customers.”

Remote working, monitoring of critical processes, sharing experimental data, preventative maintenance, design integrity through big data collection, compliance and security are all critical to scientific, research and manufacturing organizations. These challenges increase complexity for engineers and scientists working on next generation technologies and processes. PicoLog Cloud addresses those issues directly with a simple, fast and flexible approach to scientific data collection, sharing and analysis.

Access to cloud data is managed through single sign on (SSO) protocol. PicoLog Cloud uses the latest security techniques and processes to ensure that online data and user credentials stay safe.

Rittal-CSM joined the PicoLog Cloud Beta program early on, and assisted Pico with end-user testing and development of the API.

“I applaud Pico’s goal of providing Cloud based data collection for Pico loggers and oscilloscopes,” said Matthew Barwell, Head Of IT, Rittal-CSM. “PicoLog Cloud will make it dramatically easier to collect performance data, manage and validate system performance across public clouds and on-premises. I look forward to collaborating with Pico as they continue to develop PicoLog.”

PicoLog Cloud device support includes the ADC20/24 high-resolution, high-accuracy voltage loggers, TC-08 & PT-104 temperature loggers and the CM3 AC RMS current logger. All current real-time PicoScope models are also supported.

The PicoLog Cloud client is available for Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 (32 and 64-bit), macOS, Linux (64-bit) and Raspberry Pi OS (32-bit) for Raspberry Pi 4. The fully functional stable release of the software can be obtained from: https://www.picotech.com/downloads

Pico Technology celebrates 30th anniversary with 30 years of continuous growth!

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05 July 2021
Category: General

Today, Pico Technology celebrates 30 years of business. Pico’s oscilloscopes, data loggers and RF equipment are used by engineers, scientists and technicians around the globe to bring their products to market. Pico automotive diagnostics products help save time and money for vehicle manufacturers and service organisations on every continent.

1991, the year Pico Technology was founded, was an interesting year. Intel introduced the low-cost 486SX microprocessor, priced at $258. It was implemented on PCs running MS-DOS 5.0 and Windows 3.0. The World Wide Web Consortium was founded by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, and the GSM mobile network was launched in Europe.

On 1st July Alan Tong and Mike Green co-founded Pico Technology. Initially operating from their then office in Hardwick, near Cambridge, UK, Pico’s first product was the ADC-10, so called because it was an analog to digital converter and sampled at 10 kS/s. It connected to the PC via the parallel port. The first order for ADC-10’s was received in August that year, with two units sold for £49 ($68) each.

The ADC-10 was the world’s first PC oscilloscope, and in the years that followed Pico notched up several more industry firsts, including the first oscilloscope with digital triggering and the first high-resolution oscilloscope. Pico’s products and employees have won many awards, such as the Queen’s Award, Elektra European electronics awards and Motor award to name just a few!

Today, Pico celebrates continuous growth with sales growing year on year for 30 years with over one hundred and fifty employees at its head office in St Neots, UK and in Manchester, UK, the USA, China, Japan and Germany.

CEO and owner Alan Tong said “I am very proud of Pico and how we have worked hard with dedication to achieve 30 years of continuous growth. To begin with, our aim was to make test equipment affordable for many hobbyists and small companies that couldn't afford traditional benchtop equipment. That helped them to unleash their imagination and design creativity that contributed to many advances in electronic design that we see all around us today, such as personal computers, power tools, particle accelerators and advancements in vehicle design.

“As things have progressed, we still look after hobbyists but our products have evolved to compete with the higher-performance test equipment that is used in mainstream electronics design, as well as in some very advanced technologies and by leading companies and research institutions. We now supply over 30 vehicle manufacturers worldwide. We still take advantage of the latest computing and communications standards and provide excellent value with all-inclusive product packages that don’t require users to purchase additional options or licences.

“The company culture at Pico is key to our success”, continued Tong. “We treat customers as our friends, with free software upgrades and technical support for the lifetime of each product. Pico users are very loyal and have become strong advocates for our products amongst their colleagues. We treat our colleagues as our family and that is key to our very low employee turnover. Many of our team members have been at Pico for over a decade.”

“On 3rd July we will have a lot to celebrate but we will also be thinking about the other people—suppliers, partners, distributors and former employees—who have enabled us to deliver 30 years of continuous growth.”

For more information on Pico Technology and their products visit www.picotech.com and www.picoauto.com

As Pico Technology is continually expanding they have many job opportunities. To view these visit jobs.picotech.com/

Pico Technology is one of the UK’s 100 Best Mid Sized Companies to work for in 2021!

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25 May 2021
Category: General

Today, Pico Technology are proud to announce they placed 58th out of 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to work for in the UK for the fourth year running. Also, this year they placed  32nd out of the East of England’s 75 Best Companies to work for and 2nd out of the 5 Best Manufacturing Companies to work for.

This sought-after award measures and acknowledges excellence in workplace engagement – where only organisations with the highest level of overall employee engagement qualified. The results of this survey are based on what employees say about the organisation plus how they manage, motivate and reward their workforce.


Alan Tong, Managing Director, said “This has been a tough year for everyone. Covid-19 has affected the working world as a whole, especially the way we work and interact with our colleagues and customers. At Pico we reacted to the crisis quickly, sending our employees home ahead of the national lockdown. Their safety was our utmost priority. I am so proud of how our team adapted and came together to keep supporting our customers and to keep our business running as smoothly as possible.”

Jane Percy, Chief Operating Officer, continues “It is great to have confirmation that our employees are happy and feel supported through this challenging time. We have focused on communication, by ensuring our employees had everything they needed to enable them to work from home as appropriate and still feel part of the wider team. We pride ourselves on listening to the ever-growing needs of our employees while promoting a good work-life balance.”

To find out more about Pico Technology visit www.picotech.com and for employment opportunities visit www.jobs.picotech.com.

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent 30 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes, Data Loggers, RF equipment and automotive oscilloscopes and kits.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC-08 and PT-104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

More information on Pico Technology can be found at:

www.picotech.com       www.picoauto.com      jobs.picotech.com

To receive regular updates, subscribe to our monthly newsletter at:

www.picotech.com/newsletter/                        www.picoauto.com/newsletter/

Pico Technology launches its first 1 GHz mixed-signal scope with active probes

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Pico Technology launches its first 1 GHz mixed-signal scope with active probes (Hi-res)

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27 April 2021
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Pico Technology today announced a further development of its PicoScope 6000E Series mixed-signal oscilloscopes (MSOs) with the launch of four new 4-channel models, each of which can be configured with 16 optional digital channels. With bandwidths of 750 MHz or 1 GHz, 8-bit or 8/10/12-bit Flexible Resolution and up to 4 GS deep capture memory, these products enhance the existing PicoScope 6000E portfolio, adding to the 350 MHz and 500 MHz models that were introduced in 2020.

The award-winning PicoScope 6000E Series compact oscilloscopes deliver a cost-effective test and debugging solution for engineers, developers and scientists working on high-performance digital and mixed signal designs.

The optional A3000 Series high-impedance active probes are designed for use with the PicoScope 6000E intelligent probe interface. This interface provides power to the probe and enables the oscilloscope to sense when an A3000 probe is connected, automatically switching the oscilloscope input impedance to 50 Ω and setting the correct attenuation and scaling.

With an input capacitance of just 0.9 pF in parallel with 1 MΩ resistance, these ergonomic active probes deliver the full 750 MHz or 1 GHz scope bandwidth to the probe tip.

“Extension of the PicoScope 6000E Series is an exciting development as it addresses high-performance debugging and design verification requirements that are faced by engineers developing advanced electronic systems. The PicoScope 6000E Series, coupled with the popular and proven PicoScope 6 application software, provides advanced debugging tools to accelerate development of high-end embedded systems, signal processing, power electronics, motor drives, and automotive designs,” said Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager at Pico Technology. “The PicoScope 6000E Series incorporates many unique features as standard, such as a 4 gigasample capture buffer, 21 serial protocol decoder/analyzers, spectrum analysis capability, a 50 MHz arbitrary waveform generator, and user-defined math and alarm functions for in-depth analysis and long-term unattended testing. With starting prices below $10,000 for 750 MHz and below $13,000 for 1 GHz bandwidth, these products are affordable, fully capable waveform analysis solutions that are supported by Pico’s world-class technical support experts.”

With dimensions of 245 x 192 x 62 mm (9.7 x 7.6 x 2.5 inches) the PicoScope 6000E Series oscilloscopes fit easily on any workbench. Pico PC-based instruments are ideal for engineers who need professional grade test equipment that fits in limited available space, whether in a laboratory or at their home office.

A free-of-charge Software Development Kit, PicoSDK, is available to download that enables users to write their own applications around the PicoScope 6000E hardware. The SDK includes instrument drivers for Windows, macOS and Linux, and code examples in C, C#, C++ and Python. Drivers are also provided to interface with popular third-party software packages such as Microsoft Excel, NI LabVIEW and MathWorks MATLAB. Pico is an approved MathWorks Connections Program Partner with extensive in-house MATLAB developer experience.

The full capabilities of the PicoScope 6000E hardware are exposed to the programmer by the SDK, which enables development of virtually unlimited custom and OEM applications in scientific, research, industrial, automotive and power applications.

Pricing:

•    PicoScope 6405E (750 MHz bandwidth, 8-bit resolution, 2 GS memory) $9,615 / €8,165 / £6,745

•    PicoScope 6425E (750 MHz bandwidth, 8/10/12-bit resolution, 4 GS memory) $11,035 / €9,375 / £7,745

•    PicoScope 6406E (1 GHz bandwidth, 8-bit resolution, 2 GS memory) $12,815 / €10,885 / £8,995

PicoScope 6426E (1 GHz bandwidth, 8/10/12-bit resolution, 4 GS memory) $14,955 / €12,695 / £10,495
A3076 Active Probe (750 MHz bandwidth) $1135 / €959 / £799
A3136 Active Probe (1.3 GHz bandwidth) $1415 / €1205 / £999
TA369 MSO Pod (8 channels, 1 ns capture) $709 / €599 / £499

Total cost of ownership (TCO) of PicoScope PC-based instruments compares favourably with conventional benchtop instruments through software updates provided free of charge throughout the lifetime of the products. Furthermore, new PC and display technologies can be swapped in as they become available, thereby upgrading performance of the instruments to meet future needs.

Two-channel 5 GHz and 16 GHz models added to Pico’s revolutionary SXRTO oscilloscope family!

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Two-channel 5 GHz and 16 GHz models added to Pico’s revolutionary SXRTO oscilloscope family! (Hi-res)

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08 March 2021
Category:

At an even more compelling and lower price point, Pico Technology has added the PicoScope 9402-05 and 9402-16 two-channel models to their already popular 5 GHz and 16 GHz SXRTOs. The new models join the 9404-05 and 9404-16 four-channel models launched last year. Ideally suited to repetitive or clock-derived signals, all models feature high-resolution 12-bit channels, each supported by real-time sampling to 500 MS/s per channel and up to 2.5 TS/s (0.4 ps) random equivalent-time sampling. These are voltage and timing resolutions that match or more typically exceed the best available amongst broadband real-time oscilloscopes today. 

The wideband inputs, and fine timing and voltage resolutions, display and accurately measure transitions as fast as 22 ps and pulses and impulses down to 45 ps wide, and allow clock performance and eye diagram analysis of up to 10 Gb/s gigabit signals (to third harmonic). Less than 2 ps RMS trigger jitter and 5 GHz trigger bandwidth support margin analysis and characterization of today’s high-speed serial data systems, whilst optional integrated clock and data recovery to 8 Gb/s and an external prescaled trigger input extend the SXRTO trigger capability to the full bandwidth of the 16 GHz models. In addition, the real-time broadband sampling modes can support, for example, capture of carrier envelope, baseband modulation and other envelope tracking signals across major wireless communication frequency bands such as 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5.5 GHz and upwards.

Pico’s SXRTO instrument architecture vastly reduces the cost of broadband time-domain sampling for repetitive signal or clock-related applications. Mark Ashcroft, RF Business Development Manager at Pico, points out that the principal cost drivers within the traditional real-time oscilloscope (RTO) are high data and memory bandwidths. High-speed real-time sampling requires data bandwidth far in excess of the analog system bandwidth and this drives up cost.  In fact, constrained by cost, existing RTOs use ETS (random equivalent time sampling) to extend sampling density when repetitive signals are available. Pico’s new SXRTO architecture samples at a more cost-effective lower rate of 500 MS/s and instead develops the ETS technique to achieve market-leading sample rate multiplication of x5,000 to 2.5 TS/s. The vastly lower-cost SXRTO architecture recognizes that many high-bandwidth signals are or can be repetitive; allowing the expense of high (above Nyquist) sampling rate instruments to be avoided. 

We can also contrast the SXRTO architecture with that of the sequential sampling oscilloscope.  The SXRTO randomized ETS technique supports trigger and pre-trigger capture and the familiarity, convenience and ease of real-time oscilloscope operation. Pico’s SXRTO technology seamlessly transitions to single-event waveform capture at sampling rates at and below 500 MS/s and both sampling modes capture to memory of 250,000 samples (single channel); particularly valuable for the capture of slower system signals and modulation envelopes.

These USB-controlled instruments are supplied with PicoSample 4 software. The touch-compatible GUI controls the instrument and presents waveforms, measurements and statistics on your preferred size and format of display. There is full support for available Microsoft Windows display resolutions, allowing the inspection of waveform detail or presentation of measurements on HD to UHD monitors and projectors or across multiple monitors.  Additionally, up to four independent zoomed trace views can fully reveal 12-bit, 250 kS waveform detail.

A wide range of automated and user-configurable signal integrity measurements, mathematics, statistical views and limits test facilities are included for validation and trending of pulse and timing performance, jitter, RZ and NRZ eye diagrams. Industry-standard communications mask tests such as PCIe, GB Ethernet and Serial ATA are included as standard. 

While most users will run the PicoSample 4 software in their workplace, for OEM and custom applications the PicoScope 9400s can operate under ActiveX remote control. Programming examples are provided in Visual Basic (VB.NET), MATLAB and LabVIEW, but any programming language or standard that supports the Windows COM interface standard, including JavaScript and C, can be used. 

PicoConnect® 900 Series gigabit and microwave passive test probes are recommended for use with the PicoScope 9400 SXRTOs or indeed any 50 Ω broadband instrument.  With typical residual tip capacitance of only 0.25 pF, these are the least invasive probes on the market and come with affordable range of bandwidths, division ratios and coupling types (AC and DC) out to 9 GHz.  The PicoScope 9404 four-channel models have active SMA and LAN interfaces to support future configurations and networking. 

Pricing

From the PicoScope 9402-05 two-channel 5 GHz model at $10,795 / €9,095 / £7,895 to the PicoScope 9404-16 at only $19,495 / €17,245 / £14,995.  All models come with a comprehensive five-year warranty. For further information visit www.picotech.com.

The New PicoScope 4000A Series, PC-based oscilloscopes

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The New PicoScope 4000A Series, PC-based oscilloscopes (Hi-res)

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12 January 2021
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Pico Technology today announced availability of the new PicoScope 4000A Series PC-based oscilloscopes, a second-generation upgrade and expansion of the company's high-resolution, deep-memory product portfolio. With 2-, 4- and 8-channel models available, the PicoScope 4000A Series boasts 12-bit hardware resolution (to 16 bits with Resolution Enhancement), 256 MS deep capture memory, 20 MHz bandwidth with 80 MS/s sampling speed, up to 70 dB SFDR and a built-in 14-bit triggerable signal generator and 80 MS/s AWG. A SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface powers the instrument and delivers up to 160 MS/s communications to the host PC.

All models run with the popular PicoScope 6 user interface and benefit from the free PicoSDK software development kit, which gives users direct programming control of the hardware for custom applications. The scopes also work with PicoLog 6 data logging software for lower-speed long-duration captures.


"Pico Technology is striving to provide new and enhanced solutions that keep pace with each new generation of demands placed on engineers, scientists and technicians,” says Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager at Pico Technology. “The 4000A Series is intended for users who need to make multi-channel precision waveform measurements of sensors, actuators, audio, vibration, power and electromechanical signals as well as low-speed electronic sensors and serial communications.”

The SDK allows users to write their own software to create custom applications with the 4000A Series hardware. Drivers for Windows, macOS and Linux are included, making the 4000A Series ideal for a wide range of OEM applications.

Example code, hosted on the Pico Technology GitHub pages, shows how to interface to third-party software packages such as Microsoft Excel, National Instruments LabVIEW and MathWorks MATLAB and programming languages including C, C++, C# and Python. ​The drivers support USB data streaming, a mode that captures gap-free continuous data over USB direct to the PC’s RAM or hard disk at rates of up to 160 MS/s. Capture size is limited only by available PC storage.

The new PicoScope 4000A Series is available worldwide from January 12, 2021, priced from $899 / €759 / £629. Each unit has Pico’s five-year warranty.

For more information visit https://www.picotech.com/oscilloscope/4000/picoscope-4000-series

PicoScope® 4425A: Electric Vehicle Kit

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PicoScope® 4425A: Electric Vehicle Kit (Hi-res)

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27 October 2020
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The importance of Electric Vehicles is clearly evident as part of the drive towards better use of clean and renewable energy and the reduction of harmful emissions and particulates. EV is now discussed so widely, and the investment in increasing EV deployment so great, that every workshop is increasingly aware of the need to handle EVs. Pico is working with our partners and customers to ensure that workshops can be as safe, efficient and effective working with EV as they are with Internal Combustion Engines (ICE).

This PicoScope 4425A kit provides comprehensive diagnostics capability for all types of EV (BEV, MHEV, PHEV, Fuel-cell), and ICE (Diesel, Gasoline, LPG). In combination with the extensive range of Pico accessories, the 4425A covers engines/motors, sensors, actuators, communications buses, Noise Vibration & Harshness, and all basic measurements in an easy-to-use system that includes extensive guidance for technicians. The PicoScope 4425A EV Kit contains all the test equipment required to ensure it is safe to work on an EV, and to investigate any faults that are likely to cause safety issues.

The wide range of EV systems covered includes:

DC HV energy system or the AC motor/generator drive system
Charging behaviour and 12V/HV battery current split issues
CP/PP communications between charging system and vehicle
3-phase current measurements to check winding balance under load
All 12V and 48V systems

Based on the unique PicoBNC+ connection system, the PicoScope 4425A will continue to be enhanced and expanded with ongoing investment by Pico in new technologies to ensure that PicoScope users will always have the ability to satisfy their customers.

Together with PicoScope 7 software, the system delivers ease of use for those less experienced and offers advanced features when needed. Continued benefits include free software updates and the use of large screen displays in workshops, making measurements clearly visible at all times. PicoScope is an investment that pays back quickly and generates profits for your workshop long after initial purchase.

In addition to the new EV capability, the 4425A still offers the benefits so appreciated by technicians: ConnectDetect™ , ±200 V voltage input range, floating input system, high sample rate (up to 400 MS/s), high vertical resolution (12-bit to 16-bit enhanced), SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface, 20 MHz bandwidth, advanced triggers, advanced filtering, large buffer memory (250 million samples), maths channels, measurement and phase rulers, Pico waveform library, more than 150 guided tests, and the amazing free Pico software upgrades.

PicoScope is used and trusted by more authorised and independent repairers than any other measurement system because it gives them the capability, confidence and support to quickly find and prove the fix for most vehicle faults. PicoScope data can be shared across the network, and the system used for electrical, pressure, hydraulic, NVH (Noise, Vibration & Harshness), offering comprehensive coverage on vehicles of every type: trucks, buses, motorcycles, agricultural and construction equipment, off-highway and industrial systems.

 

The PicoScope 4425A sets a new standard in diagnostic oscilloscopes for vehicle and equipment technicians, offering unrivalled performance and usability focused on making your diagnostics faster and more accurate than ever before. When you buy a PicoScope you benefit from more than 25 years investment in the world’s best diagnostic oscilloscopes. Join us! The PicoScope 4425A/4225A oscilloscopes and kits are available now from our distributors worldwide and directly from www.picoauto.com

New PicoVNA 108 8.5 GHz vector network analyzer

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New PicoVNA 108 8.5 GHz vector network analyzer (Hi-res)

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24 August 2020
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The market and range of applications for the vector network analyzer have simply exploded in recent years and continue to do so. Growth is not simply driven by the proliferation of microwave, gigabit and wireless signals in our lives, but also in penetrating and short-range radar imaging and proximity detection in secure spaces, and in dielectric materials, tissues and composites. The vector network analyzer sits behind our data flow, communications, food, healthcare, defence, civil infrastructure, robotics and automation.

The breadth of roles places heavy and varied demands on the VNA so inevitably, following the release three years ago of the popular PicoVNA106 6 GHz instrument, the cries of "more is better" began to ring out: "more frequency range", "more port power and dynamic range", "make it faster" and "load it with more functionality"!


On all of these, the newly announced PicoVNA 108, in the same low-cost, small-footprint and portable format, does not disappoint. The PicoVNA 108 can see out further to 8.5 GHz, and it can see down deeper to –124 dB. It provides new "save on trigger" synchronization for multiple measurements, for example with changing conditions or multiplexed measurement routings. This, added to the convenience of integrated bias-Ts, speeds batch test and device characterizations. We have also added offset frequency capability to the Quad RX four-receiver architecture, and synchronization and control of the PicoSource AS108 8 GHz agile synthesizer from within the PicoVNA 3 software. This instrument partnership allows RF mixer and RF/IF system characterizations using the PicoVNA 108. Other popular third-party signal generators are also supported.

Before we announce the amazingly low price of the PicoVNA 108, let's dispel any thought that the PicoVNAs are based upon anything other than a full-function, professional-grade and widely respected, UK-designed measurement engine. For only £5795 the PicoVNA 108 can deliver all four s-parameters in as little as 190 µs, with high dynamic range and accuracy. (PicoVNA 106 £4205). At these prices the PicoVNAs achieve substantial cost saving for the professional user and are affordable to small and start-up businesses, volume users in the classroom and even some amateur users. Price is comparable with traditionally lower-cost single-port reflectometers and even scalar network analyzers of similar bandwidth. "More is better" and "more costs less" with the PicoVNA.

Many readers will be aware that calibration standards and interconnects can both dominate measurement errors in network analysis, so Pico supports both PicoVNA models with low-cost but equally impressive SMA and PC3.5 calibration standards and test leads, all with precision-machined stainless steel connectors. PicoVNA software supports 8- or 12-term calibration, including the "unknown thru" method. Unwanted measurement contributions from feedlines or test jigs can be eliminated using manual or auto-sensed reference plane shift, normalization or de-embedded Touchstone, taken from either measurement or EM simulation. Fast Fourier time-domain transformation and impedance transformation are both included as standard.  TDT / TDR plots have a system rise time down to 58 ps and these support resistance and distance to fault readout out to over 100 meters.

 

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent over 25 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC oscilloscopes and RF instrumentation.

We have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Other examples are the PicoScope PC sampling oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; RF and microwave signal sources and probes; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC-08 and PT-104 temperature data loggers; and the multi-award-winning automotive oscilloscope kit.

More information on Pico Technology can be found at:

www.picotech.com

Pico Technology extends range of PC-based Mixed Signal Oscilloscopes

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Pico Technology extends range of PC-based Mixed Signal Oscilloscopes (Hi-res)

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26 May 2020
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PicoScope 6000E Series compact 4+16 channel MSOs deliver cost-effective test and debugging solution for engineers, developers and scientists.

Pico Technology today announced the further development of its PicoScope 6000E Series oscilloscopes with the launch of three new 4-channel models, each of which can be configured with 16 optional digital channels. With bandwidths of 300 or 500 MHz, 8-bit or 8/10/12-bit Flexible Resolution and up to 4 GS deep capture memory, these products enhance the existing PicoScope 6000E portfolio, adding to the 8-channel models that were introduced earlier in the year.

“The expansion of the PicoScope 6000E Series is an exciting development as it addresses mainstream test engineering requirements that are faced by engineers developing next-generation embedded systems. The PicoScope 6000E Series, coupled with the popular and proven PicoScope 6 application software, provides advanced debugging tools to accelerate development of high-end embedded systems, signal processing, power electronics, mechatronics, and automotive designs”, said Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager at Pico Technology. “The PicoScope 6000E Series incorporates many unique features as standard, such as 21 serial protocol decoder / analyzers, spectrum analysis capability, a 50 MHz arbitrary waveform generator, and user-defined math and alarm functions for in-depth analysis and long-term unattended testing. With a starting price of only $4,865, these products meet the need for affordable, fully capable waveform analysis solutions that are supported by Pico’s world-class technical support experts.”

With dimensions of 245 x 192 x 62 mm (9.7 x 7.6 x 2.5 inches), the 6000E Series oscilloscopes fit easily on any workbench. Pico PC-based instruments are ideal  for engineers who need professional-grade test equipment that fits in limited available space, whether in a laboratory or at their home office.

A free-of-charge Software Development Kit (SDK) is available to download that enables users to write their own applications around the PicoScope 6000E hardware. The SDK includes instrument drivers for Windows, macOS and Linux, and code examples in C, C#, C++ and Python. Drivers are also provided to interface with popular third-party software packages such as Microsoft Excel, National Instruments LabVIEW and MathWorks MATLAB. Pico is an approved MathWorks Connections Program Partner with extensive in-house MATLAB developer experience.

Full capabilities of the PicoScope 6000E hardware are exposed to the programmer via the API, which enables development of virtually unlimited custom and OEM applications in scientific, research, industrial, automotive and power applications.

Pricing:

PicoScope 6403E (300 MHz bandwidth, 8-bit resolution, 1 GS memory) $4,865 / €4,135 / £3,415
PicoScope 6404E (500 MHz bandwidth, 8-bit resolution, 2 GS memory) $7,305 / €6,205 / £5,125
PicoScope 6424E (500 MHz bandwidth, 8/10/12-bit resolution, 4 GS memory) $8,725 / €7,415 / £6,125
TA369 Digital Pod (8 channels, 1 ns capture) $709 / €599 / £499

Total cost of ownership (TCO) of PicoScope PC-based instruments compares favourably with conventional benchtop instruments through free software updates provided throughout the lifetime of the products. Further, as new PC and display technologies become available they can be swapped in at cost, thereby upgrading performance of the instruments to meet future needs.

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent over 25 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, while engineers at our Eastern Europe office have been working in the RF and microwave market since 1974.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC-08 and PT-104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

More information on Pico Technology can be found at:

www.picotech.com

Multi-channel probe positioning system

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Multi-channel probe positioning system (Hi-res)

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11 May 2020
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Oscilloscopes with more than two channels present humans with a common problem: none of us have enough hands to hold more than two oscilloscope probes in place. This is especially an issue when using an 8-channel oscilloscope such as the new PicoScope 6800E devices, so it was particularly important for Pico Technology to address it.

There aren’t many solutions to this problem, and they’re nearly all either inefficient or uneconomical: for example, you may have obliging colleagues who can help you hold the probes – not the best use of their time though. You could try soldering the probes to the device under test – this can work for some tests but ruins the probe.

Pico has come up with an ingenious solution to hold a PCB under test firmly in place and accurately position as many test probes as required, so that the user has their hands free to operate the oscilloscope or other test equipment.

The distinctive design of the flexible “gooseneck” probe holding and positioning system uses the Pico 2.5 mm fine pitch probe supplied with the PicoScope 6000 Series oscilloscopes. The key to their perfect balance and flexibility is a sublimely weighted probe holder that exploits the force of gravity to push the sprung probe tip just enough to make a good contact with the board or component under test.

With a PCB held firmly in place by four magnetic pillars, the system can be used for inspection or for soldering. Additionally, a rigid but lightweight steel baseplate keeps the pillars and probe holders in place and has a mirror finish on one side, enabling the user to see any status LEDs that may be on the underside of the PCB.

The probe positioning system is available as a kit with four 500 MHz BNC-connected passive probes for users with any BNC oscilloscope up to 500 MHz, or as a kit without the probes for existing PicoScope 6000 Series customers. Additional probe arms can also be purchased separately, so users can upgrade their kits.

Click here to read the full article on the Pico multi-channel probe positioning system.

 

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent over 25 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, while engineers at our Eastern Europe office have been working in the RF and microwave market since 1974.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC-08 and PT-104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

More information on Pico Technology can be found at:

www.picotech.com

To receive regular updates, subscribe to our monthly newsletter at:

www.picotech.com/newsletter/

Pico Technology and PicoScope are internationally registered trademarks of Pico Technology Ltd.

PicoScope™ 4425A: Active Diagnostics

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PicoScope™ 4425A: Active Diagnostics (Hi-res)

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06 April 2020
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Today Pico Technology launches the new PicoScope 4425A and 4225A diagnostic oscilloscopes, available in 4-channel and 2-channel configurations. This latest diagnostic PicoScope combines all the strengths of our existing 4425/4225 labscopes but adds a smart interface for powered and intelligent accessories (PicoBNC+™), which combines the standard BNC with an active digital connection and power. The 4425A and 4225A continue to work with all your existing BNC probes and accessories, preserving  your investments.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, Pico had to make changes to the launch plan as most staff are working remotely.  We discussed delaying the launch but decided that we would push ahead and make the best launch we can.  Technicians across the world use PicoScope to fix faults in vehicles and off-highway equipment such as harvesters. Our customers have not stopped work, and we will continue to support them in every way possible.

The new models make it even easier (and intuitive) for inexperienced users and experts alike, with new test capabilities and future-proofing. Together with a range of accessories, there is a kit for vehicle assessors, and our EV kit will be launching soon.

The new PicoBNC+ connection is a plug-and-play design – push to connect, and that's it! Interactive LEDs on the scope match the color-coding on the probes when connected. Probes are automatically recognized in the software and set up accordingly, making diagnostics even faster and easier with the PicoScope 4425A.

PicoBNC+ probe recognition saves time, reduces errors, and allows new users to become confident and comfortable faster than with other scopes.
PicoBNC+ powered probes mean that current clamps are always ready for action, with no batteries or limit on long-term measurements.
PicoBNC+ software control provides Auto-zero on probes, avoids manual switch settings, and simplifies probe setup for users.
Channel status LEDs provide a clear indication of which probes to connect to which channel, and of active channels.
Probe mismatch [PicoScope 7] eliminates the chance of accidental incorrect setup or measurements.

In addition to the new features, the 4425A still offers the benefits seen in the previous 4425 PicoScope: ConnectDetect™, ±200V voltage input range, floating input system, high sample rate (up to 400 MS/s), high vertical resolution (12-bit to 16-bit enhanced), SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface, 20MHz bandwidth, advanced triggers, advanced filtering, large buffer memory (250 million samples), maths channels, measurement and phase rulers, Pico waveform library, more than 150 guided tests, and the fantastic free Pico software upgrades.

PicoScope is used and trusted by more authorized and independent repairers than any other measurement system because it gives them the capability, confidence and support to find and prove the fix for most vehicle faults quickly. PicoScope lets you diagnose electrical, pressure, hydraulic, and NVH (Noise, Vibration & Harshness) faults, offering comprehensive coverage on vehicles of every type, trucks, buses, motorcycles, agricultural and construction equipment, off-highway and industrial systems.

The PicoScope 4425A sets a new standard in diagnostic oscilloscopes for vehicle and equipment technicians, offering unrivalled performance and usability focused on making your diagnostics faster and more accurate than ever before.

When you buy a PicoScope, you benefit from more than 25 years of investment in the world's best diagnostic oscilloscopes. Join us! The PicoScope 4425A/4225A oscilloscopes and kits are available now from our distributors worldwide and directly from www.picoauto.com.

Please direct all editorial enquiries to:

Samantha Graham, Marketing Executive, Pico Technology, James House, Colmworth Business Park, St. Neots

Cambridgeshire, PE19 8YP, United Kingdom

Tel:       +44 (0) 1480 396395      Email: samantha.graham@picotech.com

PicoScope 6000E Series: a smarter scope for faster debug

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PicoScope 6000E Series: a smarter scope for faster debug (Hi-res)

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24 February 2020
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24th February 2020 – Pico Technology Ltd announces the PicoScope 6000E Series FlexRes® oscilloscopes, featuring 8 channels with 500 MHz bandwidth, 16 digital channels, and resolution of 8, 10 or 12 bits. The products work with PicoScope 6 application software, which takes full advantage of the latest PC performance and display capabilities, showing clean, crisp waveforms on screens of any size and resolution. The top-of-the range PicoScope 6824E has dual 5 GS/s analog to digital converters and 4 gigasamples of capture memory as standard. It offers a rich set of built-in tools for embedded systems debug, including DeepMeasure™ that captures the measurement results of each one in up to a million cycles.

8 + 16 channels address challenges faced by engineers when debugging complex IoT and embedded systems that have mixed analog and digital elements, such as serial and parallel communications with high-speed low-voltage signaling.

FlexRes architecture allows the hardware to be configured by the user to optimize either the sampling rate, to 5 GS/s at 8-bit resolution, or up to 12-bit resolution with 1.25 GS/s sampling. For diverse applications such as capturing and decoding fast digital signals, or looking for distortion in sensitive analog signals, flexible resolution allows both measurements to be made with the same oscilloscope.

The advantage of deep capture memory is the ability to capture long-duration events while maintaining a high sample rate, which means that the oscilloscope can make the best use of its bandwidth. The PicoScope 6824E, with standard 4 GS memory, can capture a 200-millisecond signal at a sampling rate of 5 GS/s, so 200 picoseconds resolution (a ratio of 1:1,000,000,000). Deep captures can be explored with the included waveform buffer navigator and zoomed in by up to a million times using the zoom/pan controls.

The PicoScope 6000E Series utilizes PicoScope 6 PC software, a proven and popular graphical user interface with over 100,000 users worldwide. It presents information in time, frequency and digital domains as required by the user. Mask limit testing and user-defined alarms are included, as well as capture memory segmentation from 1 to 10,000. Translated into 22 languages, PicoScope 6 can be used anywhere in the world.

To address the proliferation of serial communication technologies, PicoScope 6 includes decoders for 21 serial protocols as well as parallel bus decoding of the digital channels. The most recent additions to the list of supported protocols are BroadR-Reach (100BASE-T1) Automotive Ethernet, Manchester and DALI. More protocols are in development and will be deployed as free-of-charge updates in the future.

The PicoScope 6000E Series delivers the best performance in its class, with better than –50 dB harmonic distortion at 1 MHz on all models and over 60 dB SFDR (PicoScope 6824E). Baseline noise specification is < 150 μV RMS on the most sensitive range.

PicoScope 6000E further increases its value with an integrated 200 MS/s arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) and 50 MHz function generator with built-in sine, square, triangle, DC voltage, ramp up, ramp down, Gaussian and half-sine functions.

Pico is also introducing the Pico probe holder system. It uses novel flexible “gooseneck” holders and is designed to work perfectly with Pico 2.5 mm passive probes with spring tips for all PicoScope 6000 Series scopes. The holders are mounted on a mirror-finished steel base plate, equipped with magnetic PCB posts with insulation washers to hold the device under test (DUT) to address the perennial problem of how to make reliable multiple probe connections to a DUT.

Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager for Test & Measurement products at Pico Technology commented “The PicoScope 6000E will disrupt the mid-range oscilloscope market. It offers new capabilities that engineers need to debug and validate their next generation of electronic designs. It offers better price/performance than traditional benchtop oscilloscopes, with many features included as standard that are only available as expensive upgrade options on competing products. Coupled with the new probe holder system and proven PicoScope 6 software, this product is a winner.”

Availability

PicoScope 6000E Series oscilloscopes are available now with prices starting at $11,395.

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent over 25 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, while engineers at our Eastern Europe office have been working in the RF and microwave market since 1974.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC-08 and PT-104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

More information on Pico Technology can be found at:

www.picotech.com

Automotive Ethernet testing simplified with new analysis software

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Automotive Ethernet testing simplified with new analysis software (Hi-res)

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25 November 2019
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Pico Technology has released a new BroadR-Reach decoder/analyzer package that simplifies Automotive Ethernet integration testing and debugging. The package includes a novel non-intrusive Software Directional Coupler to separate up- and downstream traffic on full-duplex communication lines.

BroadR-Reach allows multiple in-vehicle systems to simultaneously access information over single unshielded twisted-pair cables. The technology delivers relatively high-speed data, 100 Mbps, with low connectivity costs and cabling weight.

The BroadR-Reach physical layer (BR-PHY) uses three-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM3) signaling, limited to 33⅓ MHz bandwidth, and a data scrambling technique to equalize power spectral density within the allocated band. It operates as a full-duplex connection with simultaneous Master-Slave/Slave-Master transmissions, so is more challenging to test than previous-generation networks such as CAN, CAN-FD and FlexRay.

Until now, most automotive Ethernet testing solutions required insertion of a hardware directional coupler to separate the bidirectional data streams. But such couplers can interfere with normal functioning of the network and deliver misleading test results. The PicoScope Software Directional Coupler utilizes two non-intrusive differential voltage probing points a known distance apart, together with the known velocity of propagation in standard RG58 or Cat5 cable, to separate the transmitted data waveforms in each direction.

Once the waveforms have been separated to show up- and downstream traffic, the PicoScope BroadR-Reach decoder can be used to display the contents of each data packet, aligned with the transmitted waveform. If required, two software directional couplers can be set up and decoded to show both the Master > Slave and Slave > Master communications at once. The decoded data can also be displayed in tabular listing format for ease of viewing. Filtering and search tools are provided to help engineers focus on specific packet and field contents of interest.

Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager at Pico Technology, said “BroadR-Reach technology has been widely adopted for the next generation of automotive networks. The PicoScope decoder/analyzer enables engineers to solve the critical signal analysis and network verification challenges that they face when bringing those designs to market. It is included as standard with PicoScope 6.14.10 application software, and builds on our heritage of support for automotive protocols that includes CAN, CAN-FD, FlexRay, LIN and SENT.”

Commenting further on deployment of the solution, Smith added “We offered beta versions of the decoder/analyzer to some key automotive customers during the summer, and received very positive responses and useful feedback. It helped us to validate the Software Directional Coupler algorithm and functionality of the decoder. Now the wider community of engineers working on automotive networks will benefit from that effort.”

Recommended hardware:

  • PicoScope 6000 – any model. With bandwidth from 250 to 500 MHz, 5 GS/s sampling and capture memory up to 2 gigasamples
  • TA045 200 MHz differential probes (x2) for probing the two test points on the BroadR-Reach network

Further information

DALI decoder/analyzer added to PicoScope

20 August 2019
Category:

Pico Technology has added DALI decoding and analysis with the latest version of PicoScope 6 software.

DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) provides two-way communications between lighting fixtures (“luminaires”), ballasts and controllers. A DALI controller can talk to individual LED drivers and ballasts, and those devices can in turn talk back to the controller to report light failures, energy consumption, ambient light conditions and so on.

Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager at Pico Technology, noted, “Networked DALI devices are at the heart of modern buildings management. Engineers and systems integrators developing modules and deploying DALI networks need tools to rapidly identify timing and signal integrity problems when they occur. PicoScope DALI decoder provides clear display of the data communications flow, and easy correlation with the waveform of frame errors due to signal integrity issues.”

The decoder is included as standard with PicoScope 6.4.14 and is available to download free of charge. It is compatible with PicoScope 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 Series PC-based Test & Measurement oscilloscopes.

For more information go to: https://www.picotech.com/library/oscilloscopes/dali-serial-protocol-decoding

The PicoVNA Network Metrology Training Kit and NI/AWR Microwave Office Connected Partnership

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The PicoVNA Network Metrology Training Kit and NI/AWR Microwave Office Connected Partnership (Hi-res)

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22 September 2019
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Adding significant functionality and value to their low-cost, high-performance Vector Network Analyzer, PicoTechnology proudly announce that they have joined the NI/AWR Connected Partner community.

The PicoVNA Interface wizard integrates and tightly couples highly affordable Vector Network Measurement within the market-leading Design–Simulate–Implement process flow of Microwave Office and the AWR Design Environment. Component, system and subsystem measurements become available, controllable and displayed inside the Office workspace.   Real-world measurements are available for one-click transfer to plots for direct comparison with simulated data or to your project files for use within simulation.

Features at a glance

Control and view PicoVNA output from inside your design environment
One-click measurement transfer to new or existing project data files or plots
Fast, convenient comparison of ideal, modelled and measured component data
Simulation with measured component or subsystem data
Extend measured data to zero hertz for passive component simulation at DC
Active device measurement and plotting of Max. Stable and Available Gain, K-Factor and B1

A powerful education and training alliance

Ask yourself the question: Can there be any more effective and rewarding learning experience than completing an entire design cycle? 

Unfortunately, the high costs of microwave network measurement have for many compromised that experience in the classroom. However, the more affordable PicoVNA 106, 6 GHz, full-function, professional-grade vector network analyzer, partnered with Microwave Office, could change the game.

Add to that mix the newly available Network Metrology Test Kit from Pico Technology. Low-cost, potentially a per-student item, the kit includes active and passive circuit elements and all the low-cost calibration standards and test leads that are needed to partner the PicoVNA 106 in classroom microwave network measurement.  This PCB-hosted kit was designed within Microwave Office. DUT elements can be modified by students and the kit is supplied with the MWO project design file for immediate engagement with any of the available circuit elements at any point in their design cycle.

Either within MWO or used stand-alone with the PicoVNA 106, this single integrated teaching accessory supports teaching objectives around reflection and transmission measurements, S-parameters and standard measurement quantities. These can be presented and interpreted as log, linear, phase, real, imaginary, polar and Smith chart, with derived quantities group delay and time domain transmission and reflection. Additionally, by including an active broadband amplifier element, nonlinear compression measurements such as P1dB and AM to PM phase due to amplitude modulation can be explored using the PicoVNA 106’s built-in measurement utilities.

Pricing

PicoVNA 106

PicoVNA 106 6 GHz USB vector network analyzer

PQ189  $5995  €5085  £4205

Network Metrology Training printed circuit accessory MWO project file and carry case

PQ186  $469  €399  £329

Network Metrology Training kit and carry case

Incl: PQ189 training PCA, PQ190 SMA(f) training SOLT kit, 2x N(m)-SMA(f) inter-series adaptor, 2x TA312 60cm SMA(m-m) test lead, TA177 SMA wrench. MWO project file.

$829  €699  £579

Software

PicoVNA 2 instrument control GUI and DLL.

F.O.C.

PicoVNA Interface wizard for NI/AWR Design Environment

F.O.C.

For further information or free of charge software download visit www.picotech.com.

Pico Technology is the leading supplier of USB-controlled instrumentation, with products spanning oscilloscopes, data loggers, signal sources and network analysis. Pico is UK headquartered and offers global distribution and support from offices in the UK, Texas and Shanghai.

The PicoScope 9404-16 SXRTO: a 16 GHz sampler-extended real-time oscilloscope!

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The PicoScope 9404-16 SXRTO: a 16 GHz sampler-extended real-time oscilloscope! (Hi-res)

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22 September 2019
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At an even more compelling low price point, Pico Technology has today introduced the PicoScope 9404-16 SXRTO, a 16 GHz sampler-extended real-time oscilloscope. The new model joins the 5 GHz 9404-05 model launched earlier this year. Ideally suited to repetitive or clock-derived signals, both models feature four high-resolution 12-bit channels, each supported by real-time sampling to 500 MS/s per channel and up to 5 TS/s (0.2 ps) equivalent-time sampling. These are voltage and timing resolutions that match or more typically exceed the best available amongst broadband real-time oscilloscopes today. 

The wide-band inputs, and fine timing and voltage resolutions, display and accurately measure transitions as fast as 22 ps, pulses and impulses down to 45 ps wide, and allow clock performance and eye diagram analysis of up to 11 Gb/s gigabit signals (to third harmonic). Less than 2 ps RMS trigger jitter and 5 GHz trigger support margin analysis and characterization of today’s high-speed serial data systems, whilst integrated clock and data recovery to 11 Gb/s and an external prescaled trigger input extend the SXRTO trigger capability to the full bandwidth of the 16 GHz model. In addition the real-time broadband sampling modes can support, for example, capture of carrier envelope, baseband modulation and other envelope tracking signals around amplify, route and transmit paths; including major wireless communication frequency bands such as 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5.5 GHz and upwards.

Pico’s SXRTO instrument architecture vastly reduces the cost of broadband time-domain sampling for repetitive signal or clock-related applications. Mark Ashcroft, RF Business Development Manager at Pico, observes that the principal cost drivers within the traditional real-time oscilloscope (RTO) are data and memory bandwidth. High-speed real-time sampling requires data bandwidth far in excess of the analog system bandwidth, which drives up the cost of those instruments. Constrained by cost, existing RTOs use ETS (random equivalent time sampling) to extend sampling density when repetitive signals are available. Pico’s SXRTO architecture samples at a more cost-effective lower rate of 500 MS/s and instead develops the ETS technique to achieve market-leading sample rate multiplication of x10,000 to 5 TS/s. The vastly lower-cost SXRTO architecture recognizes that many high-bandwidth signals are or can be repetitive; allowing the expense of high sampling rate instruments to be avoided. 

In contrast to “sampling oscilloscopes”, the ETS technique supports trigger and pre-trigger capture and the familiarity, convenience and ease of real-time oscilloscope operation. Pico’s SXRTO technology seamlessly transitions to single-event waveform capture at sampling rates at and below 500 MS/s and both sampling modes capture to memory of 250,000 samples (single channel); particularly valuable for the capture of slower system signals, modulation envelopes and repeating pulse or data patterns, for example.

This USB-controlled instrument is supplied with PicoSample 4 software. The touch-compatible GUI controls the instrument and presents waveforms, measurements and statistics on your preferred size and format of display. There is full support for available Windows display resolutions, allowing the inspection of waveform detail or presentation of measurements on 4k monitors, for example, or projection or across multiple monitors.  Additionally, up to four independent zoomed trace views can fully reveal 12-bit, 250 kS waveform detail.

A wide range of automated and user-configurable signal integrity measurements, mathematics, statistical views and limits test facilities are included for validation and trending of pulse and timing performance, jitter, RZ and NRZ eye diagrams. Industry-standard communications mask tests such as PCIe, GB Ethernet and Serial ATA are included as standard. 

While most users will use the PicoSample 4 software in their workplace, for OEM and custom applications the PicoScope 9404 can operate under ActiveX remote control. Programming examples are provided in Visual Basic (VB.NET), MATLAB and LabVIEW, but any programming language or standard that supports the Windows COM interface standard, including JavaScript and C, can be used. 

PicoConnect® 900 Series gigabit and microwave passive test probes are recommended for use with the 9404, offering a range of bandwidths, division ratios and coupling types (AC and DC) for diverse applications. The PicoScope 9404 has an active SMA interface to support future configurations and accessories on this new product architecture. 

Pricing

At 5 GHz, the PicoScope 9404-05 is priced at $14,995 / €11,995 / £10,995.  At 16 GHz the PicoScope 9404-16 is $19,495 / €17,245 / £14,995, and both come with a comprehensive five-year warranty. For further information visit www.picotech.com.

Non-Intrusive PAM3 Automotive Ethernet Protocol Decoder – call for Beta testers

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Non-Intrusive PAM3 Automotive Ethernet Protocol Decoder – call for Beta testers (Hi-res)

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03 July 2019
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The increasing use of ECUs in vehicles, and advanced signal processing, is driving the need for high performance automotive networks. 100BASE-T1 / BroadR-Reach has emerged as the physical layer standard for automotive applications. It uses PAM3 signalling on a differential twisted pair to give good performance and noise immunity for a reasonable cost.

Full duplex PAM3 overlaid signals on a single line are readable by the transceivers at each end as they both know the contribution of their own signal and are able to reconstruct the incoming signal received out of the sum. But external monitoring, test and analysis of full duplex signals normally requires insertion of a hardware directional coupler to separate up- and down-stream traffic, which adds test complexity and impacts on the characteristics of the network under test.

Pico Technology are preparing to introduce the industry’s first non-intrusive full duplex automotive Ethernet protocol decoder, analyzer and measurement system. It will run on any PicoScope model with a bandwidth of 200 MHz and above: PicoScope 3000, 5000 and 6000 Series instruments.

Ahead of the formal launch, Pico are inviting engineers who are currently working on 100BASE-T1 / BroadR-Reach automotive networks to participate in the Beta test program. Selected participants will be provided with PicoScope 6 software that includes the new Automotive Ethernet analysis functionality, with a loan of suitable PicoScope hardware if the user does not already have it.

Participants will be asked to rate the system with scores for usability, functionality and performance, as well as suggestions for future development of the technology.

To join the Beta test program and/or register your interest in the product when it is launched, please send an email to: pm3duplexdecoder-beta@picotech.com with the following details:

1.           Your name

2.           Company:

3.           Address:

4.           Telephone number:

5.           Do you already have a PicoScope? Which model?

6.           Brief description of the technology you are working with and your test needs:

PicoLog data loggers now support Raspberry Pi computers

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PicoLog data loggers now support Raspberry Pi computers (Hi-res)

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04 July 2019
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Pico is really excited to announce its first ever fully supported software package for the popular and inexpensive single-board computer, the Raspberry Pi. 

Optimized and tested on the new Raspberry Pi 4, and the current 3B and 3B+ on Raspbian Stretch, the PicoLog 6 data logging software package provides a visual, easy-to-use interface allowing you to quickly set up simple or complex acquisitions and record, view and analyze data. It's the same fully functioning software that runs on Windows, macOS and Linux.
 
Coupled with a Raspberry Pi, this new PicoLog 6 package expands the flexibility and opens the door for Pico's data loggers to be used in new and different ways:

You can now connect the logger to the Pi and remove the keyboard, mouse and video to make an inexpensive stand-alone logger storing its captured data locally on a Pi SD-Card
Furthermore, connecting your Pi by WiFi or Ethernet, you can internet-enable your Pico logger which you can then access remotely using an open-source VNC server and viewer freely available
...and better still, utilising the Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability on the Raspberry Pi 3B+ paired with the PoE PiHAT not only eliminates the need for an external power supply and powered USB hub, it also internet-enables your logger at the same time

 

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent over 28 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, while engineers at our Eastern Europe office have been working in the RF and microwave market since 1974.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC‑08 and PT‑104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

More information on Pico Technology can be found at:

www.picotech.com

To receive regular updates, subscribe to our monthly newsletter at:

www.picotech.com/newsletter

Pico Technology, PicoLog and PicoScope are internationally registered trademarks of Pico Technology Limited and are registered at the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office.

Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

PicoScope 4823: 8-Channel high-speed automotive oscilloscope

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PicoScope 4823: 8-Channel high-speed automotive oscilloscope (Hi-res)

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01 July 2019
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Today Pico Technology launches the PicoScope 4823, its first 8-channel oscilloscope for the automotive market. The PicoScope 4823 oscilloscope is ideal for those involved in advanced diagnostics, training or vehicle design.  The 8 channels allow multiple sensors, actuators and CAN / CAN FD signals to be monitored at the same time at up to 80MS/s.  It is ready-configured for automotive probes and includes more than 150 Guided tests, plus access to thousands of comparisons in the Pico waveform library which now supports 8 channels.

The 4823 inputs have common grounds protected by self-resetting fuses; this offers less input protection than the floating input design of the 2 & 4 channel 4225/4425 PicoScopes, but by sharing grounds it makes connecting up its 8 channels quicker.  The PicoScope 4823 is an oscilloscope for the expert user with complex problems to diagnose, while the 4425 remains the scope of choice for general workshop use. Other specifications are what you would expect from a deep-memory PicoScope, with 12-bit resolution, 20 MHz bandwidth, a 256 MS buffer memory, and SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface.

PicoScope is used and trusted by more authorised and independent repairers than any other measurement system because it gives them the capability, confidence and support to quickly find and prove the fix for most vehicle faults. When you buy a PicoScope, you benefit from more than 25 years investment in the world’s best diagnostic oscilloscopes. Join us!

The PicoScope 4823 is simply the best 8-channel diagnostic oscilloscope for vehicle and equipment technicians, offering unrivalled performance for the same amount as equipment that leaves you stuck or frustrated by the limitations. The Pico community and resources are there for you every step of the way with a PicoScope diagnostic oscilloscope.

Pricing: The PicoScope 4823 is available now for £1735 $2305 €1955 from our distributors worldwide and directly from www.picoauto.com

Manchester decoder added to PicoScope

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Manchester decoder added to PicoScope (Hi-res)

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01 July 2019
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Pico Technology has added generic Manchester protocol decoding to PicoScope 6 software.

Manchester encoded signals are used widely in network communications standards such as MIL-STD-1553, 10BaseT Ethernet as well as RFID and consumer IR devices. Customized versions are used in numerous embedded system applications.

Manchester waveforms are “self-clocked”; the clock signal is embedded in the transmitted data using an exclusive-OR Boolean function. Embedding the clock means that only one signal line is required, rather than two or three that are needed with standards such as I2C and SPI.

Data is normally sent in frames that are arranged in fields to make up the complete protocol for a particular application. Field definitions include # of start bits, word length, bit order (LSB or MSB), preamble, header, data and checksum. The generic Manchester decoder settings panel in PicoScope allows each field to be matched to the definition for a given implementation.

Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager at Pico Technology Ltd., commented: “Serial communications are the arteries of modern electronic system designs, but they often account for signal integrity problems that need to be identified and resolved before committing a design to production and deployment.”

“Manchester based designs are popular because they simplify PCB layouts, and offer versatile data structures for a wide range of needs. The PicoScope Manchester decoder can be configured to match almost any frame structure, enabling engineers to get a clear view of their data, and the corresponding signal waveforms, and from there to the root cause of design errors.”

The Manchester decoder is included as standard with all current PicoScope hardware, from the entry-level 2000 Series to the high-end 6000 Series with 500 MHz bandwidth, 5 GS/s sampling and up to 2GS capture memory. Existing PicoScope users can download the latest version 6.14 free-of-charge from https://www.picotech.com/downloads

Read more about the PicoScope Manchester decoder here: https://www.picotech.com/library/oscilloscopes/manchester-encoded-signals-serial-protocol-decoding

 

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent over 28 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, while engineers at our Eastern Europe office have been working in the RF and microwave market since 1974.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC‑08 and PT‑104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

More information on Pico Technology can be found at:

www.picotech.com

To receive regular updates, subscribe to our monthly newsletter at:

www.picotech.com/newsletter

Pico Technology, PicoLog and PicoScope are internationally registered trademarks of Pico Technology Limited and are registered at the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office.

The SXRTO: Sampler extended real time oscilloscope 5 GHz oscilloscope!

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The SXRTO: Sampler extended real time oscilloscope 5 GHz oscilloscope! (Hi-res)

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26 February 2019
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Pico Technology has today introduced the PicoScope 9404 SXRTO (Sampler eXtended Real Time Oscilloscope). The 9404 features four 5 GHz 12-bit channels, each supported by real-time sampling to 500 MS/s per channel and up to 1 TS/s (1 ps) equivalent-time sampling.  Both the voltage and timing resolution specifications are characteristics of the highest performance broadband oscilloscopes. 

The wide-band inputs, and fine timing and voltage resolutions, display and accurately measure transitions as fast as 70 ps, clock performance and eye diagram analysis of gigabit signals. Less than 2 ps RMS trigger jitter and 5-GHz internal trigger supports margin analysis and characterization of today’s high-speed serial data systems.  Whilst real time broadband sampling can support simultaneous display of baseband modulation, carrier envelope and envelope track control signals around amplify, route and transmit paths;  including major wireless communication frequency bands such as 900MHz and 2.4GHz.


Pico’s SXRTO instrument architecture vastly reduces the cost of broadband time domain sampling for repetitive signal or clock related applications.  Mark Ashcroft, RF Business Development Manager at Pico, observes that the principal cost driver within the traditional real-time oscilloscope (RTO) is that of data and memory bandwidth.  High speed real-time sampling requires data bandwidth far in excess of the analogue system bandwidth, which drives up the cost of those instruments.  Nearly all RTO’s use ETS (random Equivalent Time Sampling) to extend sampling density when repetitive signals are available.  Pico’s SXRTO architecture samples at a more cost-effective lower rate of 500 MS/s and instead develops the ETS technique to achieve market leading sample rate multiplication of x 2000 to 1 TS/s. Many high bandwidth signals are repetitive so the expensive high sampling rate is not needed. 

In contrast to “Sampling Oscilloscopes” the ETS technique supports trigger and pre-trigger capture and the familiarity, convenience and ease of real-time oscilloscope operation.  Pico’s SXRTO technology seamlessly transitions to single event waveform capture at sampling rates at and below 500 MS/s into capture memory of 250,000 samples (single channel); particularly valuable for the capture of slower system signals and modulation envelopes for example.

This USB controlled instrument is supplied with PicoSample 4 software. The touch compatible GUI supports set up of the instrument and presents waveforms, measurements and statistics on the user preferred size and format of display.  This includes full support for Hi Resolution monitors and projection, for example 4k.  Up to four independent zoomed trace views can be used to examine the waveform details.

A wide range of automated and user-configurable signal integrity measurements, mathematics, statistical views and limits test facilities are included for validation and trending of pulse and timing performance, jitter, RZ & NRZ eye diagrams. Industry-standard communications mask tests such as PCIe, GB Ethernet and Serial ATA are included as standard. 

While most users will use the PicoSample 4 software in their workplace, for OEM and custom applications the PicoScope 9404 can operate under ActiveX remote control. Programming examples are provided in Visual Basic (VB.NET), MATLAB and LabVIEW, but any programming language or standard that supports the Windows COM interface standard, including JavaScript and C, can be used. 

PicoConnect™ 900 Series gigabit and microwave passive test probes are recommended for use with the 9404, offering a range of bandwidths, coupling types and division ratios for diverse applications.  The PicoScope 9404 has an active SMA interface to support future configurations and accessories on this new product architecture. 

Pricing

The 9404 is priced at $14,995 / €11,995 / £10,995 and comes with a comprehensive five-year warranty.

For further information visit www.picotech.com

PicoScope 5000D Series Wins Elektra 2018 “Test Product of the Year” award

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PicoScope 5000D Series Wins Elektra 2018 “Test Product of the Year” award (Hi-res)

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06 December 2018
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For immediate release:PicoScope 5000D Series FlexRes oscilloscopes and MSOs that feature up to 16 bits of vertical resolution with up to 200 MHz bandwidth and 1 GS/s sampling speed. MSO models add 16 digital channels.

6th December, 2018 – Pico Technology, a leading manufacturer of PC-based test & measurement instruments, announced today that the PicoScope 5000D Series has won the Elektra 2018 Test Product of the Year award, presented at the European Electronics Industry Awards event in London.

The Elektra awards recognize achievements of individuals and companies, and are designed to promote best practice in product and business innovation, sales growth and employee motivation.

The PicoScope 5000D won against strong competition from Keysight Technologies, Red Pitaya, Qoitech and Smiths Interconnect.

“We are honoured that the PicoScope 5000D Series has been recognized with this prestigious Elektra award,” said Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager for Test & Measurement products at Pico. “Introduced on 4th June 2018 the 5000D Series builds on the success of the previous generation PicoScope 5000A/B Series flexible resolution oscilloscopes. The 5000D gives designers and test engineers the versatility they need to make measurements on the wide range of waveforms encountered in today’s embedded systems.”

PicoScope 5000D MSO models add 16 digital channels, providing the ability to accurately time-correlate analog and digital channels. Digital channels may be grouped and displayed as a bus with each bus value displayed in binary, hex, decimal or level (for DAC testing). Advanced triggers can be set across both the analog and digital channels.

PicoScope 5000D Series oscilloscopes have waveform capture memory up to 512 megasamples - many times larger than competing scopes. Deep memory enables the capture of long-duration waveforms at maximum sampling speed.

The new PicoSource AS108 Agile Synthesizer from Pico Technology!

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The new PicoSource AS108 Agile Synthesizer from Pico Technology! (Hi-res)

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28 September 2018
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For immediate release:

The PicoSource AS108 Agile Synthesizer is the latest addition to Pico's signal generator range. It has professional-grade performance suited to both static and parameter-agile applications, making it a bench or field instrument for developers, scientists, educators, students, and service and installation technicians.

It is a compact, low-cost, PC-based, fast-settling signal source. It can deliver sinusoidal CW, swept and hopped parameters and basic AM, FM and ØM modulations in a carrier range of 300 kHz to 8 GHz.  Amplitude, phase and frequency agility all derive from IQ modulation, and all can be controlled from a comprehensive Windows user interface, DLL-based remote control or from a user-defined swept list of parameters.  List mode and the fast settling of the product can be used to emulate popular modulation schemes such as QPSK, QAM, ASK and FSK, and trigger I/O can be used to synchronize sweeps, hops and list mode, either on a ‘sweep start’ or ‘next point’ basis.

The product is supplied with PicoSynth 2 software, which presents a clean, touch-compatible user interface for direct control of parameters such as amplitude, frequency, phase, sweep and hopping parameters, along with convenient selection of units of measure to suit an application.  The user can also set a custom step size for each parameter and multiple instruments can be controlled over USB from a single PC with multiple instances of the application.

PicoSynth 2 includes a DLL pathway for remote control of the device from C and C-compatible languages and applications such as C++, C#, Python, National Instruments LabVIEW and MathWorks MATLAB, all of which Pico will support with downloadable SDK code examples.

Mark Ashcroft, Business Development Manager for RF products at Pico Technology, explained that “The AS108 is equally at home on the work bench, within a test system or as an embedded system component; it meets the needs of design, test and RF and microwave system engineers, and is priced to be affordable to educational, small company and self-employed pockets.”

Base price of the PicoSource AS108 Agile Synthesizer is $5,875 / €4,995 / £4,125. It is available to preorder here:  https://www.picotech.com/agile-synthesizer

Please direct all editorial enquiries to:

Becky Pates

Marketing Coordinator

Pico Technology

James House

Colmworth Business Park

St. Neots

Cambridgeshire

PE19 8YP

United Kingdom

 

Tel:         +44 (0) 1480 396395

Email:     becky.pates@picotech.com

DIAEL selects PicoScope 5000D FlexRex oscilloscopes for next generation “MS Pico” Partial Discharge portable test systems

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DIAEL selects PicoScope 5000D FlexRex oscilloscopes for next generation “MS Pico” Partial Discharge (Hi-res)

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29 August 2018
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CIGRE Technical Exhibition & Conference, Paris, August 26th 2018 - Diagnóstico del Aislamiento Eléctrico, S.L. (“DIAEL”), a leading worldwide provider of high-voltage partial discharge solutions and consultancy services announced that they have selected PicoScope 5000D FlexRes oscilloscopes as a key component for their new MS Pico portable system for partial discharge measurement.

Partial discharge measurement is the most important technique for assessing the insulation condition of high-voltage systems and provides an effective solution for assessing the reliability of electrical installations.

The MS Pico system uses patented “BlueBOX” partial discharge measurement and analysis technology to assess the condition of the insulation of appliances, equipment and materials for high-voltage installations such as GIS, transformers and, especially, insulated cables, either during operation in the network (on-line) or out of service by mobile generators (off-line).

BlueBOX Technology digitally processes captured signals in order to distinguish transient events that are a characteristic of partial discharge signals from the normal patterns of the electrical noise. With this technology it is possible to find partial discharge signals obscured by the noise level, even when the noise is random.

Javier Ortego, Managing Director at DIAEL, said “The PicoScope 5000D enables capture of high-speed transients with sampling speeds to 1 GS/s at 8-bit resolution, and can be switched to measure slower signals with up to 16-bit resolution and greater than 70 dB SFDR, making it ideal for the wide range of signals that need to be captured with the MS Pico test system.”

Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager at Pico Technology, added his support, saying “DIAEL have a proven track record in partial discharge testing, having been granted US patents for a new method to monitor partial discharge in high-voltage cables with splices and terminations. The PicoScope 5000D has helped DIAEL to bring that technology to market in an affordable form factor for power network operators.”

The MS Pico test system is available now, sold through the network of DIAEL distributors worldwide.

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent over 25 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, while engineers at our Eastern Europe office have been working in the RF and microwave market since 1974.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC‑08 and PT‑104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

More information on Pico Technology can be found at:

www.picotech.com

To receive regular updates, subscribe to our monthly newsletter at:

www.picotech.com/newsletter

Pico Technology, PicoLog and PicoScope are internationally registered trademarks of Pico Technology Limited and are registered at the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office.

About DIAEL

 

DIAEL is a Spanish technology-based company that develops and manufactures partial discharge monitoring products. DIAEL has a large experience in monitoring services of high voltage installations, with over 400 measurements in more than 10 countries.

 

The BlueBOX technology for partial discharge measurement commercialized by DIAEL permits the detection and localization of defects in high voltage installations through non-invasive measurements performed online or offline. This technology, promoted by Spanish electricity companies and developed by the Polytechnic University of Madrid, has been widely tested and validated during recent years in Spanish and foreign electrical installations.

The measurement of partial discharges with this technology permits an automatic noise suppression facilitating the measurement to operators with a basic knowledge. The insulation status diagnosis is performed through efficient tools allowing to detect precisely the defects of the installation.

 

Contact:

Javier Ortego

DIAEL

C/ de las Peñuelas. No 38
Local 2
28005 Madrid
Spain

More information on DIAEL can be found at:

www.diael.com
 

New FlexRes® oscilloscopes deliver flexible resolution, deep capture memory and mixed signal capability in a USB 3.0 PC connected instrument

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New FlexRes® oscilloscopes deliver flexible resolution, deep capture memory and mixed signal capabil (Hi-res)

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04 June 2018
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For immediate release:

PicoScope 5000D Series: “The complete all-rounder”

June 4th 2018 - Pico Technology, market leader in PC oscilloscopes and data loggers, today introduced the PicoScope 5000D Series FlexRes oscilloscopes and MSOs that feature up to 16 bits of vertical resolution with up to 200 MHz bandwidth and 1 GS/s sampling speed. FlexRes hardware employs multiple high-resolution ADCs at the input channels in different time-interleaved and parallel combinations to optimize either the sampling rate to 1 GS/s at 8 bits, the resolution to 16 bits at 62.5 MS/s, or other combinations in between.

PicoScope 5000D MSO models add 16 digital channels, providing the ability to accurately time-correlate analog and digital channels. Digital channels may be grouped and displayed as a bus with each bus value displayed in binary, hex, decimal or level (for DAC testing). Advanced triggers can be set across both the analog and digital channels.

PicoScope 5000D Series oscilloscopes have waveform capture memory up to 512 megasamples - many times larger than competing scopes. Deep memory enables the capture of long-duration waveforms at maximum sampling speed. PicoScope’s DeepMeasure™ tool uses the deep memory to analyze every cycle contained in each triggered waveform acquisition. It displays results in a table, with the parameter fields shown in columns and waveform cycles shown in rows. The current version of the tool includes twelve parameters per cycle, and can display up to a million cycles.

Serial decoding and analysis is included as standard. Decoding helps users to see what is happening in their design to identify programming errors and check for signal integrity issues. Key applications are addressed with support for 18 protocols:

Automotive:          CAN, CAN-FD, FlexRay, LIN, SENT
Embedded:            1-Wire, I2C, I2S, SPI
Avionics:                 ARINC 429
Computer:             Ethernet 10 & 100BASE-T, PS/2, UART / RS-232, USB
Industrial:               MODBUS RTU & ASCII
Lighting:                  DMX512
Hobby:                     DCC

PicoScope 5000D Series oscilloscopes feature a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connection, providing lightning-fast saving of waveforms while retaining compatibility with older USB standards. The PicoSDK® software development kit supports continuous streaming to the host computer at rates up to 125 MS/s.

“The 5000D builds on the success of PicoScope 5000A/B Series flexible resolution oscilloscopes that were introduced back in 2013. The 5000D gives designers and test engineers the versatility they need to make measurements on the wide range of waveforms encountered in today’s embedded systems,” said Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager, Test & Measurement, at Pico Technology. “This allows users to capture and decode fast digital signals and to look for distortion in sensitive analog signals, all using the same oscilloscope.”

PicoScope software takes advantage of modern PC processing power with an equation editor that allows users to define complex waveform mathematical functions. These include filters (lowpass, highpass, bandpass and bandstop), trigonometry, exponentials, logarithms, statistics, integrals and derivatives. Waveform maths can also be used to plot live signals alongside historic peak, averaged or filtered waveforms.

Software Development Kit

The PicoSDK software development kit enables users to write their own applications for the PicoScope 5000D hardware. Drivers for Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac (macOS) and Linux (including Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone) are included. Example code, hosted on the Pico Technology GitHub pages, shows how to interface to third-party software packages such as Microsoft Excel, National Instruments LabVIEW and MathWorks MATLAB and programming languages like C, C#, C++, and Visual Basic .NET.

 

 

Pricing and availability

PicoScope 5000D Series oscilloscopes are priced from $1,155 / €979 / £809 for the 5242D 2-channel, 60 MHz model through to $3,025 / €2,575 / £2,125 for the top-of-the range 5444D 4-channel, 200 MHz mixed-signal model. The full range, including accessories, will be available from Pico Technology distributors from June 2018.

Pico Technology’s PicoLog® 6 – straightforward from the start

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Pico Technology’s PicoLog® 6 – straightforward from the start (Hi-res)

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26 February 2018
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Pico Technology designed and manufactured its first data logger, the ADC‑10, in 1991 with a simple scope and logging software package for MS-DOS, so that users could achieve the three fundamental purposes of logging software: set up the logger, view the graphed data and save the capture to disk. These packages later became known as the PicoScope® and PicoLog software.

While not much has changed with the three fundamental logging software functions in 27 years, computing and technology have moved on considerably, allowing faster setup, more advanced ways to review the capture and almost unlimited storage capability.

Designed from the ground up to be intuitive from the outset, PicoLog 6 allows you to set up the logger and start recording with just a few clicks of the mouse, whatever your level of data logging experience. Here are some of the features:

  • Real-time data collection and display
  • Available for Windows, macOS and Linux
  • Virtually unlimited logging capacity to PC
  • Robust database format minimizes data loss and corruption
  • Simple and complex programmable alarms
  • Up to four independent graph displays
  • Channels and graphs can be scaled using lookup tables or equations
  • Data can be exported as CSV, clipboard image or PDF
  • Supports multiple different Pico Technology data loggers on the same PC

PicoLog 6 software is designed for use with all current Pico Technology data loggers:

  • The cost-effective TC‑08 8-channel thermocouple logger, with high resolution and a wide temperature measurement range
  • The PT‑104 precision RTD temperature logger: able to measure down to 0.015 °C accuracy
  • The PicoLog CM3 3-channel AC current logger for long-term energy use and mains current monitoring
  • The ADC‑20 and ADC‑24 high-resolution multi-channel voltage loggers, supporting single-ended and differential sensor measurements
  • The cost-effective PicoLog 1012 and PicoLog 1216 multi-channel voltage loggers: these work as loggers with PicoLog 6 and as 100 kS/s scopes using PicoScope 6.
  • …and lastly, with its wide range of built-in sensors and connections for optional external sensors, the DrDAQ solves many data acquisition challenges at a budget price.

Download the latest version of the software to demo here: https://www.picotech.com/downloads

View Pico Technology’s range of data loggers here: https://www.picotech.com/products/data-logger

Pico Technology is one of The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For 2018

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Pico Technology is one of The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For 2018 (Hi-res)

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21 February 2018
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Pico Technology has been named one of the 100 Best Small Companies to work for in the UK at a prestigious award ceremony hosted by the Sunday Times newspaper. This sought-after award measures and acknowledges excellence in workplace engagement - where only organizations with the highest level of overall employee engagement qualified. The results of this survey are based on what our employees say about the organization plus how we manage, motivate and reward our workforce.

Alan Tong, Managing Director, said “Pico has a simple ethos as a company: we treat customers as our friends, and colleagues as family. I am delighted that our colleagues are happy to come to work each day. As we continue to expand, these awards become more important to show potential employees what makes us stand out in today’s competitive environment.”

Jane Percy, HR Manager, continues “It is great to see confirmation of how happy our existing employees are, and to know that people are able to meet their full potential at Pico within a caring environment. Following on from last year’s 2-star grading, we are delighted to have been awarded 3‑star accreditation this year, enabling us to enter the Top 100 for the first time. We pride ourselves on listening to the ever-growing needs of our employees whilst promoting a good work life balance.”

The statements employees most agreed with were:

My manager cares about how satisfied I am in my job
I feel proud to work for this organization
Everyone is treated fairly here
My team is fun to work with

PicoScope DeepMeasure™ recognized in EDN Hot 100 products of 2017

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PicoScope DeepMeasure™ recognized in EDN Hot 100 products of 2017 (Hi-res)

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11 December 2017
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The new DeepMeasure feature in the PicoScope software from Pico Technology enables automatic measurement of waveform parameters on up to 1 million successive waveform cycles.

Furnished as standard with PicoScope 3000, 4000, 5000, and 6000 Series oscilloscopes, this analysis and search tool returns a table of results that includes every waveform cycle captured in the scope’s memory. Ten waveform parameters are included in the first version of the tool and over a million results can be collected for each parameter.

EDN's annual Hot 100 products are selected by the editors, guided by their own judgment as well as reader interest.

As electronic devices become more complex, design engineering teams need better tools to analyze waveform data and measurement statistics. Oscilloscopes with deep capture memory, such as the PicoScope 3000 Series (up to 512 MSamples) and 6000 Series (up to 2 GSamples) can capture waveforms with thousands of waveform cycles, at full sampling speed with each triggered acquisition.

 “We are honored that DeepMeasure has been recognized for the help that it delivers to engineers who are debugging complex systems, and for scientists who are performing sophisticated research experiments,” said Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager at Pico.

“With over 25 years’ experience building PC-based instruments we’ve added DeepMeasure to our popular 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 Series PicoScopes. Any customer who already has one of these USB-connected instruments can download the latest beta version of the software free of charge and take advantage of the DeepMeasure tool.

“It’s an example of the commitment that we make to our customers, past and present, and underlines our position as the leading supplier of USB-based test instruments.”

German office press event

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German office press event (Hi-res)

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22 November 2017
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Today Pico Technology GmbH welcomed German press officials to the opening of its office in Garbsen, Germany. This new office is in response to German PicoScope users, distributors and vehicle manufacturers asking for local sales, training and support in Germany. This facility will also service the needs of customers from Austria and Switzerland.

Pico Technology Managing Director Alan Tong welcomed the press and explained: “Pico Technology was established 26 years ago and has since worked with over 25 vehicle manufacturers including GM, Toyota, Jaguar Land Rover and Mazda, the electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, and agricultural vehicle manufacturers such as CNH.”

Phil Service, Pico Technology’s Automotive Business Development Manager, commented: “Since opening the office we have been able to engage more German manufacturers. The combination of the power of the product, the continuous free software updates and a growing presence in Germany has created a confidence in our brand.

Together with key partners like the Sternbeck Akademie we will be investing more time, effort and resources in developing PicoScope content, videos and technical articles here in Germany, offering a more complete and comprehensive package to our German customers, and making it easy for them to find, buy and benefit from PicoScope.”

Olaf Jensen, Distribution Sales Manager for Pico Technology GmbH, and trainer Jens Sternbeck gave practical demonstrations of the oscilloscope, highlighting both the outstanding performance and the technician-friendly PicoScope software.

 

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent 25 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, while engineers at our Eastern Europe office have been working in the RF and microwave market since 1974.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC-08 and PT‑104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

More information on Pico Technology can be found at:

www.picotech.com

Pico extends its PicoScope 9300 Sampling Oscilloscope range

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Pico extends its PicoScope 9300 Sampling Oscilloscope range (Hi-res)

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20 November 2017
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Pico Technology has added three 15 GHz models and a further 25 GHz model to its professional, portable and low-cost PicoScope 9300 Series of Sampling Oscilloscopes. The new 15 GHz models replace the preceding 9200 Series 12 GHz models, with significantly upgraded specifications at even lower prices, with the result that all Pico Sampling Oscilloscopes now operate under the much-respected PicoSample 3 software. These instruments combine Pico’s uniquely cost-effective sampling technology with the convenience of USB and LAN control ports.

At an entry-level price below $11,000, the 9301-15 gives the benefits of two channels at 15 GHz bandwidth and prescaled trigger to 14 GHz. It delivers market-leading 16-bit sampling rate of 1 MS/s in support of fast-update eye diagrams, persisted traces, histogramming and statistical analysis. Equivalent sampling rate tops out at 15 TS/s—that’s a time resolution of just 64 fs—along with an unusually long maximum trace length for sampling oscilloscopes of up to 32 kilosamples.

Why 15 GHz? At this bandwidth, Pico’s entry-level Sampling Oscilloscope aligns with today’s popular gigabit data rates. 15 GHz bandwidth will support third harmonic characterization of serial data out to 10 Gb/s and fifth harmonic out to 6 Gb/s. Full touch screen control, menus that configure to the application at hand, comprehensive PRBS pattern lock, and eye-line step and scan, all add up to a powerful and quite probably the lowest-cost instrument available for visualization, measurement and characterization of high-speed serial data. Move up to the 9302‑15 to add Clock Recovery trigger out to 11.3 Gb/s and RMS jitter typically down to 1.0 ps + 1% of data interval.

The third of the new 15 GHz models, priced below $15 k, the 9311-15 addresses single-ended Time Domain Transmission and Time Domain Reflection measurements. Again it’s a significant upgrade to the predecessor 9211 in cable, component, backplane and PCB impedance and transmission characterizations and network analysis. In this model, system transition time (65 ps) halves distance resolution and adjustable pulse width extends reflected fault detection range from around 4 mm typically out to 400 m (1350 ft). At 20 GHz, the 9311-20 continues to support fully differential and deskewable TDR/TDT capability and all 9300 models can be paired with the PG900 standalone fast pulse generators to achieve similar TDR/TDT capability, for example on the four-channel and optical input models, or greater flexibility with any 9300 model. The 9300 family also pairs well with Pico’s low-invasive PicoConnect 900 passive probes, capable of browse probing out to 9 GHz or 18 Gb/s, typically without interrupt of downstream function.

At 25 GHz, Pico has created the model 9302-25 to add 11.3 Gb/s clock recovery to the higher bandwidth models. This bandwidth will support 5th harmonic assessments at data rates to 10 Gb/s and, assuming a clock or sub-clock is available, 16 Gb/s at 3rd harmonic. Full details of all nine models at bandwidths of 15 GHz, 20 GHz and 25 GHz can be found at www.picotech.com/rf-products.

About Pico Technology

[QA_InternationalTrade2014] Pico Technology has spent over 25 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, while engineers at our Eastern Europe office have been working in the RF and microwave market since 1974.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC-08 and PT-104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

More information on Pico Technology can be found at:

www.picotech.com

To receive regular updates, subscribe to our monthly newsletter at:

www.picotech.com/newsletter

Pico Technology and PicoScope are internationally registered trademarks of Pico Technology.  Pico Technology is registered at the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office.

Please direct all editorial enquiries to:

Samantha Graham

Pico Technology

James House

Colmworth Business Park

St. Neots

Cambridgeshire

PE19 8YP

United Kingdom

 

Tel:       +44 (0) 1480 396395

Fax:      +44 (0) 1480 396296

 

Email:   samantha.graham@picotech.com

Pico Technology and TTid work with the University of Nottingham as a new course begins

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Pico Technology and TTid work with the University of Nottingham as a new course begins (Hi-res)

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13 September 2017
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There’s nothing better on the first day of University than receiving shiny new equipment, wanting to unpack it and getting started on your course. This opportunity is what awaits the students at The University of Nottingham, who this year will be starting a new course in the Faculty of Engineering. The course, Foundation Engineering and Physical Sciences, provides students with an entry route into further engineering, computer science, physics and mathematics undergraduate degree programmes at The University of Nottingham.

Just recently Pico Technology, along with our distributor TTid, has delivered over 350 DrDAQ data loggers and over 50 PicoScope 2208Bs for the students starting this new course. The DrDAQ is a versatile instrument that connects to the USB port of any PC. It is supplied with our PicoScope software, which turns the DrDAQ into an oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer and a signal generator. This provides a great starter kit for any student learning about engineering and physical science. The Univerty of Nottingham chose the DrDAQ and PicoScope 2000 as they are portable, offer great value for money, and have an interface that offers ongoing software updates with UK technical support and training via TTid and Pico Technology.

Our small, lightweight PicoScope 2208B USB oscilloscope offers higher bandwidths and memory, allowing the students to take their coursework one step further. It’s great for carrying out advanced analysis of any waveforms.

Stuart Murlis, Application Engineer Pico Technology, felt this was a great investment by The University of Nottingham. “This embraces the future of instrumentation. Pico Technology is very keen to support students in their first steps into their engineering journey. PicoScope is easy to use and cost-effective, which makes it the perfect instrument for university students”.

James Littler, Sales Engineer TTid, comments "We wish all the students well in their new course this year and hope they enjoy making measurements with their new DrDAQ and PicoScope 2208B devices during the course of the year. We look forward to returning later this year with further updates and news on their progression".

We wish all the students well in their new course this year and hope they enjoy making measurements with their new DrDAQ and PicoScope 2208B devices during the course of the year.

We look forward to returning later this year with further updates and news on their progress. 

Image: Stuart Murlis, Application Engineer Pico Technology, and James Littler, Sales Engineer TTid, with Everton Blake, Teaching Laboratory Facilitator at the University of Nottingham, taking delivery of the new equipment.

PicoScope DeepMeasure™ makes ten million measurements of key waveform parameters with each acquisition

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PicoScope DeepMeasure™ makes ten million measurements of key waveform parameters with each acquisiti (Hi-res)

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17 August 2017
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Waveform analysis and search feature helps to validate the characteristics and performance of complex devices

August 17th 2017 - Pico Technology, market leader in PC oscilloscopes and data loggers, today introduced the DeepMeasure analysis tool. Included as standard with PicoScope 3000, 4000, 5000, and 6000 Series oscilloscopes, DeepMeasure delivers automatic measurement of waveform parameters on up to a million successive waveform cycles. Results can be easily sorted, analyzed and correlated with the waveform display.

As electronic devices become more complex, design engineering teams need better tools to record, analyze and visualize waveform data and measurement statistics. Most digital oscilloscopes provide automated measurements of common parameters such as frequency, period, rise and fall times, duty cycle, and maximum and minimum voltages, but the measurements are usually limited to a single complete waveform cycle captured in the oscilloscope memory. Subsequent waveform cycles in the same acquisition are displayed on the screen but are discarded from the measurement results. Measurement statistics (max/min/average/sum) have to be compiled over multiple acquisitions, and irregular bit patterns are easily missed or ignored.

Oscilloscopes with deep capture memory, such as the PicoScope 3000 Series (512 MSamples) and 6000 Series (2 GSamples) can capture waveforms with thousands of waveform cycles, at full sampling speed with each triggered acquisition. DeepMeasure returns a table of results that includes every waveform cycle captured in the memory. Ten waveform parameters are included in the first version of the tool and over a million results of each parameter can be collected.

The table of captured results can be sorted by each parameter in ascending or descending order, enabling engineering teams to spot anomalies and rapidly identify the cause of complicated issues. So, for example, click on the Rise Time column heading and you can quickly find the fastest (or slowest) rise time out of up to 1 million cycles of the waveform. Double-clicking on a specific measurement highlights the corresponding cycle in the oscilloscope view.

For more extensive analysis, such as histograms and advanced data visualization, the table of measurements can be exported for use with tools such as Excel and MATLAB.

“Visualizing real-world test data is key to solving many of today’s engineering challenges,” explained Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager, Test & Measurement, at Pico Technology. “DeepMeasure is a powerful tool that takes advantage of PicoScope deep memory oscilloscopes to enable rapid analysis and debug of complex waveforms ranging from serial data streams to laser pulses and particle physics experiments. Anomalies can be easily pinpointed and correlated with other events captured by the oscilloscope.”

Pricing and availability

PicoScope with DeepMeasure is free of charge for users of PicoScope 3000, 4000, 5000, and 6000 Series oscilloscopes. The beta version can be downloaded now from https://www.picotech.com/downloads.

Images

                            DeepMeasure icon (download high-res)

    DeepMeasure screenshot (download high-res)

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent over 25 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, while engineers at our Eastern Europe office have been working in the RF and microwave market since 1974.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC-08 and PT-104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

Waveform analysis and search feature helps to validate the characteristics and performance of complex devices

August 17th 2017 - Pico Technology, market leader in PC oscilloscopes and data loggers, today introduced the DeepMeasure analysis tool. Included as standard with PicoScope 3000, 4000, 5000, and 6000 Series oscilloscopes, DeepMeasure delivers automatic measurement of waveform parameters on up to a million successive waveform cycles. Results can be easily sorted, analyzed and correlated with the waveform display.

As electronic devices become more complex, design engineering teams need better tools to record, analyze and visualize waveform data and measurement statistics. Most digital oscilloscopes provide automated measurements of common parameters such as frequency, period, rise and fall times, duty cycle, and maximum and minimum voltages, but the measurements are usually limited to a single complete waveform cycle captured in the oscilloscope memory. Subsequent waveform cycles in the same acquisition are displayed on the screen but are discarded from the measurement results. Measurement statistics (max/min/average/sum) have to be compiled over multiple acquisitions, and irregular bit patterns are easily missed or ignored.

Oscilloscopes with deep capture memory, such as the PicoScope 3000 Series (512 MSamples) and 6000 Series (2 GSamples) can capture waveforms with thousands of waveform cycles, at full sampling speed with each triggered acquisition. DeepMeasure returns a table of results that includes every waveform cycle captured in the memory. Ten waveform parameters are included in the first version of the tool and over a million results of each parameter can be collected.

The table of captured results can be sorted by each parameter in ascending or descending order, enabling engineering teams to spot anomalies and rapidly identify the cause of complicated issues. So, for example, click on the Rise Time column heading and you can quickly find the fastest (or slowest) rise time out of up to 1 million cycles of the waveform. Double-clicking on a specific measurement highlights the corresponding cycle in the oscilloscope view.

For more extensive analysis, such as histograms and advanced data visualization, the table of measurements can be exported for use with tools such as Excel and MATLAB.

“Visualizing real-world test data is key to solving many of today’s engineering challenges,” explained Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager, Test & Measurement, at Pico Technology. “DeepMeasure is a powerful tool that takes advantage of PicoScope deep memory oscilloscopes to enable rapid analysis and debug of complex waveforms ranging from serial data streams to laser pulses and particle physics experiments. Anomalies can be easily pinpointed and correlated with other events captured by the oscilloscope.”

Pricing and availability

PicoScope with DeepMeasure is free of charge for users of PicoScope 3000, 4000, 5000, and 6000 Series oscilloscopes. The beta version can be downloaded now from https://www.picotech.com/downloads.

Images

                            DeepMeasure icon (download high-res)

    DeepMeasure screenshot (download high-res)

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent over 25 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, while engineers at our Eastern Europe office have been working in the RF and microwave market since 1974.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC-08 and PT-104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

New PicoSDK drivers for Windows

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New PicoSDK drivers for Windows (Hi-res)

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20 July 2017
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Pico Technology has released a new PicoSDK driver package installer for its PicoScope oscilloscope and PicoLog data loggers for Microsoft Windows. This release adds drivers for the latest PicoScope 2000A and 2000B models and the PicoScope 4444, as well as various fixes for other drivers.

The PicoSDK (consisting of the drivers, Programmer’s Guides and software examples) allows the development of custom applications and integration into other systems. The drivers can be used with any programming language that supports standard C calls and provide you with direct control of the PicoScope and PicoLog devices.

For PicoScope oscilloscopes, the advantages include:

Additional advanced trigger functions
The ability to programmatically define and output arbitrary waveforms (device-dependent)
The ability to specify a large number of segments for rapid block captures (device-dependent)
Faster streaming data acquisition rates (depending on PC resources)

A significant change in this release is that the PicoSDK installer now only contains the drivers, static library files, C/C++ header files and changelog information. Programmer’s Guides and software examples are now available individually from the links given below. This will make it easier to install and update just the files you need.

The PicoSDK installer is available free of charge with separate 32-bit and 64-bit driver package installers from www.picotech.com/downloads. Regular updates will be provided to coincide with the stable releases of the PicoScope software.

Our software examples are available in a number of programming languages and for third-party environments (C/C++, C#, Microsoft Excel Visual Basic for Applications, National Instruments LabVIEW, MathWorks MATLAB, Python and Visual Basic .NET) and can be downloaded free of charge from our GitHub repositories at github.com/picotech.

The Programmer’s Guides can be viewed and downloaded from www.picotech.com/library/documentation.

 

 Image: Pico on GitHub (download high-res)

 

 

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent over 25 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, while engineers at our Eastern Europe office have been working in the RF and microwave market since 1974.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC-08 and PT-104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

More information on Pico Technology can be found at:

www.picotech.com

To receive regular updates, subscribe to our monthly newsletter at:

www.picotech.com/newsletter/

Pico Technology is an internationally registered trademark of Pico Technology Ltd and is registered at the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office. PicoSDK is a registered trademark of Pico Technology Ltd.

Pico Technology has released a new PicoSDK driver package installer for its PicoScope oscilloscope and PicoLog data loggers for Microsoft Windows. This release adds drivers for the latest PicoScope 2000A and 2000B models and the PicoScope 4444, as well as various fixes for other drivers.

The PicoSDK (consisting of the drivers, Programmer’s Guides and software examples) allows the development of custom applications and integration into other systems. The drivers can be used with any programming language that supports standard C calls and provide you with direct control of the PicoScope and PicoLog devices.

For PicoScope oscilloscopes, the advantages include:

Additional advanced trigger functions
The ability to programmatically define and output arbitrary waveforms (device-dependent)
The ability to specify a large number of segments for rapid block captures (device-dependent)
Faster streaming data acquisition rates (depending on PC resources)

A significant change in this release is that the PicoSDK installer now only contains the drivers, static library files, C/C++ header files and changelog information. Programmer’s Guides and software examples are now available individually from the links given below. This will make it easier to install and update just the files you need.

The PicoSDK installer is available free of charge with separate 32-bit and 64-bit driver package installers from www.picotech.com/downloads. Regular updates will be provided to coincide with the stable releases of the PicoScope software.

Our software examples are available in a number of programming languages and for third-party environments (C/C++, C#, Microsoft Excel Visual Basic for Applications, National Instruments LabVIEW, MathWorks MATLAB, Python and Visual Basic .NET) and can be downloaded free of charge from our GitHub repositories at github.com/picotech.

The Programmer’s Guides can be viewed and downloaded from www.picotech.com/library/documentation.

 

 Image: Pico on GitHub (download high-res)

 

 

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent over 25 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, while engineers at our Eastern Europe office have been working in the RF and microwave market since 1974.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC-08 and PT-104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

More information on Pico Technology can be found at:

www.picotech.com

To receive regular updates, subscribe to our monthly newsletter at:

www.picotech.com/newsletter/

Pico Technology is an internationally registered trademark of Pico Technology Ltd and is registered at the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office. PicoSDK is a registered trademark of Pico Technology Ltd.

PicoScope’s new Modbus decoder is ideal for troubleshooting PLC applications

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PicoScope’s new Modbus decoder is ideal for troubleshooting PLC applications (Hi-res)

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10 July 2017
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Pico Technology has enhanced its PicoScope analysis capabilities with the addition of Modbus ASCII and Modbus RTU decoders. It is currently the only oscilloscope range capable of analyzing Modbus (RS-232/RS-485) signals, making it the perfect tool for troubleshooting industrial PLC applications – from installation and commissioning to maintenance and repair operations.

PicoScope is the most versatile USB-connected PC oscilloscope, offering  six test and measurement instruments in one – including protocol analysis, logic and spectrum analyzers and a signal/arbitrary waveform generator. This capability makes PicoScope outstanding for signal integrity measurements on serial buses. The Modbus decoder is available for all PicoScope models, from the low-cost 2000 Series through to the top-of-the-range 6000 Series. For sources that are not referenced to earth, such as RS-485, the recently introduced PicoScope 4444 Series permits quick and easy differential measurements on up to four channels without the expensive external active differential probes typically needed in industrial applications. PicoScope includes a comprehensive set of automated and ruler-based on-screen measurements as standard.

PicoScope is the only oscilloscope on the market with protocol analysis for Modbus, a serial communications protocol for use with programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Managed by the Modbus Organization, this simple and robust protocol is widely used to connect industrial electronic devices. The PicoScope decoder supports master and slave devices, standard and custom baud rates, and one or two ID bytes. Hundreds or thousands of Modbus messages can be captured with each acquisition using the deep memory provided in most PicoScope models. Each message is stored with start/end timing information, device IDs, function codes, transmitted data and CRC information as well as data validity checks. The table of acquired messages can be analyzed directly within PicoScope or can be exported in CSV format for offline analysis. A link file helps to speed analysis by cross-referencing hexadecimal field values, such as the slave ID, to plain text. Clicking on a decoded packet takes you to the corresponding point on the analog waveform, making it easy to troubleshoot bus errors.

Modbus decoding and analysis is included as standard in the latest PicoScope beta version 6.13, which now supports a total of 18 serial protocols. The software is available free of charge for all existing and new PicoScope users and can be downloaded from https://www.picotech.com/downloads.

 high-res copy here

 

 

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent over 25 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, while engineers at our Eastern Europe office have been working in the RF and microwave market since 1974.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC-08 and PT-104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

More information on Pico Technology can be found at:

www.picotech.com

To receive regular updates, subscribe to our monthly newsletter at:

www.picotech.com/newsletter/

Pico Technology is an internationally registered trademark of Pico Technology and is registered at the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office.

Vector network analysis for everyone

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Vector network analysis for everyone (Hi-res)

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02 June 2017
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Pico Technology has applied its expertise in compact USB instrumentation, combined with its experience with high-performance sampling oscilloscopes and time domain reflectometry, to bring you outstanding value in a high-quality, low-cost vector network analyzer.

If you work with high-speed data, communications or computing, you often need to characterize high-frequency interfaces, devices, multi-path interconnect and antennas. Today’s engineers and systems integrators don’t have time to become microwave specialists. They need a straightforward, accurate, fast, portable and low-cost measurement instrument, and ideally one that can support developing applications such as 5G, IoT, radar, and tissue and materials imaging.

The PicoVNA 106 is an all-new, UK-designed, USB-controlled, professional and laboratory-grade 300 kHz to 6 GHz vector network analyzer of unprecedented performance, portability and affordability. Despite its small size and low cost, the instrument boasts a full-function, minimal-error, ‘Quad RX’ four-receiver architecture. This supports both 8 and 12-term calibration without the uncorrectable switching errors, delays and unreliability of traditional three-receiver designs. The instrument supports convenient calibration methods such as ‘enhanced isolation correction’ and ‘unknown thru’.

The PicoVNA 106 has exceptional dynamic range of up to 118 dB at 10 Hz and only 0.005 dB RMS trace noise at its maximum bandwidth of 140 kHz. It can gather all four S-parameters at just 190 microseconds per frequency point; in other words, a 500 point 2-port S2P Touchstone file, compatible with test, math, view and EDA simulation tools, in less than a tenth of a second! This performance compares with other full-function vector network analyzers at more than four times the cost; in fact, the PicoVNA 106 is even cost-effective as a high-dynamic-range scalar network analyzer or a single-port vector reflectometer. This breakthrough solution is affordable for classrooms, small businesses and even amateur workshops, yet able to meet the needs of the microwave laboratory and expert. Pico have even included bias-Ts for the convenient injection of a bias or test stimulus.

The PicoVNA 106’s small size, weight and cost, and high performance suit it to field service, installation test, embedded and training applications. Its remote automation interface suits it to test automation, perhaps as a reflectometry or transmission measurement core for embedded roles. Example test environments are broadband interconnect, cable and harness, antenna, component or subsystem assembly, installation and fault over life, in manufacture, calibration, distribution and service industries.

The PicoVNA 106 is supplied with Microsoft Windows software to support a full range of plot formats for scalar and vector view of dual or single-port parameters. These can be saved or exported in various graphic and tabular formats including Touchstone. The software includes, at no additional cost, Fourier transformation to the time domain, adding convenient distance-to-fault capability and pulse response determination. In all cases nominal impedance transformation (10 Ω to 200 Ω) is available, mathematically or using port matching pads, with limit tests on the Cartesian plot formats.

Unwanted measurement contributions from feed lines, probes or test jigs can be eliminated using manual or automatic reference plane offset including, when required, fully independent offset for each S-parameter. Alternatively, independent networks can be embedded or de-embedded at each port from a Touchstone representation of each, measured or synthesized. Unusually for any vector network analyzer, embedding or de-embedding is interpolated when measurement and network datasets do not share the same frequency points.

Pico have also included in their free-of-charge PicoVNA 2 software two utilities to tackle gain compression (P1dB) and AM to PM. Both of these use a port power sweep at each test frequency. Both measures are extracted using second-order interpolation.

Calibration standards and interconnect for vector network analysis can dominate both performance and costs. Pico offers PC3.5 and SMA, male and female test ports via flexible and flex-formable, phase- and flatness-stable test leads. Four mating calibration standards, with traceable data, are assembled into convenient male and female SOLT housings. Like the test leads, the SMA and PC3.5 calibration standards all use robust, high-precision stainless steel connectors.

More information

Pre-order the PicoVNA 106 now and be one of the first to own it for only US$ 5995.

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent over 25 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, while engineers at our Eastern Europe office have been working in the RF and microwave market since 1974.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 25 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC-08 and PT-104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

More information on Pico Technology

To receive regular updates, subscribe to our monthly newsletter

Pico Technology is an internationally registered trademark of Pico Technology Ltd and is registered at the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office.

New models, new broadband probes and touchscreen operation for the PicoScope 9300 Sampling Oscilloscopes

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New models, new broadband probes and touchscreen operation for the PicoScope 9300 Sampling Oscillosc (Hi-res)

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28 March 2017
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Pico Technology has increased the bandwidth of its PicoScope 9300 family of Sampling Oscilloscopes with two new 25 GHz models.  The USB-controlled Sampling Oscilloscope, available only from Pico, stands as one of very few low-cost, high-integrity options for viewing and measuring RF and microwave signals, paths and networks. Sampling Oscilloscopes are the cost-effective solution to today’s proliferation of gigabit-per-second datastreams and their copper, wireless and optical fiber interconnect.

The new 2 and 4 channel 25 GHz models, just added to the existing 20 GHz PicoScope 9300 Series, now support fifth harmonic capture for data up to including 10 Gb/s, and third harmonic capture up to 16 Gb/s. These rates, and others in between, are increasingly found in Ethernet, Thunderbolt, USB 3.1, PCIe 4, Rapid I/O, e-SATA, OC-192 / STM-64 and OC-256. All have transmission lines, cables, components, transmitters and receivers that need pre-compliance testing and characterization.

“Low cost”? 

For most of us, owning a real-time scope with 25 GHz bandwidth is unrealistic, with prices starting from $200,000.  Renting is usually the only option but even that can cost over $15,000 per month! “Low cost” means that you can have a 25 GHz Sampling Oscilloscope, on your bench every day or where and when you need it, for the equivalent of 1 month’s rent of a 25 GHz real-time box. 

Having chosen your oscilloscope, you will want to probe your multiple broadband signals in-system and with minimal invasion of the measurement, all without interrupting system function. For this you will need the cost-effective, low-invasive, high-performance PicoConnect 900 probes. This is a comprehensive family of microwave and gigabit products. Uniquely configured as interchangeable AC or DC coupled probe heads in three division ratios (÷5, ÷10 and ÷20), these are ideally suited to in-system probing of analog, pulse, impulse and high-speed serial data streams. What’s more, they will interface to any other instrument type with 50 Ω inputs and likely outperform similar but manufacturer-locked accessories that you may have. 

To add to the good news, all PicoScope 9300 Sampling Oscilloscopes can now be upgraded, free of charge, to full touchscreen operation with the latest PicoSample 3 software. PicoSample 3.25 also includes new masks for USB 2.0 and USB 3.1 Gen1 and Gen2.

The new PicoScope 9301-25 and 9341-25 Sampling Oscilloscopes are now available for only $16 765 / €14 235 / £11 765 and $26 235 / €22 275 / £18 405 respectively.

PicoScope 9300 Series sampling oscilloscopes:
www.picotech.com/oscilloscope/9300/picoscope-9300-sampling-oscilloscopes

PicoConnect 900 Series probes:
www.picotech.com/accessories/sma-rf-test-accessories

Pico Technology announces expansion with APAC representative office

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Pico Technology announces expansion with APAC representative office (Hi-res)

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24 March 2017
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Pico Technology, a leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes, Sampling Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, is pleased to announce the opening of its new office in Shanghai, China to give a local presence for its APAC (Asia-Pacific) sales and support.

Managing Director Alan Tong said: “Today sees the opening of Pico Technology’s APAC office in Shanghai, China. I am proud that Pico is expanding; this opening will allow us to have a local presence in the APAC region, so we can support our customer base here more closely. We have a unique sales approach where we treat customers as our friends, with free software upgrades and technical support for the lifetime of each product. We will now be able to extend this close relationship with our customers based in the APAC region.”

This expansion also sees the introduction of an APAC team, headed by Sui Li, Vice President, Asia-Pacific Sales. Sui Li said “I am excited to be joining this dynamic company with a long-standing presence as a leader in the PC oscilloscopes market. I look forward to expanding Pico’s business in the APAC region and building on the existing strengths of the brand in the area.”

In 2016 Pico Technology celebrated 25 years of business. Pico data loggers, oscilloscopes and signal generators are used by engineers, scientists and technicians around the globe to bring their products to market. Pico automotive diagnostics products help keep the wheels turning for vehicle manufacturers and service organizations on every continent.

Pico has over one hundred employees at its head office in St Neots, UK and its subsidiaries in the USA, Lithuania and now China. The company has three divisions producing Test & Measurement, Automotive Diagnostics and Radio Frequency test products that are sold worldwide.

For more information about the Pico Technology history of PC-based test and measurement equipment visit: https://www.picotech.com/about/.

PicoScope 6 decodes CAN FD for free

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PicoScope 6 decodes CAN FD for free (Hi-res)

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23 February 2017
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For immediate release: New PicoScope 6.12.7 software for PicoScope oscilloscopes

23 February 2017 - Pico Technology, market leader in PC oscilloscopes and data loggers, today added CAN FD decoding to its PicoScope 6 software. This software, available free of charge for all PicoScope oscilloscopes, delivers advanced features such as serial decoding, channel math, mask limit testing and spectrum analysis, while maintaining a clear, uncluttered display with easy-to-use controls.

“PicoScope 6 can already decode a wide variety of serial protocols such as I2C, SPI and UART, as well as automotive standards such as CAN, LIN and FlexRay,” said Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager, Test & Measurement, at Pico Technology. “Now it can also decode CAN FD, which is the latest and fastest version of CAN Bus used in automotive and industrial automation applications.”

Serial decoding is an essential component of the PicoScope software and allows you to see the the decoded data on the same timebase as the analog waveforms. Bit fields within frames are color-coded for easier identification, with errors highlighted in red. Click on a decoded frame, and PicoScope instantly highlights the same data in a table below the waveform. You can search and sort the decoded data, export it in text format, and display optional measurements such as peak voltage, packet duration and start and stop times.

PicoScope 6 runs on your Windows PC, making it easy to share waveforms – just email a .psdata file or a screen shot. You can also export waveform data in a range of binary and text formats.

Availability

PicoScope 6.12.7 is available for download now, free of charge, from www.picotech.com. It runs on Windows 7, 8 and 10, 32-bit or 64-bit, and is compatible with all PicoScope oscilloscopes.

New scope offers four true differential channels

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New scope offers four true differential channels (Hi-res)

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23 February 2017
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PicoScope 4444 enables high-resolution measurements of differential voltage waveforms

Pico Technology, market leader in PC oscilloscopes and data loggers, today introduced the PicoScope 4444 high-resolution differential oscilloscope. This instrument features four true differential input channels and a range of accessories for measurements from millivolt to 1000 V CAT III applications. The new PicoScope addresses the perennial problem of making accurate voltage waveform measurements on circuit elements that are not ground-referenced, without the risk of short circuits that could damage the device under test or the measuring instrument.

“Building on the success of PicoScope 4000 Series high-resolution oscilloscopes, the PicoScope 4444 gives electrical engineers the freedom to make differential voltage measurements in the presence of common-mode signals,” said Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager, Test & Measurement, at Pico Technology. “The new instrument has 14-bit resolution on four channels and 256 megasample capture memory, so is ideal for precise analysis of complex waveforms ranging "from biomedical sensors to current probes and 1000 V CAT III power distribution circuits.”

Scientists and electronics engineers frequently need to make low-voltage measurements in the presence of high common-mode noise or varying offset voltages. Ground-referenced oscilloscopes require use of two input channels and an A–B math function to observe the differential signal of interest. But, as well as this requiring two input channels, most scopes don’t have a high enough common-mode rejection ratio (CMRR), nor the resolution to make measurements with sufficient precision.

Engineers working on polyphase power distribution systems need to measure phase-to-phase AC voltages, rather than phase to ground. A ground-referenced scope can’t be used as it will cause a short circuit. External differential probes are a solution but they are quite expensive and cumbersome, with each probe requiring its own power supply.

The PicoScope 4444 has differential inputs and a choice of 1:1 low-voltage and 25:1 1000V CAT III probes to address both of these problems.

Furthermore, the scope has a novel intelligent probe interface that, in addition to delivering the differential signal to be measured, can also provide power for active probes such as Hall Effect AC/DC type active current probes. The scope detects when a compatible probe is connected and sets the corresponding units and vertical settings in the PicoScope 6 software. Compatible probes available at launch are:

PicoConnect 441 passive differential 1:1 20 MHz voltage measurement probe
PicoConnect 442 1000 V CAT III passive differential 25:1 10 MHz voltage measurement probe
TA300 40 A AC/DC 300 V CAT III, 100 kHz current measurement probe
TA301 200/2000 A AC/DC, 150 V CAT II, 20 kHz, current measurement probe
TA299 D9-dual BNC adaptor
TA271 D9-BNC adaptor

Pricing and availability

PicoScope 4444 will be available from Pico Technology distributors as follows:

PicoScope 4444 standard kit, consisting of a PicoScope 4444, three PicoConnect 441 differential 1:1 probes and one TA271 D9-BNC adaptor. $1,535 / €1,325 / £1,075.

PicoScope 4444 1000 V CAT III kit, consisting of a PicoScope 4444, three PicoConnect 442 1000 V CAT III 25:1 differential probes and one TA271 D9-BNC adaptor. $1,915 / €1,625 / £1,345.

The product and accessories will start shipping in March 2017.

PicoConnect™ 900 Series microwave and gigabit test probes

03 October 2016
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Promoted as “The Shape of Probes to Come” and a price-performance breakthrough, a new family of high-performance microwave and gigabit test probes has been announced by Pico Technology. The PicoConnect passive probes allow cost-effective fingertip browsing of broadband signals or data streams out to 9 GHz or 18 Gb/s. These include the now ubiquitous USB 2 & 3, HDMI 1 & 2, Ethernet, PCIe, SATA and LVDS standards.

Read more

Broadband interconnect, analog and particularly digital, continue to proliferate in just about every electronics sector and at every price point, right down to that of personal technology. Cost-effective test and measurement solutions have struggled to keep up, particularly in the field of low-invasive transmission line probing solutions.

With less than 0.4 pF tip capacitance and ground-referred loading of 220 Ω to 910 Ω, overall the PicoConnect probes are less invasive than the majority of existing and more costly probing solutions. To achieve measurement accuracies down to a few percent they are ratio-compensated for their typical application: the probing of transmission lines and ports between 40 Ω and 100 Ω (80 Ω to 200 Ω differential). 

Suited to interfacing with any measuring instrument with 50 Ω inputs, PicoConnect probes allow broadband oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer users to browse circuitry, backplanes, interconnect and systems, typically without interrupting their function, and to do so across multiple channels without breaking a budget. Despite their attractive specification they are cost‑effective in applications from as little as 500 MHz or 1 Gb/s.

Pico offers probe division ratios of ÷5, ÷10 and ÷20 in twelve probe models.  Each is provided in two probe impedances to suit either low-voltage, highest-speed, typically digital applications or higher-voltage analog and pulse applications.  In every case, there is a DC or AC coupled option, the latter important when DC bias must not be disturbed (as with HDMI, ECL, PECL and LVDS).  The whole family is realized as a set of interchangeable SMA(f) probe heads that can be used with any appropriate 50 Ω cable, or accessories such as filters, dividers, amplifiers and further attenuation.

PicoConnect probes are specified and characterized with a supplied 085 high-performance flexible coaxial cable, with which they achieve market-leading flatness and pulse response. The innovative in-PCB coplanar construction (patent pending) guarantees underlying microwave integrity along with mechanical precision, strength and electromagnetic immunity.  The passive design is inherently resistant to static discharge and demonstrates no significant overload recovery latency or error. The PicoConnect probes and multi-head probe kits are provided with solder-in accessories in a convenient carry and storage case. Prices start from $699.

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent over 25 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers, while engineers at our Eastern Europe office have been working in the RF and microwave market since 1974.

Together we have built up an impressive and innovative portfolio of small-footprint, high-performance products and software, often at uniquely low prices. Examples are the PicoScope PC Sampling Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 20 GHz; real-time oscilloscopes with fixed and flexible hardware resolutions up to 16 bits, deep buffer memories and mixed-signal capability; the TC-08 and PT-104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

More information on Pico Technology can be found at:

www.picotech.com

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www.picotech.com/newsletter/

Pico Technology is an internationally registered trademark of Pico Technology and is registered at the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office.

Pico Technology celebrates 25th anniversary

22 June 2016
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In July 2016 Pico Technology will celebrate 25 years of business. Pico data loggers, oscilloscopes and signal generators are used by engineers, scientists and technicians around the globe to bring their products to market. Pico automotive diagnostics products help keep the wheels turning for vehicle manufacturers and service organizations on every continent.

1991 was an interesting year. Intel introduced the low-cost 486SX microprocessor, priced at $258. It was implemented on PCs running MS-DOS 5.0 and Windows 3.0. The World Wide Web Consortium was founded by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, and the GSM mobile network was launched in Europe.

On 1st July Alan Tong and Mike Green co-founded Pico Technology. The company was originally set up as a software consultancy to develop data acquisition solutions using plug-in expansion cards, mostly for customers in the medical industry.

Pico, operating from Hardwick near Cambridge, introduced its first product, the ADC-10, so called because it was an analog to digital converter and sampled at 10 kS/s. It connected to the PC via the parallel port. The first order for ADC-10s was received in August that year, with two units sold for £49 each.

The ADC-10 was the world’s first PC Oscilloscope, and in the years that followed Pico notched up several more industry firsts, including the first oscilloscope with digital triggering and the first high-resolution oscilloscope.

Today, Pico has over one hundred employees at its head office in St Neots, UK and its subsidiaries in the USA and Lithuania. The company has three divisions producing Test & Measurement, Automotive Diagnostics and Radio Frequency test products that are sold worldwide.

Managing Director and owner Alan Tong said “Pico Technology are serving engineers, scientists and technicians with affordable instruments that capture, display and analyze the signals in their world. We take advantage of the latest computing and communications standards and provide excellent value with all-inclusive product packages that don’t require users to purchase additional options or licenses.”

“The company culture at Pico is key to our success,” continued Tong. “We treat customers as our friends, with free software upgrades and technical support for the lifetime of each product. Pico users are very loyal and have become strong advocates for our products amongst their colleagues. We also enjoy very low staff turnover – many of our employees have been at Pico for over a decade.”

“On 1st July we will celebrate with our employees; but we will also have in mind other people—suppliers, partners, distributors and former employees—who have enabled us to deliver 25 years of continuous growth.”

For more information about the Pico Technology history of PC-based test and measurement equipment visit: https://www.picotech.com/about/history.

PicoScope 2000 Series deliver functionality of six instruments in an ultra portable package

25 April 2016
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PicoScope 2000 Series two-channel, four-channel and mixed-signal models have the functionality of an oscilloscope plus a logic analyzer (on MSO models), spectrum analyzer, function generator, arbitrary waveform generator, and serial bus analyzer with support for 15 protocols* included as standard. They are USB-powered and come in an ultra-portable package that can be easily transported in a laptop bag.

PicoScope 2000A 2- and 4-channel models are ideal for technicians, trainers, students, and hobbyists doing fault-finding on signals up to 25 MHz. The 2205A MSO (mixed-signal oscilloscope) has 2 analog plus 16 digital channels for viewing and making measurements on digital or mixed technology designs.

PicoScope 2000B Series models are equipped with deep buffer memory from 32 to 128 M samples, and bandwidths of 50, 70 or 100 MHz supported with sampling speeds to 1 GS/s, and hardware acceleration to deliver over 80,000 waveforms per second update rates. Like the “A” models they are available in 2- and 4-channel models, plus 2+16 channel MSO versions. The “B” series models are packaged in the same size ultra-portable enclosure as the “A” Series, making them ideal for use in the lab or on the move, or for fast low-cost shipment to wherever they are needed.

The 2000 Series models connect to a host PC or tablet, and are powered via the USB interface. They are controlled and operated with PicoScope 6 software that takes advantage of available PC processing power, display, touchscreen and traditional control capabilities. Advanced features such as segmented memory, mask limit testing, advanced waveform math and decoders for popular serial buses are included as standard.

“Many of our customers are users of traditional benchtop oscilloscopes who tell us it was cheaper to buy a new PicoScope than to enable just an option, such as serial decoding, on their old oscilloscope.” said Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager for Test & Measurement products at Pico. “They buy a PicoScope for one specific task but it quickly becomes their main oscilloscope and the benchtop one gathers dust!”

“With the 2000A and B Series we’ve delivered an all-inclusive instrument with capabilities normally found in high-end benchtop instruments, yet they fit in the palm of your hand.  Engineers and consultants can have a 2000 Series PicoScope as their personal waveform laboratory and take it with them anywhere that it’s needed.”

PicoScope 6 software, included with the 2000 Series scopes, has been updated too, with support for touchscreen PCs and tablets, and color-keyed serial bus decoding that highlights individual field types in a message frame with different colors for easy interpretation. New releases of the software, that further enhance performance and functionality of PicoScope products, are posted regularly on picotech.com and are available to download free of charge for the lifetime of the product. In addition to Windows, there are Linux and Mac OS X versions of the software.

The PicoScope Software Development Kit (SDK) enables engineers to write custom applications for the 2000 Series, making them ideal for a wide range of OEM applications such as power system and machine health monitoring, high-energy physics, and medical electronics applications.

The new PicoScope 2000A and 2000B Series models are available from 25th April 2016 with prices ranging from $129 to $1235.

* Serial protocol decoders included:

1-Wire
ARINC 429
CAN
DCC
DMX512
Ethernet 10Base-T
FlexRay
I2C
I2S
LIN
PS/2
UART (RS-232, RS-422, RS-485)
SENT (FAST/SLOW)
SPI
USB 1.1

Upgraded System for Diagnosis of Noise, Vibration and Harshness concerns with the New PicoScope NVH Diagnostics Kit

11 January 2016
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Pico Technology brings a new level of functionality and ease of use to its industry-leading PicoScope NVH Diagnostic kit. This award-winning (most recently the Elektra awards and AMR Beijing), system provides technicians worldwide with the tools to tackle troublesome vehicle noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) problems that are significant reasons for customer dissatisfaction. As part of Pico’s ongoing collaboration with major vehicle and equipment manufacturers, this system has now been substantially enhanced to improve diagnosis and provide more flexible analysis tools for problem areas in cars, trucks and off-road vehicles.

Quickly identifying the true cause of a noise or vibration, and finding its location, can be a difficult and time-consuming task even for the most experienced technician. The updated PicoScope NVH Diagnostic Kit provides a more accurate analysis of vehicle NVH problems, supports multiple sensors and adds a host of technician-friendly features. Using the display of a laptop computer, this system combines fast capture and analysis of vehicle data with a clear easy-to-read presentation of results and actions.

The enhanced system can analyse signals from multiple sensors, and can also store signals for comparison on later tests. Three-axis accelerometers provide fore/aft, lateral, and vertical acceleration to be measured. The ability to test all 4 corners simultaneously, test pulley and driven systems, and improved audio testing for areas such as suspension increase versatility.

The NVH kit also supports propshaft balancing, with optional accessories. The Pico NVH system provides guided balancing for technicians which performs all the calculations in the background and presents a set of clear, simple instructions to the operator. Imbalance can be detected using optical and three-point balancing, both single and two plane. Guided correction of that imbalance supports pinion flange, single weight, and hose clamp methods. The kit also works with PicoScope® – the world’s most popular automotive oscilloscope. This has been engineered to improve efficiency within the workshop by allowing a technician to directly check sensors, actuators, systems and wiring. With special functions to help in capturing and diagnosing intermittent and performance problems, PicoScope allows you to do much more than just test wiring, components, noise and vibrations.

Read more on the Pico Website.

New PicoScope software delivers improved waveform analysis and functionality – for free!

06 January 2016
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Pico Technology, the world's leading manufacturer of PC oscilloscopes, has introduced Release 6.11.7 of the PicoScope® software. This version of PicoScope provides significant new capabilities for engineers, scientists, technicians and researchers who are working on the latest generation of electrical and electronic technologies.

“The electronics industry is confronted with faster development cycles that require more advanced measurement tools and support for new serial communication standards” said Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager for Test & Measurement products at Pico. “The new version of PicoScope addresses many challenges with the addition of new mathematical waveform processing tools, decoding of popular serial protocols, and improvements to FFT frequency domain plotting. For users with touchscreens, Pico has introduced pinch and zoom support to enable easy panning and positioning of captured waveforms.”

Advanced waveform mathematics now includes user-configurable filters: High Pass, Low Pass, Band Pass and Band Stop. The filters can be used to model missing circuit elements on live waveforms, and to do “what-if” analysis using different design parameters.

Frequency and duty cycle versus time plotting is a new feature that enables analysis of “Big Waveform Data” at a glance. With those plots it is possible to measure clock jitter and wander, modulation depth and characteristics of FM signals on a cycle-by-cycle basis.

Serial buses are commonplace in embedded systems, with new standards frequently being introduced – each one optimized for a specific application class and a balance of performance, reliability and cost. PicoScope has support for a total of sixteen protocols including SENT, 10- and 100BASE-T Ethernet, DMX512 (lighting systems) and DCC (model railways). Support for older standards such as I2C, SPI, CAN and UART / RS-232 has been updated and improved.

Download the latest version now: https://www.picotech.com/downloads

New Pico Technology Coil-on-plug (COP) and signal probe

02 March 2015
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Pico Technology has introduced a new Coil-on-plug (COP) and signal probe for the non-contact testing of Coil–on–plug ignition coils, spark plugs, injectors, inductive actuators and other high-voltage switching signals.

The new Probe features an easy-grip handle, a flexible shaft to allow easy access even when space is restricted and has an improved pick-up to suit a wider range of components.

·  Find misfires fast

·  Quickly compare secondary signals, faster than testing the primary

·  Can also be used to investigate injectors and other inductive actuators

·  Works with all automotive PicoScopes

·  Flexible design allows for easier access to hard-to-reach components

·  No batteries required

Compatible with any Pico Automotive scope, you can also use the COP and signal probe to pick up injector and actuator waveforms on a wide variety of vehicle makes and models. You can buy the probe on its own or with a special grounded cable.

PicoScope decodes 16 serial bus protocols

11 August 2015
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In response to the proliferation of serial bus communications in electronic designs, the latest version of PicoScope now has decoding and analysis of sixteen protocols included as standard. When used with the deep memory included in most PicoScope oscilloscopes, this new software release creates an extremely powerful debugging and troubleshooting tool at no extra cost to PicoScope owners.

PicoScope R6.11.4 beta can be downloaded free of charge and runs with any PicoScope.

Supported protocols, grouped by application, are as follows:

Automotive: CAN, LIN, FlexRay, and SENT (Fast and Slow)

Avionics: ARINC 429

Computer & networking: RS-232/UART, USB (LS, FS, HS), PS/2, Ethernet 100BASE-TX, Ethernet 10BASE-T

Embedded systems: I²C, I²S, SPI, and 1-Wire

Lighting: DMX 512

Model railways: DCC

“New serial bus standards are emerging fast”, said Trevor Smith, Business Development Manager at Pico Technology, “each one optimized for a specific application set. PicoScope serial decoding and analysis tools help engineers to observe the data flow in their designs, identify signal integrity issues, and provide measurement statistics to validate reliable operation of the device.”

“PicoScope users requested support for new standards, so we’ve addressed the most popular ones, and have even more in development. We also took the opportunity to streamline the code to accelerate decoding performance, which is now amongst the fastest in the industry.”

The PicoScope serial decoding display can be viewed as a basic bus waveform correlated with the source analog or digital channels. This layout helps to troubleshoot data errors caused by noise spikes, faulty line drivers and mismatched impedances.

Alternatively, the table view lists every packet or frame with timings, decoded data, status flags and optional voltage measurements. You can filter and search the table by any field, export data to a spreadsheet, and even define human-readable names for specified address data values by creating a “link file”.

PicoScope can decode multiple serial buses at once, with any mixture of protocols, limited only by the number of channels (maximum of 20 for MSO models).

PicoScope R6.11.4 beta can be downloaded, free of charge, from:

https://www.picotech.com/downloads

To read more details on our serial decoding protocols visit:

https://www.picotech.com/library/oscilloscopes/serial-bus-decoding-protocol-analysis

New range of low-cost, triggerable differential 40 to 60 ps step generators for high-speed digital and microwave test

09 November 2015
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The new PicoSource® PG900 Series pulse generators are high-speed, low-cost instruments for use in single-ended and differential pulsed measurement applications. The fast-transition pulse can stimulate a transmission path, device or network with a broad-spectrum signal in a single instant. Such a pulse is essential for many of the high-speed broadband measurements that we need to make; for instance in time domain reflectometry, semiconductor test, gigabit interconnect and port test, and in radar system test.

The generators are typically used to drive broad spectral content into a 50 ohm cable, connector, RF semiconductor or other device under test. The reflected or transmitted pulse can then be monitored and displayed by a broadband or sampling oscilloscope. Known as Time Domain Reflection or Transmission analysis, these techniques offer an alternative to vector and scalar network analysis. They are widely used to speed the development, evaluation and testing of high-speed data paths such as Ethernet, USB, HDMI and SATA, and RF, radar and microwave devices, cables, networks and equipment.

Unlike traditional, bulky and expensive benchtop instruments, the PicoSource PG900 generators are compact USB devices that connect to a PC running Microsoft Windows. This gives the advantages of leading microwave performance in a compact and portable instrument, a high-resolution graphical display, and easy setup by means of keyboard, mouse or touchscreen. The low cost and portability of these instruments can bring RF and microwave test out of the lab and into the world of on-site measurement. With all these advantages, the new pulse generators will have a role in the toolkit of every broadband equipment designer, installation engineer and repair technician.

“Unusually and yet vital to the modern differential measurement challenge, the PicoSource PG900 pulse generators have deskewable differential outputs adjustable to 1 ps resolution,” explained Business Development Manager Mark Ashcroft. “This allows timing inequalities in test connections and fixtures to be nulled out; or the deliberate introduction of timing skew to stress-test your system.” Each of the outputs can also operate in single-ended mode.

The PicoSource PG900 Series offers two triggered step-generation technologies to suit different applications. The PG911, with integral step-recovery diode outputs, offers a transition time of < 60 ps with a large and adjustable output swing of 2.5 V to 6 V on each output. These pulses can support high dynamic range and long-distance measurements and can exercise all signal amplitudes in most transmission systems and devices. The PG912 uses external tunnel diode pulse heads to deliver a faster transition time of < 40 ps with fixed 200 mV amplitude right at the interface plane. A third model, the PG914, combines both technologies in one space-saving, economical unit.

All models feature low-jitter external trigger input and output and an internal trigger clock with comprehensive width, period and hold-off adjustments. Pulse edge jitter with respect to the trigger input and output is less than 3 ps RMS.

Prices start from £4905 (US$8095 or €6495) for the 60 ps PG911 and include software and a 2-year warranty. Pico Technology also offers a complete range of TDR and TDT accessories to partner these differential pulse generators with its PicoScope 9000 12 GHz and 20 GHz sampling oscilloscopes.

An acquisition for enquiring minds

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19 February 2001
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Promoting science in education: Dundee City Council purchases Pico Technology's DrDAQ data loggers for its schools.

  • Meeting revised National Guidelines
  • Investing in the future of engineering
  • Affordable and easy to use data logger

Cambridge, UK — 19 February 2001 — Pico Technology today announced that the Dundee City Council's Education Development Service has purchased 41 low-cost, PC-based DrDAQ data loggers: one for each of its primary schools. The Council, which hopes to purchase additional data loggers for its secondary schools in the near future, aims to provide pupils with the technology they will be using when they enter the job market and to provide teachers with the appropriate in-service training.

Revised National Guidelines propose that Information Communication and Technology (ICT) play a crucial role in future science curricula and National Grid For Learning (NGFL) developments require Educational Departments to provide guidance on how to build ICT into learning and teaching. Dundee City Council is of the opinion that incorporating Data Logging into science-based subjects is an excellent way to meet the new guidelines.

“DrDAQ is well suited for use in primary and secondary schools,” comments Alan Tong, Pico Technology's Technical Director. “Because the data logger is PC-based, the results of data acquisition experiments — be they to record sound, temperature, light levels or the pH of a solution — can be seen instantly. The days of litmus paper, stop watches, hand crafted results tables and plots are fast disappearing.”

There is widespread agreement among councils that by the time the pupils in their primary and secondary schools hit the job markets, high-tech tools will be the norm. The use of equipment such as DrDAQ will do much to prepare pupils for a world in which data is easily acquired, visualised and interpreted.

DrDAQ plugs into the parallel port of any lap-top or desk-top PC, requires no power supply and is supplied with Pico Technology's popular software packages, PicoLog and PicoScope: the former enables DrDAQ to be used as an advanced data logger over long periods of time, whereas the latter enables DrDAQ to be used as an oscilloscope to analyse rapidly changing signals such as sound waveforms.

In addition, Pico Technology has made available, free on its website (www.picotech.com,) a library of science experiments for use in primary and secondary schools. The experiments - all of which are underpinned by the use of oscilloscopes or data logging equipment - are written by science teachers and industry experts and are split into five key subjects: biology, chemistry, physics, electronics and general science.

DrDAQ

DrDAQ takes its power from the PC to which it is connected (via parallel port) so there is no need for separate power supplies.

The DrDAQ board features built-in sensors for light, sound waveforms, sound level, temperature, voltage and resistance. In addition, a socket accepts any standard pH electrode and there are two sockets for a range of optional external sensors such as humidity, pressure and magnetic field. DrDAQ recognises the presence of sensors and automatically scales and calibrates all readings.

The PicoScope and PicoLog software packages referenced above are compatible with Windows 3.1x, 95/98/2000 and NT.

Full details of DrDAQ can be found at !www.drdaq.com. From this site, teachers can download demonstration and full versions of PicoScope and PicoLog.

DrDAQ, retails for £59.00. Optional external sensors are competitively priced and a DrDAQ with two external temperature sensors and a pH electrode retails for only £99: all prices exclude VAT and delivery.

Pico Technology Ltd
Mill House
Cambridge Street
St Neots
PE19 1QB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1480 396395
Fax: +44 (0)1480 396296
Email: enquiry@picotech.com

Please note: we have moved from the above address. Our current address is as stated on the Press Centre Home Page.

Oxygen Sensor for DrDAQ

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Oxygen sensor for DrDAQ (Hi-res)

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24 February 2003
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Pico Technology announces the immediate availability of an oxygen in air sensor for its low-cost, educational data logger DrDAQ: broadening the range of experiments that can be conducted in schools.

  • Ideal for Biology, Chemistry, Physics and other Science experiments
  • Automatic sensor recognition and display in appropriate units (%)
  • Broadens the range of DrDAQ experiments
  • Oxygen sensor and DrDAQ data logger both take their power from the PC so no batteries required
  • Growing library of FREE experiments available
  • PicoLog and PicoScope software supplied FREE with DrDAQ

Cambridge, UK — 24 February 2003 Pico Technology, specialists in PC-based instruments, has announced the immediate availability of an oxygen (O2) sensor for its popular, low-cost educational data logger DrDAQ. The sensor, which plugs into one of DrDAQ's two sockets for external sensors, can be used in a wide variety of experiments for the measurement of the percentage of oxygen present in a gas.

Mike Green, Pico Technology's Managing Director, comments: “By adding oxygen in air sensing to DrDAQ's capabilities, we've greatly increased the number of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Science experiments that can be conducted in primary and secondary schools.”

Experiments for which the oxygen sensor and DrDAQ lend themselves particularly well include:

  • Observation of how plants produce oxygen during photosynthesis (measuring O2 and light levels);
  • Measuring how a lit candle in a sealed container consumes oxygen (again measuring O2 and light levels); and
  • Monitoring how chemical reactions consume or produce oxygen (measuring O2 and pH).

Green continues: “The above experiments are just a few of many in which oxygen in air measurement plays a crucial role. They are, like the experiments detailed on our DrDAQ web site, ideal for teachers aiming to deliver step-by-step tuition to science pupils. The experiments are easy to conduct and the results can be saved and printed for reports.”

DrDAQ simply connects to a laptop or desktop PC running PicoLog data logging software, converting the computer into a powerful, yet easy-to-use, scientific instrument. DrDAQ has three built-in transducers for measuring temperature, light and sound. It can also measure voltage and resistance.

DrDAQ also connects to any standard pH sensor. Its external sockets (Ext1 and Ext2) accept a number of Pico sensors for measuring relative humidity (RH), external temperature, the presence of a magnetic field and, now, oxygen. DrDAQ automatically detects sensor types, so when plugging the new oxygen in air sensor into either Ext1 or Ext2, the software displays the reading as a percentage.

Pico has posted a library of educational science experiments, written by science teachers and industry experts, at https://www.picotech.com/library/experiments.

Green concludes: “Although the experiments we detail can be conducted using traditional, bench-top test and measurement equipment, pupils and students often have limited access to such equipment. Which is why we recommend the use of PC-based instruments like DrDAQ.”

The oxygen in air sensor is available immediately and retails for £99.00 + VAT.

DrDAQ with PicoLog software retails for £59.00 + VAT

Further details on the oxygen sensor can be found on the DrDAQ data logger web site.

Pico Technology Releases Free Linux Driver for its 2000 and 3000 Series PC Oscilloscopes

30 May 2008
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The new Linux driver from Pico Labs allows programmers to control the PicoScope 2000 Series and PicoScope 3000 Series scopes using their own software.

Pico Technology has always supported customers who wish to integrate Pico products into their own software. With the new driver, Linux programmers can now have access to Pico’s full range of entry-level and general-purpose oscilloscopes. Anybody with a PC and a spare USB port can download and use the driver free of charge and with no licensing restrictions.

The driver is supplied as an RPM package that has been tested with Fedora 8, Ubuntu 8.04 and openSUSE 10.4, and is accompanied by example programs in C and full instructions.

As Alan Tong, Managing Director of Pico Technology, explained, “Linux is widely used in the embedded computing, medical and scientific fields because it is stable, open-source and easy to modify, and can run a wide variety of applications. Now these users can choose any scope from our 2000 and 3000 Series scopes to integrate into their own applications.”

The driver is available from the Pico Technology website at www.picotech.com

9.5 GHz Optical Sampling Oscilloscope for only $29,495

07 October 2013
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Hot on the heels of the 20 GHz bandwidth and TDR/TDT models, the new PicoScope® 9321 Sampling Oscilloscope integrates a 9.5 GHz optical fiber-to-electrical converter with a high-performance, two-channel, 20 GHz PC Sampling Oscilloscope.

 This extends Pico Technology’s comprehensive serial data and eye diagram visualization to fiber optic data systems with bit rates up to 11 Gb/s and includes clock recovery.

“The PicoScope 9300 Series are the only compact, full-featured PC-based sampling oscilloscopes on the market,” explained Alan Tong, Managing Director of market leaders Pico Technology. “Their specifications and features are a match for traditional full-sized bench-top instruments but at a fraction of the cost.”

All the PicoScope 9300 models are full-featured sampling oscilloscopes with 20 GHz electrical bandwidth, so can be used for pre-compliance tests, fault-finding and margin testing on electrical serial data signals such as 10 Gb Ethernet, SONET/SDH STM64 and FEC1071, 10x Fibre Channel, InfiniBand and PCI Express.  The scopes also have LAN and USB interfaces, and advanced large-screen display features such as color and density profiling, multiple trace windows, histograms, multiple measurements and statistics. With an industry-leading sampling rate of 1 MS/s, these scopes can build waveforms and persistence displays faster than other sampling oscilloscopes.

The small footprint of the PicoScope 9300 scopes allows them to be positioned right next to the device or port under test, on the bench or in the field, without additional cables and losses. Specification highlights include: 17.5 ps input rise time, dual 16-bit, 60 dB dynamic range ADCs, 5 ps/div dual timebase, 14 GHz trigger bandwidth, built-in clock recovery up to 11.3 Gb/s, and time interval resolution of 64 fs. Typical input noise is 1.5 mV RMS at full bandwidth, with trigger jitter of 1.8 ps RMS and recovered clock jitter of only 1 ps RMS.

The PicoSample™ software has been comprehensively updated for the new oscilloscopes. The range of controls has been extended, with intuitive graphics, click-and-drag operations and measurement labels to simplify and speed up operation. The flexible layout shows only the controls and menus you need and maximizes the area available for the data. There is an unrivalled suite of measurement and analysis functions: 61 math operations, 138 automatic measurements and 167 standard comms masks from 1.54 Mb/s to 12.5 Gb/s. PicoSample 3 is compatible with all 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows® from Windows XP to Windows 8.

The PicoScope 9321 Optical Sampling Oscilloscope is available now from Pico distributors worldwide and from www.picotech.com at only $29,495 / £17,876 / €21,630. All hardware, accessories and software features listed above are included in the price, with no hidden extras. A range of standard SMA pulse shaping filters is also available.  A demonstration copy of the software can be downloaded from www.picotech.com.

New PicoScope 3000D Series USB 3.0 SuperSpeed oscilloscopes with 512 MS deep memory

26 January 2015
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PicoScope 3000D Series oscilloscopes are high-performance test and measurement instruments for mainstream electronics design engineers. With up to 200 MHz bandwidth, 2 or 4 analog channels plus 16 digital channels on the mixed-signal (MSO) models, and deep memories from 64 to 512 MS the PicoScope 3000D Series are ideal for debugging the latest digital and mixed signal designs.

The scopes offer a maximum real-time sampling rate of 1 GS/s and feature a USB 3.0 interface and a built-in arbitrary waveform generator (AWG). The slim case design makes the scopes convenient for both benchtop and portable use.

“The deep memory on the new PicoScope 3000D scopes means that you can use long timebases with the fastest sampling rates,” explained Managing Director Alan Tong. “For example, even at 1 GS/s sampling rate you can capture a 500 ms waveform—that’s half a billion samples—while hardware acceleration keeps the display updating smoothly.”

The 512 MS buffer memory can be segmented, enabling acquisition of up to 10 000 individual waveform segments of 50 000 samples, with less than 1 µs re-arm time between each segment.  Memory segmentation is beneficial when analyzing waveform bursts or serial data packets that include long gaps. PicoScope can be set to trigger on each packet and skip the gaps that are of no interest. This function allows users to acquire, for instance, CAN data packets over several minutes and then analyze the packet content at a later point in time.

PicoScope oscilloscopes are multi-function, and include a spectrum analyzer and arbitrary waveform generator (AWG), and many advanced functions as standard, such as serial bus decoding, mask limit testing, maths channels and filtering. Advanced triggers include pulse width, interval, window, window pulse width, level dropout, window dropout, runt pulse, variable hysteresis, and logic. All triggering is digital, ensuring low jitter, high accuracy and single-LSB voltage resolution. MSO models combine these triggers with edge and pattern triggering on the digital inputs.

PicoScope utilizes the host PC to control the instrument and display waveforms, so screen size and resolution are unrestricted. A large PC display shows the acquired waveforms with exceptional clarity, with easy zooming and panning under keyboard or mouse control. Other built-in features include color persistence display modes, automatic measurements with statistics, programmable alarms, and decoding of I2C, UART/RS232, SPI, CAN bus, LIN, FlexRay and I2S signals.

The new scopes benefit from the latest updates to the PicoScope software. A new fast persistence mode gives updates of around 100 000 waveforms per second, while the math channels have been expanded to include configurable filters.

A free Software Development Kit (SDK) allows control of the scopes from industry standard applications and programming languages. The SDK includes example programs in C#, C++, Excel, LabVIEW and MATLAB, and can be used with any language that supports C calling conventions. The PicoScope software and SDK are compatible with Microsoft Windows XP through to Windows 8, with beta versions for Linux and Mac OS X. Beta drivers are also available for the ARM-based Beaglebone Black and Raspberry Pi.

The PicoScope 3000D Series oscilloscopes are available now. Prices range from £349 for the 2-channel 50 MHz PicoScope 3203D to just £1445 for the 4-channel 200 MHz PicoScope 3406D MSO, including a set of probes and a 5-year warranty.

PicoScope® drivers now available for BeagleBone and Raspberry Pi

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PicoScope® drivers now available for BeagleBone and Raspberry Pi (Hi-res)

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07 November 2014
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Pico Technology has just released beta drivers for its oscilloscope and data logging devices to run on the ARM-based BeagleBone Black and Raspberry Pi development boards.

The new drivers give programmers access to a wide range of compact, economical USB oscilloscopes and data loggers. These include high-speed oscilloscopes with bandwidths up to 500 MHz, high-resolution 12-bit and 16-bit oscilloscopes, and deep-memory oscilloscopes with buffer sizes up to 512 MS. Most PicoScope oscilloscopes also offer advanced digital triggering, fast block-mode and streaming-mode data capture, and a built-in signal generator or arbitrary waveform generator. The data logger range includes multichannel voltage loggers, 8-channel thermocouple loggers and the educational DrDAQ multifunction logger.

Separate driver packages and snippets of C code are available for Raspbian and Debian systems. Similar code could be developed in C-compatible programming languages such as C++, Java and JavaScript.

As beta products, these drivers are explained and supported on our forum at:

http://www.picotech.com/support/topic14649.html

In addition, beta drivers for Mac OS X and Linux, drivers for Microsoft Windows and a free SDK can all be downloaded free of charge.

PicoScope breaks the 100,000 waveforms per second barrier!

03 November 2014
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The latest release of the PicoScope 6 software for PC oscilloscopes has a greatly improved continuous update rate of over 100,000 waveforms per second. This is faster than any other PC oscilloscope, and beats many expensive benchtop oscilloscopes too.

As Managing Director Alan Tong explained, “When you are looking for an intermittent glitch, a faster waveform update rate lets you find it more quickly. PicoScope’s new fast persistence display mode can collect thousands of waveforms per second, overlaying them all with color-coding or intensity-grading to show which areas are stable and which are intermittent. Faults that previously took minutes to find now appear within seconds.”

The new fast persistence mode is available on all Pico oscilloscopes from the PicoScope 3000 Series upwards with the PicoScope R6.10.2 beta software or later. Using dedicated hardware inside the scope, this mode can achieve update rates up to 120,000 waveforms per second on USB 3.0 deep memory scopes such as the PicoScope 6000C/D Series. With USB 2.0 deep memory scopes the update rate can now reach 80,000 waveforms per second.

Even faster capture rates are possible using rapid trigger mode, which collects bursts of up to 10,000 waveforms at a rate of up to 1 million waveforms per second into segmented memory for later viewing. See our data sheets for the rapid triggering performance of individual PicoScope models.

All PicoScope users can download the latest software update free of charge from www.picotech.com. Even if you don’t have a PicoScope, you can download the software and run it in demo mode to find out how powerful it really is.

Detailed test results for all current series of PicoScope oscilloscopes are listed in “Oscilloscope Waveform Update Rates”.

PicoScope® oscilloscopes now compatible with Mac OS X

20 August 2014
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Pico Technology’s PC oscilloscopes are now compatible with OS X. This is in response to the growing use of Apple Mac computers in electronic engineering companies.

A PicoScope oscilloscope plugs into your PC and turns it into an oscilloscope, FFT spectrum analyzer and all-round measuring instrument. The PC runs the PicoScope 6 software, a powerful application that is now available in an OS X beta version as well as Linux and Microsoft Windows versions. The main features of PicoScope for Windows are included in the OS X and Linux beta versions—scope, spectrum and persistence modes; interactive zoom; simple, delayed and advanced triggers; automatic measurements; and signal generator control—and we are working on adding more. You can save captures for offline analysis, share them with other PicoScope users, or export them in text, CSV and MathWorks MATLAB 4 formats.

Compact, economical USB oscilloscopes from the PicoScope range are available with bandwidths up to 1 GHz, from 1 to 8 input channels, hardware vertical resolutions from 8 to 16 bits, sampling rates up to 5 GS/s, buffer sizes up to 2 GS, and built-in arbitrary waveform generators. Other features available on some models include flexible hardware resolution, switchable bandwidth limiters, switchable high-impedance and 50 ohm inputs, and differential and mixed-signal inputs.

The new beta version of PicoScope for OS X is packaged for easy installation, and includes drivers that support all our current scopes and data loggers. The drivers can also be used with our free SDKs to create your own applications.

To find out what our customers have to say about the software, see the Pico forum at:
http://www.picotech.com/support/.

Download PicoScope for OS X free of charge from:
http://labs.picotech.com.

4 Channel 20 GHz Sampling Oscilloscope

07 October 2014
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With the new PicoScope® 9341 20 GHz Sampling Oscilloscope, engineers can analyze two differential or four single-ended high-speed signals. The instrument is ideal for measuring skew and crosstalk between differential pairs on serial buses such as HDMI, SATA and PCIe, and for testing signal integrity at differential and single-ended transceiver ports.

Data rates up to 40 Gb/s can be viewed, with 5th-harmonic characterization possible up to 8 Gb/s.

“The PicoScope 9341 is the only compact four-channel sampling oscilloscope on the market,” explained Alan Tong, Managing Director of market leaders Pico Technology. “Its specifications and features are a match for traditional full-sized benchtop instruments but at a fraction of the cost.” The oscilloscope can be used for pre-compliance tests, fault-finding and margin testing on serial data signals such as 10 Gb Ethernet, SONET/SDH STM64 and FEC1071, 10x Fibre Channel, InfiniBand and PCIe. The scope is controlled through its LAN or USB interface using the PicoSample™ 3 software included. PicoSample 3 provides a large-screen user interface and advanced display features such as color and density profiling, multiple trace windows, histograms, multiple measurements and statistics. Regular software updates are provided free of charge.

The small footprint of the PicoScope 9341 allows it to be positioned right next to the device or port under test, without recourse to expensive pull-out sampling modules. Specification highlights include 17.5 ps input rise time, two dual-channel samplers with 16-bit, 60 dB dynamic range ADCs, 5 ps/div dual timebase, 14 GHz trigger bandwidth, and time interval resolution of 64 fs. Typical input noise is 1.5 mV RMS at full bandwidth, with trigger jitter of only 1.8 ps RMS.

Optional high-impedance TETRIS® active probes are available with bandwidths up to 2.5 GHz. They stack on a 0.1 inch (2.54 mm) pitch to allow probing of closely spaced device leads. The 0.9 pF input capacitance minimizes the loading on the circuit under test and maintains high input impedance over the full bandwidth.

The PicoSample 3 software uses intuitive graphics, click-and-drag operations and measurement labels to simplify and speed up operation. The flexible layout displays only the controls and menus you need, leaving the maximum space for the waveform display. There is an unrivalled suite of measurement and analysis functions: 61 math operations, 138 automatic measurements and 167 standard comms masks from 1.54 Mb/s to 12.5 Gb/s. It’s compatible with all versions of Microsoft Windows® from XP (SP3) to 8.1.

The PicoScope 9341 4 Channel 20 GHz Sampling Oscilloscope is available now from Pico distributors worldwide and from www.picotech.com for only $22,395 / €16,423 / £13,573. All advertised hardware and software features are included in the price, with no hidden extras. A free copy of the software can be downloaded for evaluation.

New Range of Mixed-Signal PicoScopes

22 September 2014
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The new PicoScope 3000D Series Mixed-Signal Oscilloscopes (MSOs) are ideal for engineers working on a diverse range of embedded systems. These compact USB-connected devices form a complete portable test system, with two or four analog channels and sixteen digital channels as well as a built-in arbitrary waveform generator.

“We have completely redesigned the PicoScope 3000 Series MSOs,” explained Managing Director Alan Tong. “The key specifications—sampling rate, buffer size and display update rate—have all been improved, while we’ve retained the benefit of USB-powering that makes PicoScopes so much more convenient and portable than their traditional benchtop equivalents.”

The PicoScope 3000D Series MSOs are available with analog bandwidths from 60 MHz to 200 MHz. Maximum digital input frequency is 100 MHz, equivalent to a data rate of 200 Mb/s (5 ns pulse width) on each channel. All models come with a USB 3.0 interface and are fully compatible with USB 2.0, giving high performance and fast update rates with both port types. Like all PicoScopes, they display waveforms in a resizable window on your PC’s screen, giving you an uncluttered space for multiple high-resolution analog and digital traces. It’s easy to save, share and analyze waveforms, with all of your PC’s networking, storage and processing facilities instantly available. The deep memory buffers of 128 to 512 megasamples, much larger than other scopes costing several times more, allow long captures even at fast real-time sampling rates of up to 1 gigasample per second. Hardware-accelerated data processing maintains smooth and rapid display updates even with very large capture sizes.

The PicoScope 3000D Series offers a comprehensive suite of advanced features as standard, including math channels, automatic measurements with statistics, spectrum analysis and color persistence display mode. Also built in are advanced digital triggering with pulse width, window, dropout, channel logic, digital pattern and other qualifiers, mask limit testing and alarms. Serial decoding supports SPI, I2C, I2S, RS-232/UART, CAN, LIN and FlexRay protocols on up to 20 analog and digital channels, even with a mixture of protocols at the same time. All these features are included in the purchase price, not expensive optional extras as on many competing products. A free SDK is available for developing applications in popular programming languages such as C, Microsoft Visual Basic® and Excel VBA, and National Instruments LabVIEW®, with example code included.

The PicoScope 3000D Series MSOs are available now from Pico distributors worldwide and from www.picotech.com, priced from only £649 ($786 or €1071) for the 2-channel 60 MHz model. This includes all of the features mentioned above, plus analog probes, digital test cable and clips, and a 5-year warranty.

A PicoScope with eight high-resolution channels

25 February 2014
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The new 8-channel PC oscilloscope from Pico Technology offers the perfect solution for advanced multi-channel applications. Housed in a compact and rugged enclosure, the PicoScope 4824 features 12-bit resolution, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface, and an integrated 14-bit arbitrary waveform generator (AWG).

Managing Director Alan Tong explains “The new 8-channel PicoScope has the same small footprint as Pico’s existing 2 and 4-channel models, and can replace the cumbersome full-sized scope on your workbench”. Like all PicoScopes, the 4824 is small, light, and highly portable; despite its high specification it is entirely powered via USB and does not require a bulky separate adaptor.

With 8 high-precision, low-noise inputs, a bandwidth of 20 MHz and sensitivity from 2 mV/div, this scope is well suited to a broad range of applications such as power supply start sequencing, decode and time-aligned display of related I/O, 7-channel audio, 3-phase voltage and current measurements, and multi-phase motor drives. The maximum sampling rate of 80 MS/s, deep buffer memory of 256 MS and data streaming enable the scope to capture detailed timing data over prolonged periods.

The PicoScope 4824 includes a comprehensive list of features as standard, such as a 20 MHz FFT spectrum analyzer, segmented memory (for bursts of up to 10,000 captures in less than 30 milliseconds), math channels, automatic measurements, color persistence display mode, advanced digital triggering, mask limit testing and serial decoding (SPI, I2C, I2S, RS-232/UART, CAN, LIN and FlexRay). A free SDK is also included for developing applications in various popular programming languages including C, Microsoft Visual Basic®, National Instruments LabVIEW® and MathWorks MATLAB® with example code available at www.picoapps.com.

The PicoScope 4824 oscilloscope is available now from Pico distributors worldwide and from www.picotech.com, priced at only £1395 ($2302 or €1688). This includes all of the features mentioned above, plus USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 cables and a 5 year warranty.

PicoScope® oscilloscopes now run on Linux

25 February 2014
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Pico Technology has just released a beta version of the PicoScope 6 oscilloscope software for Linux. This is in response to requests from a large number of customers in the scientific and educational fields where Linux is widely used.

PicoScope 6 is a powerful application that converts your PC into an oscilloscope, FFT spectrum analyser and measuring device. On-device buffering, using deep memory on some devices, ensures that the display is updated frequently and smoothly even on long timebases. The most important features from PicoScope for Windows are included—scope, spectrum and persistence modes; interactive zoom; simple, delayed and advanced triggers; automatic measurements; and signal generator control—and we are working on adding more. You can save captures for off-line analysis, share them with other PicoScope for Windows and PicoScope for Linux users, or export them in text, CSV and Mathworks MATLAB 4 formats.

The only additional hardware you need is a compact, economical USB oscilloscope from the PicoScope range. PicoScope oscilloscopes are available with bandwidths up to 1 GHz, up to 4 input channels, hardware vertical resolutions up to 16 bits, sampling rates up to 5 GS/s, buffer sizes up to 2 GS, and built-in signal generators. Other features available on some models include flexible hardware resolution, switchable bandwidth limiters, switchable high-impedance and 50 ohm inputs, and differential inputs.

The new software is packaged for easy installation on the following distributions:

  • Debian 7.0 (wheezy) i386/amd64
  • Ubuntu 12.xx/13.xx i386/amd64
  • Any other Debian-based distribution with mono-runtime >= 2.10.8.1

PicoScope includes drivers for all current scopes from the PicoScope 2000 Series to the 6000 Series and we are working on adding support for some older devices. The drivers can also be used on their own to create custom applications.

A number of customers are already using the new beta and contributing to a lively discussion on the Pico forum at http://www.picotech.com/support/.

Download PicoScope for Linux free of charge from http://www.picotech.com/linux.html.

Pico Technology wins Elektra 2013 "Test Product of the Year" award

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28 November 2013
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PicoScope 5000 Series oscilloscopes give engineers the ability to capture high-speed and high-resolution signals with a choice of 8-bit to 16-bit resolutions in a single product.

St Neots, UK – November 28th 2013 – Pico Technology, leader in PC-based oscilloscopes, announced today that the PicoScope 5000 Series Flexible Resolution oscilloscopes have won the Elektra 2013 Test Product of the Year award, presented at the European Electronics Industry Awards event in London.

The Elektra awards recognize achievements of individuals and companies, and are designed to promote best practice in product and business innovation, sales growth and employee motivation.

The PicoScope 5000 was selected unanimously by a jury of experts from the media, industry, and academic research, who said they were “impressed at how this product challenged a traditional approach to oscilloscope design in a highly versatile product.”

“We are honoured that the PicoScope 5000 has been recognized with this prestigious Elektra award”, said Alan Tong, Managing Director at Pico Technology.  “We believe that the 5000 Series is the most versatile oscilloscope on the market and this nomination highlights our dedication to providing innovative, cost-effective alternatives to traditional test equipment and data acquisition products that help engineers do their job.”

Introduced in May 2013, the PicoScope 5000 Series employ eight reconfigurable ADCs to provide 1 GS/s at 8-bits resolution with 60 dB SFDR – much better than scopes with 8-bit ADCs.  The scope can be configured to sample at 500 MS/s with 12-bits resolution through 14-bits at 125 MS/s and > 70 dB SFDR.  If only two channels are required then resolution can be increased to 15 bits, and in single-channel mode all the ADCs are combined to give a 16 bits at 62.5 MS/s.

As well as flexible resolution, the oscilloscopes have ultra-deep memory buffers up to 512 MS to allow long captures at high sampling rates. They also include, as standard, advanced software features such as serial decoding, mask limit testing and segmented memory.

In addition to flexible resolution, the PicoScope 5000 provides a versatile toolset that can be applied to a wide range of measurement tasks in both time and frequency domains.

200 MHz scope that fits in your pocket

11 November 2013
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Pico Technology has released a new range of PicoScope 2000 Series oscilloscopes that occupy about the area of a passport and are only 19 mm (three-quarters of an inch) thick.

Connected to and powered from a USB port, they offer bandwidths up to 200 MHz and feature an arbitrary waveform generator, yet are almost 80% smaller than the previous generation of PicoScopes. This makes them the perfect scopes for engineers on the move to keep in their laptop bag, while offering all the features and performance of a traditional bench-top oscilloscope.

The new PicoScope 2000 range was very much a "skunkworks" project, explained Managing Director Alan Tong.  "We give all of our engineers one afternoon a week to work on a project of their own choosing, and a group decided to see how small they could make an oscilloscope without compromising on performance. They kept the project secret until they had a working prototype complete with a 3D-printed enclosure. When I saw it I was immediately sold on the idea, as it was a product I wanted to own myself. It’s so small and light, I now carry an oscilloscope in my laptop bag all the time."

The specifications include a maximum sampling rate of 1 GS/s, adjustable analog offset over the full input range, and high-speed USB streaming up to 1 MS/s for waveform captures of up to 100 million samples in length. The built-in signal source can act as a standard signal generator (sine, square, triangle and others) with programmable sweep or as a 12 bit 20 MS/s full-function arbitrary waveform generator.

Despite their small size, the dual channel scopes include a comprehensive list of features as standard including an FFT spectrum analyzer, up to 48K samples of segmented memory for rapid captures, math channels, automatic measurements, color persistence display mode, advanced digital triggering, mask limit testing and serial decoding (CAN bus, LIN bus, FlexRay, SPI, I2C, I2S, UART). A free SDK with example code is available for developing your own applications in languages such as C, Microsoft Visual Basic®, National Instruments LabVIEW® and MathWorks MATLAB®.

The new PicoScope 2000 Series oscilloscopes are available now from Pico distributors worldwide and from www.picotech.com. Prices range from £159 / US$262 / €192 to £599 / US$988 / €725 depending on bandwidth and signal generator type. Prices include all hardware and software features mentioned above and a 5-year warranty.

20 GHz TDR/TDT Sampling Oscilloscopes from only $18,995

07 October 2013
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Newly released, the PicoScope® 9300 Series TDR/TDT Sampling Oscilloscopes can perform time-domain reflectometry and transmission mismatch and network analysis on high-frequency cables, PCBs, backplanes and interconnections.

Their built-in differential fast edge generators have a rise time of 65 ps at up to 6 V (PicoScope 9311) or 40 ps at over 250 mV (PicoScope 9312 via plug-in pulse heads), providing a typical distance-to-fault resolution down to 10 mm.

“The PicoScope 9300 Series are the only compact, full-featured PC-based sampling oscilloscopes on the market,” explained Alan Tong, Managing Director of market leaders Pico Technology. “Their specifications and features are a match for traditional full-sized bench top instruments but at a fraction of the cost.” The TDR/TDT models are full-featured sampling oscilloscopes, so can be used for pre-compliance tests, fault-finding and margin testing on serial data signals such as 10 Gb Ethernet, SONET/SDH STM64 and FEC1071, 10x Fibre Channel, InfiniBand and PCI Express.  The scopes also have LAN and USB interfaces, and advanced large-screen display features such as colour and density profiling, multiple trace windows, histograms, multiple measurements and statistics. With an industry-leading sampling rate of 1 MS/s, they can build waveforms and persistence displays faster than other sampling oscilloscopes.

The small footprint of the PicoScope 9300 scopes allows them to be positioned right next to the device or port under test, on the bench or in the field, without recourse to expensive pull-out sampling modules or lossy extension cables.  Specification highlights include: 17.5 ps input rise time, dual 16-bit, 60 dB dynamic range ADCs, 5 ps/div dual timebase, 14 GHz trigger bandwidth, built-in clock recovery up to 11.3 Gb/s, and time interval resolution of 64 fs. Typical input noise is 1.5 mV RMS at full bandwidth, with trigger jitter of 1.8 ps RMS and recovered clock jitter of only 1 ps RMS.

The PicoSample™ software has been comprehensively updated for the new oscilloscopes. The range of controls has been extended, with intuitive graphics, click-and-drag operations and measurement labels to simplify and speed up operation. The flexible layout displays only the controls and menus you need, leaving the maximum possible space for your data. There is an unrivalled suite of measurement and analysis functions: 61 math operations, 138 automatic measurements and 167 standard comms masks from 1.54 Mb/s to 12.5 Gb/s. PicoSample 3 is compatible with all 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows® from Windows XP to Windows 8.

The PicoScope 9300 Series TDR/TDT Sampling Oscilloscopes are available now from Pico distributors worldwide and from www.picotech.com. Prices are $18,995 / £11,512 / €13,930 for the PicoScope 9311 and $22,395 / £13,573 / €16,423 for the PicoScope 9312. All hardware, accessories and software features listed above are included in the price, with no hidden extras. A demonstration copy of the software can be downloaded from www.picotech.com.

High-performance PC oscilloscopes with deep buffer memory

09 September 2013
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With up to 500 MHz bandwidth on four channels, and an industry-leading 2 G samples of buffer memory, the new PicoScope 6000 Series has both the performance and the advanced analysis capability to speed debug of today’s complex electronic designs.

The PicoScope 6000 Series employs hardware acceleration and a USB 3.0 interface to acquire and display many megasamples of data per screen update without slowing down. Engineers can observe large portions of their design's electrical behavior at one time, and in great detail, which helps to reduce debug cycles and enables electronic design projects to be completed on schedule.

As Alan Tong, Managing Director of Pico Technology, explained, “The PicoScope 6000 Series is the highest-performance USB oscilloscope, with deeper buffer memory as standard than any other oscilloscope, and is capable of detailed circuit analysis. We have provided a suite of advanced debugging tools, included as standard with the scopes, so that engineers who are developing complex electronic systems will find all the functions they need.”

All models include an integrated function generator or arbitrary waveform generator (AWG), advanced triggering, automatic measurements with statistics, an FFT spectrum analysis mode, comprehensive waveform maths, mask limit testing, and serial decoding for popular industry standards such as I2C, SPI, UART, CAN, LIN and FlexRay.

The PicoScope 6000 Series scopes are compact and portable devices that fit easily in a briefcase, and include a five-year warranty as standard. Prices start at €2414 / $3292 / £1995 for the 250 MHz model with function generator, through to €5439 / $7417 / £4495 for the 500 MHz model with arbitrary waveform generator and 2 G samples of buffer memory. A set of four high-quality matched probes is supplied with every scope.

20 GHz Sampling Oscilloscopes from $14,995

01 July 2013
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The PicoScope® 9300 Series Sampling Oscilloscopes can perform pre-compliance tests, fault-finding, design, debug and margin testing on serial communications signals such as 10 Gb Ethernet, SONET/SDH STM64 and FEC1071, 10x Fibre Channel, and InfiniBand and PCI Express, all for only $14,995.

These two-channel oscilloscopes will replace traditional, full-sized bench-top instruments without compromising on usability, analysis features or accuracy. The only compact, full-featured PC-based sequential sampling oscilloscopes on the market, they offer a unique combination of portability, price and performance. Their small size allows you to position them right next to the device under test, minimizing cable losses and removing the need for expensive active probes or pull-out sampling modules. There is even a built-in signal generator with 4 ns minimum bit interval in PRBS mode and 8 ns minimum period in pulse mode. The devices have LAN and USB interfaces, and advanced display features such as colour and density profiling, multiple trace windows, histograms and statistics.

Specification highlights include: over 15 TS/s effective sampling rate, 17.5 ps input rise time, dual 16-bit, 60 dB dynamic range inputs, 5 ps/div dual timebase, 14 GHz prescaled trigger bandwidth, clock recovery up to 11.3 Gb/s and time interval resolution of 64 fs. The sampling rate of 1 MHz, the industry’s fastest, builds waveforms and persistence displays faster than any other sampling scope. Signal quality is just as impressive, with typical noise of 1.5 mV RMS at full bandwidth, external trigger jitter of 1.8 ps RMS, and recovered clock jitter of only 1 ps RMS.

The PicoSample™ software has been comprehensively updated for the new oscilloscopes. The range of controls has been revised and extended, with intuitive graphics, click-and-drag operations and measurement labels to simplify and speed up operation. A flexible layout allows you to devote as much of the screen as possible to your signal while displaying the controls and menus that you need. The software includes a comprehensive suite of measurement and analysis functions that is second to none: 61 math functions, 138 automatic measurements and 167 standard comms masks from 1.54 Mb/s to 12.5 Gb/s. The software is compatible with all versions of Microsoft Windows® from Windows XP to Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit versions).

The PicoScope 9300 Series Sampling Oscilloscopes are available now from Pico distributors worldwide and from www.picotech.com. Prices are $14,995 / £9,088 / €12,393 for the base model and $18,995 / £11,512 / €15,698 for the model with clock recovery. All hardware, accessories and software features listed above are included in the price, with no hidden extras. A demonstration copy of the software can be downloaded from www.picotech.com.

New technology delivers Flexible Resolution Oscilloscopes

13 May 2013
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For the first time in an oscilloscope, Pico Technology has used reconfigurable ADC technology to offer a choice of resolutions from 8 to 16 bits in a single product.

Most digital oscilloscopes gain their high sampling rates by interleaving multiple 8-bit ADCs. Despite careful design, the interleaving process introduces errors that always make the dynamic performance worse than the performance of the individual ADC cores.

The new PicoScope 5000 Series scopes have a significantly different architecture in which multiple high-resolution ADCs can be applied to the input channels in different series and parallel combinations to boost either the sampling rate or the resolution.

In series mode, the ADCs are interleaved to provide 1 GS/s at 8 bits. Interleaving reduces the performance of the ADCs, but the result (60 dB SFDR) is still much better than oscilloscopes that interleave 8-bit ADCs. This mode can also provide 500 MS/s at 12 bits resolution.

In parallel mode, multiple ADCs are sampled in phase on each channel to increase the resolution and dynamic performance. Resolution is increased to 14 bits at 125 MS/s per channel (70 dB SFDR). If only two channels are required then resolution can be increased to 15 bits, and in single-channel mode all the ADCs are combined to give a 16-bit mode at 62.5 MS/s.

Pico has over 20 years’ experience in the design of high-resolution oscilloscopes but, even so, developing a new analog front end to support an oscilloscope that can be switched between different resolutions was a significant challenge. Careful attention was required to support the high-resolution modes (with low noise, low distortion and bandwidth flatness) while maintaining the bandwidth, slew rate and pulse response necessary for the faster 8-bit mode.

As well as flexible resolution, these oscilloscopes have ultra-deep memory buffers of up to 512 MS to allow long captures at high sampling rates. They also include, as standard, advanced software features such as serial decoding, mask limit testing and segmented memory.

The PicoScope 5000 Series Flexible Resolution Oscilloscopes are available now from Pico distributors worldwide and from www.picotech.com. Prices range from £699 / US$1153 / €846 for the 2-channel 60 MHz model with built-function generator to £1699 / US$2803 / €2056 for a 4 channel 200 MHz model with built-in AWG. Prices include a set of matched probes, all necessary software and a 5-year warranty.

Pico Technology joins the MathWorks Connections Program

21 March 2013
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Pico Technology today announced that it has become a member of the MathWorks Connections Program. The PicoScope 3000 Series oscilloscopes now have an instrument driver for the Instrument Control Toolbox. This includes all models apart from the Mixed Signal and Differential Oscilloscopes, with drivers for other product ranges to be provided in the future.

The MathWorks Connections Program is available to third-party organisations that develop and distribute complementary, commercially available products and services based on MATLAB and Simulink. These partner offerings address technical needs across a wide range of applications and industries worldwide with software and hardware products that extend the usage of MATLAB and Simulink. These solutions seamlessly integrate with MathWorks products and ensure on-going compatibility in conjunction with new MathWorks releases. Customers are also offered training, consulting and system integration services based on MathWorks tools.

The decision to partner with MathWorks was a result of enquiries from mutual customers in a wide range of industries regarding drivers and examples for Pico Technology products to be used with MATLAB. Pico Technology provides a Software Development Kit (SDK) enabling users to create their own custom applications using a number of software languages and third party applications. The provision of high-level instrument drivers will simplify the process of acquiring data from Pico Technology devices into the MATLAB workspace, allowing customers to process the data using MATLAB Toolboxes such as the Signal Processing Toolbox.

The PicoScope 3000 Series oscilloscopes have the power to perform in many applications, such as design, research, test, education, service and repair. The USB-powered oscilloscopes are small, lightweight and portable. The PicoScope 3000 Series offers an astounding real-time sampling rate of up to 1 GS/s, a bandwidth of up to 250 MHz and huge buffer memory depths of up to 128 million samples per second. This series also contains the world’s first USB 3.0 oscilloscope. MATLAB users will be able to communicate directly with Pico Technology’s hardware using MathWorks’ Instrument Control Toolbox and a native MATLAB instrument driver that is included at no extra charge along with the Pico Technology hardware. This allows users to control instruments directly from MATLAB, including instrument setup, data collection and any other functionality available to the device.

World’s First USB 3.0 Oscilloscopes Launched

26 February 2013
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The first PicoScope oscilloscopes with a USB 3.0 interface have been released.

“USB 3.0 ports are appearing on most new computers and laptops,” explained Managing Director Alan Tong, “so buyers of USB oscilloscopes will expect to benefit from the higher data transfer rate. With the new USB 3.0 PicoScopes, large data captures and streaming of large data sets are now much faster.”

The PicoScope 3207A is a 2 channel USB oscilloscope with 250 MHz bandwidth, 1 GS/s sampling rate and 256 MS buffer memory. It has a built–in function generator and a dedicated external trigger input. Basic timebase accuracy is ±2 ppm. Other features include digital triggering for accurate, stable waveform display, and equivalent–time sampling, which boosts the effective sampling rate to 10 GS/s for repetitive signals. The PicoScope 3207B has 512 MS buffer memory and an additional 32k–sample arbitrary waveform generator with 100 MS/s update rate. As the scope obtains its power from the USB port, there is no need for an external power adaptor.

The oscilloscopes are supplied with the PicoScope software for Windows, which turns your computer into a powerful oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer. The software includes many advanced features, such as automatic measurements, serial decoding and mask limit testing, that are only available as expensive add–ons for most competing scopes. Software updates are free of charge.

A free software development kit (SDK) is also available for those who wish to write their own data–acquisition programs. Example code in a number of languages is included.

The PicoScope 3207A and 3207B USB 3.0 oscilloscopes are on sale now, priced at only £1099 / US$1813 / €1330 and £1199 / US$1978 / €1451 including a set of 2 probes. Ask your local distributor or visit www.picotech.com.

New range of deep memory mixed-signal oscilloscopes

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New range of deep memory mixed-signal oscilloscopes (Hi-res)

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13 November 2012
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The new range of mixed-signal oscilloscopes (MSOs) from Pico Technology combines the deep memory and high performance of the PicoScope 3000 Series with a powerful 16-channel logic analyzer. With a built-in function generator and arbitrary waveform generator also included, these oscilloscopes offer a complete test bench in one compact, USB-powered device.

The new MSOs have 2 analog channels with bandwidths from 60 MHz to 200 MHz, a maximum single-channel sampling rate of 500 MS/s, and 100 MHz digital inputs.

Buffer memory sizes range from 8 MS to 128 MS. “The deep memory on these MSOs works especially well with the serial decoding feature,” explained Managing Director Alan Tong. “You can capture serial data using any of the 2 analog and 16 digital inputs, giving you up to 18 channels. All of these can be decoded concurrently, even if you have a mixture of serial protocols.”

Serial data in I²C, UART/RS-232, SPI, CAN bus, LIN and FlexRay formats can be decoded and displayed in binary, decimal or hexadecimal formats. The 16 logic inputs are organized in two banks, each of which has its own adjustable logic threshold to allow testing of mixed-logic designs.

The PicoScope software supplied with the MSOs includes as standard all the oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer functions you would expect, as well as mask limit testing, segmented memory, advanced triggers and the serial decoding mentioned above: features that often cost extra on other manufacturers’ scopes. Other built-in features include persistence displays with fast update rates, math channels, automatic measurements with statistics, and programmable alarms. Updates to the software are free of charge.

The advanced trigger types include pulse width, interval, window, window pulse width, level dropout, window dropout, runt pulse, variable hysteresis, and logic. All triggering is digital, ensuring lower jitter, greater accuracy and higher voltage resolution than the analog triggering found on many competing scopes.

A free Software Development Kit (SDK) allows you to control the new scopes from your own programs. It includes example code in C, C++, Excel and LabVIEW, and can be used with any language that supports C calling conventions. The PicoScope software and SDK are compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

The PicoScope 3000 Series MSOs are available now from Pico distributors worldwide and from www.picotech.com. Prices range from only £649 / US$1070 / €785 for the 60 MHz PicoScope 3204 MSO to only £1049 / US$1730 / €1270 for the 200 MHz PicoScope 3206 MSO, including analog probes, logic cables and a 5–year warranty.

New 4–Channel, Compact, USB–Powered Oscilloscopes

04 July 2012
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The PicoScope 3000 Series of high-performance oscilloscopes has been expanded to include six new 4-channel models. The new oscilloscopes offer a maximum sampling rate of 1 GS/s (up to 10 GS/s effective for repetitive signals), a range of input bandwidths from 60 MHz to 200 MHz, and buffer memory depths from 4 M to 128 M samples.

The new FlexiPower™ system allows the scopes to run on either USB or AC power. With an option of either a built-in function generator or a built-in arbitrary waveform generator, and a new, slim case design, these scopes are perfect for engineers and technicians needing a complete, portable test bench in a single unit.

The PicoScope oscilloscope software includes as standard all the oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer functions you would expect, as well as serial decoding, mask limit testing, segmented memory and advanced triggers: features that often cost extra on other manufacturers’ scopes. Running on your Windows PC, PicoScope shows waveforms on a large, clear display and allows easy zooming and panning under keyboard or mouse control. Other built-in features include persistence displays with fast waveform update rates, math channels, automatic measurements with statistics, programmable alarms, and decoding of I²C, UART/RS-232, SPI, CAN bus, LIN and FlexRay signals. Updates to the software are released regularly, free of charge.

The advanced triggering modes include pulse width, interval, window, window pulse width, level dropout, window dropout, runt pulse, variable hysteresis, and logic. All triggering is digital, ensuring lower jitter, greater accuracy and higher voltage resolution than the analog triggering found on many competing scopes.

A free Software Development Kit (SDK) allows you to control the new scopes from your own custom applications. The SDK includes example programs in C, C++, Excel and LabVIEW, and can be used with any language that supports C calling conventions. The PicoScope software and SDK are compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

The PicoScope 3000 Series 4-channel oscilloscopes are available now from Pico distributors worldwide and from www.picotech.com. Prices range from only £599 for the 60 MHz PicoScope 3404A with function generator to only £1349 for the 200 MHz PicoScope 3406B with AWG, including four probes and a 5-year warranty.

New USB Oscilloscopes Offer Fastest Sampling and Deepest Memory

26 April 2012
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  • 4 channels
  • Up to 500 MHz bandwidth
  • Function generator or arbitrary waveform generator in every model
  • PicoScope software with all advanced features included in the price

The PicoScope 6000 Series oscilloscopes have the highest sampling rates and deepest memories of any oscilloscope in this price range. The six oscilloscopes in the series offer 4 channels with a maximum sampling rate of 5 GS/s, a range of input bandwidths from 250 MHz to 500 MHz, and buffer memory depths from 128 M to 1 G samples. With an option of either a built–in function generator or a built–in arbitrary waveform generator, these compact and economical scopes are perfect for engineers and technicians needing a complete test bench in a single unit.

The PicoScope oscilloscope software includes as standard all the oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer functions you would expect, as well as serial decoding, mask limit testing, segmented memory and advanced triggers: features that often cost extra on other manufacturers’ scopes. Running on your Windows PC, PicoScope provides a large, clear display that shows waveforms in great detail and allows easy zooming and panning under keyboard or mouse control. Other built–in features include persistence displays with fast waveform update rates, math channels, automatic measurements with statistics, programmable alarms, and decoding of I²C, UART/RS232, SPI, CAN and LIN bus signals. Updates to the software are released free of charge.

The advanced triggering modes include pulse width, interval, window, window pulse width, level dropout, window dropout, runt pulse, variable hysteresis, and logic. Digital triggering ensures lower jitter, greater accuracy and higher voltage resolution than the analog triggering found on many competing scopes. The AUX input can be used as an additional trigger or as an external sampling clock.

A Software Development Kit (SDK), supplied free, allows you to control the new scopes from your own custom applications. The SDK includes example programs in C, C++, Excel and LabVIEW, or can be used with any other language that supports C calling conventions. The SDK and PicoScope software are compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.

The PicoScope 6000 Series oscilloscopes are available now from Pico distributors worldwide and from www.picotech.com. Prices range from £1995 for the 250 MHz PicoScope 6402A with function generator to £4495 for the 500 MHz PicoScope 6404B with AWG, including a 5–year warranty.

Pico Technology Releases New USB Mixed–Signal Oscilloscope

14 November 2011
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The PicoScope 2205 MSO gives you a two-channel oscilloscope combined with a 16 channel logic analyzer, all in one compact, portable USB instrument. Now you can view analog waveforms and digital data on the same screen with the efficient and easy-to-use PicoScope software.

The analog bandwidth is 25 MHz and the digital channels can accept signals as fast as 100 MHz. Maximum sampling rate is 200 MS/s. The PicoScope 2205 MSO is suitable for general-purpose analog and digital circuit design, testing and troubleshooting. As it’s USB-powered, there is no AC adapter to carry: just plug it into your PC or laptop and start the software. The 48-ksample buffer is large enough to store multiple captures in rapid sequence as little as 2 microseconds apart.

The PicoScope software, included, delivers a high-resolution, uncluttered display and a range of advanced signal processing features: spectrum analyzer, automatic measurements with statistics, channel math, reference waveforms, multiple scope and spectrum views, I2C, UART, SPI and CAN bus serial decoding, XY mode, advanced triggers, mask limit testing, and color persistence display modes.

The 16 digital inputs can be displayed individually or in arbitrary groups labeled with binary, decimal or hexadecimal values. 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. Finally, analog and digital triggers can be combined using Boolean logic to enable complex mixed-signal triggering.

The Software Development Kit (SDK), also included, allows you to control the new scopes using your own software. The SDK and PicoScope are compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. Example programs in C, Excel and LabView are included.

The new PicoScope 2205 MSO is available now, priced at only £349 for the oscilloscope alone or £399 as a kit with two passive x1/x10 probes, a logic cable and test hooks. A generous 5-year warranty is included.

World’s First 1 GS/s USB–Powered Oscilloscope!

24 October 2011
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The three new oscilloscopes in the PicoScope 2000 Series are the first USB-powered oscilloscopes to offer a real-time sampling rate of 1 GS/s. With two channels, bandwidths ranging from 50 MHz to 200 MHz, a built-in function generator, arbitrary waveform generator and external trigger input, these compact and economical scopes are perfect for engineers and technicians needing a complete test bench in a single unit.

The scopes are supplied with a full version of the PicoScope oscilloscope software. As well as standard oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer functions, PicoScope includes valuable additional features such as serial decoding, mask limit testing, segmented memory and advanced triggers. It provides a large, clear display that shows waveforms in great detail and allows easy zooming and panning. Other advanced features include intensity- and color-coded persistence displays, math channels, automatic measurements with statistics, and decoding of I²C, UART/RS-232, SPI and CAN bus data. Free updates to the software are released frequently.

Like all PicoScope oscilloscopes, the new PicoScope 2000 Series devices use digital triggering, which ensures lower jitter, greater accuracy and higher voltage resolution than the analog triggers found on many other scopes. The advanced trigger types include pulse width, interval, window, window pulse width, level dropout, window dropout, runt pulse, variable hysteresis, and logic.

A Software Development Kit (SDK), supplied free, allows you to control the new scopes from your own custom applications. The SDK includes example programs in C, C++, Excel and LabVIEW. The SDK and PicoScope are compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.

The new PicoScope 2000 Series oscilloscopes are available now from Pico distributors worldwide and fromwww.picotech.com. Prices range from £349 for the 50 MHz PicoScope 2206 to £599 for the 200 MHz PicoScope 2208, including a 5-year warranty.

A Digital Oscilloscope for the Analog World

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A Digital Oscilloscope for the Analog World (Hi-res)

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30 August 2011
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The new PicoScope 4262 from Pico Technology is a 2 channel, 16 bit very–high–resolution oscilloscope (VHRO) with a built–in low–distortion signal generator. With its 5 MHz bandwidth, it can easily analyze audio, ultrasonic and vibration signals, characterize noise in switched mode power supplies, measure distortion, and perform a wide range of precision measurement tasks.

The PicoScope 4262 is a full–featured oscilloscope, with a function generator and arbitrary waveform generator that includes a sweep function to enable frequency response analysis. It also offers mask limit testing, math and reference channels, advanced triggering, serial decoding, automatic measurements and color persistence display. When used in spectrum analyzer mode, the scope provides a menu of eleven automatic frequency–domain measurements such as IMD, THD, SFDR and SNR. Its performance is so good that it rivals many dedicated audio analyzers and dynamic signal analyzers costing several times the price.

The PicoScope 4262 connects to any Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 computer with a USB 2.0 port. You can use it with a PC to save space on your workbench, or connect it to a laptop to create a portable instrument that’s perfect for field servicing and on–site work. As it is USB–powered, there is no need to carry a separate AC adapter. If you want to write your own application to control the scope or use it as a digitizer, Pico provides a software development kit, including example code, free of charge.

Alan Tong, Managing Director of Pico Technology, explained the thinking behind the new scope: “Most digital oscilloscopes have been designed for viewing fast digital signals. The trend has been to use new technology solely to increase sampling rate and bandwidth. With the PicoScope 4262 we have focused on what’s important for measuring analog signals: increasing the resolution, improving dynamic range, and reducing noise and distortion.”

The PicoScope 4262 oscilloscope is on sale now, priced at only £750 including two probes, a carry case and a 5–year parts and labor warranty. Order from your local distributor or visit www.picotech.com.