PicoScope 3000 Oscilloscopes

PicoScope 3000 Oscilloscopes (Hi-res)

06 July 2004
Category: Oscilloscopes

Pico Technology launches a series of high-performance PC oscilloscopes

  • Sampling rates up to 10 GS/s
  • Record lengths up to 1 MB
  • Multi-cycle colour display modes
  • Automated measurements
  • Includes a spectrum analyser mode
  • Connection via USB2.0

Cambridge, United Kingdom — 6 July 2004 — Pico Technology, the PC-based test and measurement company, has announced a new series of high-performance PC oscilloscopes. The 3000 series debuts with three instruments: the PicoScope 3204, 3205 and 3206. All three are cost-effective replacements for traditional bench top instruments. The top of the range oscilloscope boasts a sampling rate of 10 GS/s, an analog bandwidth of 200 MHz, and a record length of 1 MB.

Alan Tong, Pico Technology's Technical Director, comments: “The combined high sampling rate and large memory buffer of the PicoScope 3206 enable the capture and display of fast-occurring and complex signals. Most oscilloscopes in the same price bracket as the PicoScope 3206 have sub-32K memories. With 1 MB of memory, the 3206 can capture at least 30 times as much data, allowing the user the ability to zoom in on areas of interest.”

All three PicoScopes in the 3000 series connect to a PC via USB 2.0: drawing their power from the PC, so no need for a separate power supply. In addition to being high-performance oscilloscopes, the PicoScope 3204, 3205 and 3206 all feature a spectrum analyser mode and (when used with PicoLog software) can also be used for high-speed data acquisition.

The 3205 and 3206 also include built-in signal generators, capable of sweeping up to 1 MHz. The signal, output on the oscilloscopes' 'external trigger' BNCs, can be a sine, square or triangular wave.

The PicoScope 3000 series features more than 30 automated measurements such as: frequency; pulse width; rise time; THD and SNR; and five enhanced display modes including Digital Colour (ideal for spotting intermittent glitches in digital signals) and Analog Intensity (useful for displaying video waveforms and analog modulation signals).

The three instruments in the PicoScope 3000 series have the following features:

  • PicoScope 3204 — 2.5 GS/s sampling rate (repetitive signals), 50 MS/s single shot sampling, 50 MHz analog bandwidth, and record length of 256 thousand samples. Spectrum range 0 to 25 MHz.
  • PicoScope 3205 — 5 GS/s sampling rate (repetitive signals), 100 MS/s single shot sampling, 100 MHz analog bandwidth, and record length of 512 thousand samples. Spectrum range 0 to 50 MHz.
  • PicoScope 3206 — 10 GS/s sampling rate (repetitive signals), 200 MS/s single shot sampling, 200 MHz analog bandwidth, and record length of 1 million samples. Spectrum range 0 to 100 MHz

The new additions to Pico Technology's product range have the following advantages over traditional bench top instruments:

  • Waveform storage is limited only by the PC's storage capability
  • It is easy to share waveforms and instrument settings with other users (and waveforms can even be exported as JPEGs for posting on a website or using in reports)
  • The plug-in nature of the instruments means they can easily be interchanged
  • Small form factor (less bench space required) and portability
  • Lower cost
  • New functionality through software upgrades

Tong concludes: “Once again Pico has pushed the 'sample rate / memory depth' envelope to deliver three high-performance PC oscilloscopes. Essentially, we've repeated our well-proven formula of making full use of today's PCs' processing capabilities, large screens and familiar user interfaces, and focused our efforts on developing signal acquisition techniques, enhanced display modes and automated measurements.”

The three new PicoScopes are available immediately and are supplied with PicoScope and PicoLog software — demo and full versions of which can also be downloaded free of charge. The 3204 retails for £399 + VAT, the 3205 for £599 + VAT and the 3206 for £799 + VAT.