Mid-Market MSO Sports 8-GHz Bandwidth

Tektronix introduces the 6 Series MSO mixed signal oscilloscope that it claims extends the performance threshold of midrange oscilloscopes to 8 GHz and delivers a 25 GS/s sample rate simultaneously on all four channels, said to be an industry first for this class of oscilloscope. Developed to accommodate the needs of designers working on faster, more complex embedded systems, the 25 GS/s sample rate on all channels enables designers to accurately view up to four high-speed signals at one time. For example, a DDR3 clock and three DDR3 data channels can be viewed and analyzed simultaneously, decreasing the time it takes to fully characterize a design with an instrument that shares sampling systems between channels. 


Based on the same platform as the 5 Series MSO, the 6 Series MSO provides upgradeability for long-term investment protection. Introduced last year, the 5 Series MSO features a host of innovations that carry over to the 6 Series MSO including an intuitive user interface, a capacitive pinch-zoom-swipe 15.6-inch touchscreen, innovative FlexChannel inputs, a 12-bit ADC that can deliver up to 16 bits of vertical resolution, an industrial design, and optional Windows 10 operating system.

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The 6 Series MSO incorporates a unique low-noise preamplifier ASIC, the TEK061, that reportedly lowers noise dramatically, especially on signals that are in the hundreds of millivolts peak-to-peak. With its 25 GS/s sample rate on four channels, the instrument delivers 16-bit resolution at 200 MHz when using the High Res mode. This means that not only can designers see the interfering signals on their power rail, but they can measure them with a level of accuracy, that until now has not been possible on a scope.


Like the 5 Series MSO, the 6 Series MSO is highly upgradeable and is available with a built-in arbitrary/function generator, a free DVM and trigger frequency counter with product registration, protocol options, and offers a choice of operating system.  Also, like the 5 Series MSO, adding a TLP058 logic probe turns any of the instrument’s four FlexChannel inputs into eight digital inputs, providing the most flexible MSO configurations available. The 6 Series MSO also has upgradeable bandwidth, starting at 1 GHz and extending up to 8 GHz with a simple license upgrade.


Since the launch of the 5 Series MSO, Tektronix has added the following capabilities that will be available on both platforms:

  • Options for decode and trigger support for CAN FD, MIL-STD-1553, ARINC429 and SENT bus 
  • Options for serial compliance testing for Automotive Ethernet and USB 2.0
  • An advanced power analysis option with two rounds of free enhancements
  • New, free capabilities including FastFrame segmented memory and enhanced autoset
  • In conjunction with the 6 Series MSO launch, Tektronix is also releasing Visual Trigger capability and a new option for SPMI serial trigger, decode and search, a MIPI power management bus
  • For some deeper insights, watch some video demos.

Tektronix is also launching a series of higher performance probes suited to the performance levels of the 6 Series MSO. The TDP7700 is a series of TriMode probes with bandwidths of 4, 6 or 8 GHz. TriMode probes enable engineers to make the single-ended, differential, and common mode signal measurements required for high-speed bus analysis, without moving or changing probes. These probes use the TekFlex connector technology, which places active buffers at the probe tip for the best signal fidelity while limiting mechanical stress on tiny test points. The probe supports a variety of connectivity methods to the device under test including solder-in tips, direct connection, and handheld browsing. Additionally, the TAP4000 and TDP4000 probes extend the range of Tektronix’ popular active, single-ended and differential probes, respectively, and now support up to 4 GHz bandwidth.


The 6 Series MSO is available for order now with shipments planned for Fall of 2018. Pricing starts at $23,500 for 1 GHz models. The new probes, which will have similar availability, are priced from $6,000. For more details, peruse the 6 Series MSO data page.

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