Sufficient bandwidth is a key oscilloscope requirement for making accurate measurements. However, there are a number of other factors and specifications that can help you properly perform signal integrity characterization.

dpo-mixed-signal-oscilloscope
When oscilloscope users choose an oscilloscope for making critical measurements, banner specifications are often the only available measures used to make this choice. The top three oscilloscope banner specification categories are:

  • Bandwidth
  • Sample Rate
  • Record Length

And of these banner specification categories, the number one asked for capability in an oscilloscope is bandwidth. After all, more bandwidth means higher performance, right? Well, not necessarily. Tektrokix recently released a technical article on oscilloscope selection. This article will point out the pitfalls in this very simple assumption, and discuss other important factors that weigh in the decision on measurement system effectiveness. Depending upon your expectation to see and analyze signals as they really are, more knowledge about the true performance of your oscilloscope will be needed.

Contents of the Technical document:

  • Bandwidth – What Does This Specification Tell Us?
  • What Does Bandwidth Not Tell Us?
  • When is Rise Time More Important than Bandwidth?
  • What is Step Response?
  • What Defines the Base Analog Performance of an Oscilloscope?
  • How Can a Probe Affect Bandwidth and Rise Time?
  • What are Under Sample Alias Effects?
  • How can Oversampling Improve Data Acquisition?
  • What can Digital Signal Processing do to Risetime, Bandwidth and Signal Fidelity?
  • What is “Effective Number of Bits”, and how will it effect my measurements?

Download this effective technical article from Tektronix:
http://www2.tek.com/cmsreplive/tirep/17752/55W_18024_3_2010.10.22.12.51.10_17752_EN.pdf