Today’s electronic designs employ a wide range of signal types: analog, digital, serial (both high- and low-speed), parallel, audio, video, power distribution and so on. All need to be debugged, measured and validated to ensure that the device under test is functioning correctly and within specification.
To handle this variety of signal types, PicoScope 5000D 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 – you select the most appropriate hardware resolution for the requirements of each measurement.
2 and 4 channel models are available, all featuring 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 product is small and light, and operates silently thanks to its low-power fanless design.
Supported by the free-of-charge and regularly updated PicoScope 6 software, the PicoScope 5000D Series offers an ideal, cost-effective package for many applications, including design, research, test, education, service and repair.
What is FlexRes?
Pico FlexRes flexible resolution oscilloscopes allow you to reconfigure the scope hardware to increase either the sampling rate or the resolution. This means you can reconfigure the hardware to be either a fast (1 GS/s) 8-bit oscilloscope for looking at digital signals, or a high-resolution 16-bit oscilloscope for audio work and other analog applications. Whether you’re capturing and decoding fast digital signals or looking for distortion in sensitive analog signals, FlexRes oscilloscopes are the answer.
Deep capture memory
PicoScope 5000D Series oscilloscopes have waveform capture memories ranging from 128 to 512 million samples – many times larger than traditional benchtop scopes. Deep memory enables the capture of long-duration waveforms at maximum sampling speed. In fact, the PicoScope 5000D Series can capture waveforms over 500 ms long with 1 ns resolution. In contrast, the same 500 ms waveform captured by an oscilloscope with a 10 megasample memory would have just 50 ns resolution.
Deep memory can be useful in other ways too: PicoScope lets you divide the capture memory into a number of segments, up to a maximum of 10 000. You can set up a trigger condition to store a separate capture in each segment, with as little as 1 µs dead time between captures. Once you have acquired the data, you can step through the memory one segment at a time until you find the event you are looking for. Powerful tools are included to allow you to manage and examine all of this data. As well as functions such as mask limit testing and color persistence mode, PicoScope 6 software enables you to zoom into your waveform by a factor of several million. The Zoom Overview window allows you to easily control the size and location of the zoom area.
Other tools, such as DeepMeasureTM, serial decoding and hardware acceleration work with the deep memory, making the PicoScope 5000D Series among the most powerful oscilloscopes on the market.
The PicoScope 5000D MSO models add 16 digital channels to the 2 or 4 analog channels, enabling you to accurately time-correlate analog and digital channels. Digital channels may be grouped and displayed as a bus, with each bus value displayed in hex, binary or decimal or as a level (for DAC testing). You can set advanced triggers across both the analog and digital channels. The digital channels can also be used as sources for the serial decoders, giving up to 20 channels of data – for example decoding multiple SPI, I²C, CAN bus, LIN bus and FlexRay signals all at the same time.
Advanced digital triggering
The PicoScope 5000D Series offers an industry-leading set of advanced triggers including pulse width, runt pulse, windowed and dropout.
The digital trigger available on MSO models allows you to trigger the scope when any or all of the 16 digital inputs match a user-defined pattern. You can specify a condition for each channel individually, or set up a pattern for all channels at once using a hexadecimal or binary value. You can also use the logic trigger to combine the digital trigger with an edge or window trigger on any of the analog inputs, for example to trigger on data values in a clocked parallel bus.
Arbitrary waveform and function generator
All PicoScope 5000D units have a built in 14-bit 200 MS/s arbitrary waveform generator (AWG). You can create and adapt arbitrary waveforms using the built-in editor, import them from existing oscilloscope traces, or load a waveform from a spreadsheet.
The AWG can also act as a function generator with a range of standard output signals, including sine, square, triangle, DC level, white noise and PRBS. As well as the basic controls to set level, offset and frequency, more advanced controls allow you to sweep over a range of frequencies.
Combined with the spectrum peak hold option, this makes a powerful tool for testing amplifier and filter responses. Trigger tools allow you to output one or more cycles of a waveform when various conditions are met, such as the scope triggering or a mask limit test failing.[Gain & phase plot using FRA for PicoScope application]Software Development Kit - write your own apps
The software development kit (SDK) allows you to write your own software and includes drivers for Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac (macOS) and Linux (including Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone).
Example code shows how to interface to third-party software packages such as Microsoft Excel, National Instruments LabVIEW and MathWorks MATLAB.
There is also an active community of PicoScope users who share code and applications on the Pico forum and PicoApps section of the picotech.com web site. The Frequency Response Analyzer shown opposite is one of the most popular third-party applications.
PicoScope 5000 oscilloscope software
PicoScope software dedicates almost all of the display area to the waveform so that you can see the maximum amount of data at once. The viewing area is much bigger and of a higher resolution than that of a traditional benchtop scope.
With such a large display area, you can also create a customizable split-screen display, and view multiple channels or different views of the same signal at the same time. As the example shows, the software can even show multiple oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer traces at once. Each waveform works with individual zoom, pan, and filter settings for ultimate flexibility.
The PicoScope software can be controlled by mouse, touchscreen or keyboard shortcuts.
Digital persistence mode
Persistence mode superimposes multiple waveforms on the same view, with more frequent data or newer waveforms emphasized with deeper saturation or hotter colors. Use this mode for viewing complex or changing waveforms and you will be able to see glitches even if subsequent waveforms are drawn on top.
 Math channels and filters
On many oscilloscopes, waveform math just means simple calculations such as A B. With a PicoScope it means much more.
With PicoScope 6 you can select simple functions such as addition and inversion, or open the equation editor to create complex functions involving filters (lowpass, highpass, bandpass and bandstop filters), trigonometry, exponentials, logarithms, statistics, integrals and derivatives.
Waveform math also allows you to plot live signals alongside historic peak, averaged or filtered waveforms.
You can also use math channels to reveal new details in complex signals. For example, you can graph the changing duty cycle or frequency of a signal over time.
Definitions for standard Pico-supplied oscilloscope probes and current clamps are included in the software.
The custom probes feature allows you to correct for gain, attenuation, offsets and nonlinearities in probes, sensors or transducers that you connect to the oscilloscope. For example, it can scale the output of a current probe so that it correctly displays amperes. It can also transform the output of a nonlinear temperature sensor using the table lookup function.
You can save user-created probes for later use.
You can program PicoScope to execute actions when it detects events such as mask limit failures, triggers and buffers full.
PicoScope’s actions include saving a file, playing a sound, executing a program or triggering the arbitrary waveform generator.
Alarms, coupled with mask limit testing, help create a powerful and time-saving waveform monitoring tool. Capture a known good signal, generate a mask around it and then use the alarms to automatically save any waveform (complete with a timestamp) that does not meet your specifications.
Powerful tools provide
Your PicoScope is provided with many powerful tools to help you acquire and analyze waveforms. While these tools can be used on their own, the real power of PicoScope lies in the way they have been designed to work together.
As an example, the rapid trigger mode allows you to collect 10,000 waveforms in a few milliseconds with minimal dead time between them. Manually searching through these waveforms would be time-consuming, so just pick a waveform you are happy with and let the mask tools scan through for you. When done, the measurements will tell you how many have failed and the buffer navigator allows you to hide the good waveforms and just display the problem ones. This video shows you how.
Perhaps instead you want to plot changing duty cycle as a graph? How about outputting a waveform from the AWG and also automatically saving the waveform to disk when a trigger condition is met? With the power of PicoScope the possibilities are almost endless.
Maximum sampling rate (continuous USB streaming into PC memory)
USB3, using PicoScope 6: 15 to 20 MS/s
USB3, using PicoSDK: 125 MS/s (8-bit) or 62.5 MS/s (12 to 16 bit modes)
USB2, using PicoScope 6: 8 to 10 MS/s
USB2, using PicoSDK: ~30 MS/s (8-bit) or ~15 MS/s (12 to 16 bit modes)
Timebase ranges (real time)
1 ns/div to 5000 s/div in 39 ranges
Fastest timebase (ETS)
Buffer memory (8-bit mode)
Buffer memory (≥ 12-bit mode)
Buffer memory (continuous streaming)
100 MS in PicoScope software
Waveform buffer (no. of segments)
10 000 in PicoScope software
Waveform buffer (no. of segments) when using PicoSDK (8 bit mode)
1 000 000
Waveform buffer (no. of segments) when using PicoSDK (12 to 16 bit modes)
Initial timebase accuracy
±50 ppm (0.005%)
±2 ppm (0.0002%)
±2 ppm (0.0002%)
3 ps RMS, typical
Simultaneous on all enabled channels
Dynamic performance (typical; analog channels):
Crosstalk (full bandwidth)
Better than 400:1 up to full bandwidth (equal voltage ranges)
8-bit mode: −60 dB at 100 kHz full scale input.
12-bit mode or higher: −70 dB at 100 kHz full scale input
8 to 12-bit modes: 60 dB at 100 kHz full scale input.
14 to 16-bit modes: 70 dB at 100 kHz full scale input.
White noise, selectable amplitude and offset within output voltage range.
Pseudorandom binary sequence (PRBS), selectable high and low levels within output voltage range, selectable bit rate up to 20 Mb/s
Standard signal frequency
0.025 Hz to 20 MHz
Up, down, dual with selectable start / stop frequencies and increments
Can trigger a counted number of waveform cycles or frequency sweeps (from 1 to 1 billion) from the scope trigger, external trigger or from software. Can also use the external trigger to gate the signal generator output.
Output frequency accuracy
Oscilloscope timebase accuracy ± output frequency resolution
Output frequency resolution
< 0.025 Hz
Output voltage range
Output voltage adjustments
Signal amplitude and offset adjustable in approx 0.25 mV steps within overall ±2 V range
A, B, C, D (input channels), T (time), reference waveforms, pi, D0−D15 (digital channels), constants
AC RMS, true RMS, frequency, cycle time, duty cycle, DC average, falling rate, rising rate, low pulse width, high pulse width, fall time, rise time, minimum, maximum, peak to peak
Frequency at peak, amplitude at peak, average amplitude at peak, total power, THD %, THD dB, THD N, SFDR, SINAD, SNR, IMD
Minimum, maximum, average and standard deviation
Cycle number, cycle time, frequency, low pulse width, high pulse width, duty cycle (high), duty cycle (low), rise time, fall time, undershoot, overshoot, max. voltage, min. voltage, voltage peak to peak, start time, end time