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New technology delivers Flexible Resolution

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Press Release - May 13, 2013 US Prices 
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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.5000 Flexible Resolution

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. Prices range from  US$1153  for the 2--channel 60 MHz model with built-function generator to US$2803 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.

About Pico Technology

Pico Technology has spent over 20 years leading the industry in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance PC Oscilloscopes and Data Loggers. During that time we have built up an impressive portfolio of products including the PicoScope PC Oscilloscope range with bandwidths up to 12 GHz, resolutions up to 16 bits and mixed-signal models; the TC-08 and PT‑104 Temperature Data Loggers; and the multi-award-winning Automotive Oscilloscope Kit.

Pico Technology prides itself on offering innovative, high-quality and affordable alternatives to traditional bench-top test and measurement equipment, designed and built under the ISO9001:2008 quality system. We support a network of distributors in over 60 countries worldwide who are helping to build and maintain our enviable reputation in the industry.

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