It has been around 70 years since Tektronix invented its first digital oscilloscope, and the performance and functionality of low-end digital oscilloscopes have been getting better and better. Now with Chinese oscilloscopes in the market, oscilloscopes with less than 500MHz capability have experienced different stages of development:
1. Larger and More Professional Displays
Early digital oscilloscopes were generally equipped with a 4.5-inch or 5-inch LCD screens and display contents were limited. As early as 2009, OWON first launched a large 8-inch screen oscilloscope in its SDS series of products. This allowed the waveform to display perfectly on the larger and clearer screen and it hit the requirements of engineers at the time.
2. High Sample Rate with Deep Memory and High Waveform Capture Rate
In the early days, digital oscilloscopes under 500MHz had a low storage depth, typically only a few K samples. As the sample rate and record memory are contradictory, when the sample rate is high, the waveform storage capacity reduces. In 2010 the OWON SDS Series introduced a 10M sample memory which provides a 1GS/s sample rate. This was made possible in the SDS series by using a high-performance large-scale FPGA ASIC design with embedded high-performance CPU and RAM which adopts fast segment storage technology.
3. Multi-function Oscilloscopes for Different Test Environments.
Mixed-signal oscilloscopes (MSO) were first introduced by Keysight over a decade ago and the idea was later carried forward by more and more oscilloscope vendors. These oscilloscopes are not only a time domain measurement instrument, but also have extended functions to enable multi-field measurement. By using high-performance microprocessors and ASIC’s, processing can be done on a number of nodes at the same time in the frequency domain, data domain and statistical domain for measurement and analysis. At present the functional classification of the oscilloscope has been very vague; many manufacturers have integrated a signal generator and other basic measurement modules into the oscilloscope system. Take OWON’s XDS oscilloscope for example, its functions include: an oscilloscope, arbitrary waveform signal generator, digital multimeter, data recorder and frequency meter. Module integration also improves the efficiency of data manipulation and analysis..
4. Better ADC and Touchscreen technology
Since LeCroy introduced their 12-bit HBO series oscilloscopes in 2013, many engineers began to focus on vertical accuracy provided by a higher resolution ADC. For example, a 12-bit oscilloscope measurement accuracy is 16 times greater than a normal 8-bit oscilloscope, it can be a great advantage for small voltage signals measurement and analysis of small signal components in large voltage signals.
Since the Apple began using a touch screens in their mobile devices, more and more electronic products began to integrate them. With continuous functional innovations of oscilloscopes, more and more manufacturers began to use a touch screens to replace some of the complex key operations.
From 2016, many well-known international oscilloscope manufacturers have begun to promote high-precision and touch screen products, including Tektronix, RS, Keysight, etc. It is expected that these features will be standard configurations for future oscilloscopes. OWON began to trial touch screen technology on oscilloscopes as early as 2014, and in 2015 officially released their XDS series oscilloscope - the first integrated hardware 12-bit ADC and touch function oscilloscope. The XDS 200M oscilloscope launched in 2017 is equipped with a 14-bit ADC, leading measurement resolution to an even higher level..
In additional to these welcomed features, the XDS series oscilloscopes still maintain OWON’s product characteristics. An optional lithium battery module assures field measurement and the possibility of floating measurements. What’s more, OWON also deeply focuses on education and have set up a wireless educational management system based on XDS’s WiFi module. Through a WiFi connection, this system can achieve a ‘one to all’ experimental project teaching feature, improving class efficiency. OWON continue to innovate to meet the needs of the market, always aiming to stay at the front of the market, ensuring we bring more and more innovative products to a vast number of consumers.
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