Agilent ups bandwidth ante with Infiniium 90000 Q-Series real-time oscilloscopes


Oscilloscope makers continue to play “can you top this” when it comes to bandwidth. Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) has staked its claim to the highest bandwidth with the unveiling of the Infiniium 90000 Q-Series real-time oscilloscopes that support 63 GHz on two channels and 33 GHz on four channels.

Oscilloscope bandwidth has become important as optical technology developers work on systems and transponders capable of supporting data rates of 100 Gbps and above via phase modulation and coherent detection. Without the proper amount of bandwidth support, such engineers were forced to daisy-chain multiple, expensive oscilloscopes together to meet their requirements.

While high bandwidth has benefits in a variety of applications, Brig Asay, Product Manager High Performance Oscilloscopes within the Digital Test Division – Scopes of Agilent’s Electronic Measurements Group, admitted to Lightwave that these coherent optical applications provided the primary trigger for the bandwidth increase the Q-Series supplies.

The new Q-Series family includes 10 four-channel models ranging from 20 GHz to 63 GHz; the bandwidth of each can be upgraded. The 33-GHz model is designed to enable engineers to simultaneously trigger on and capture signals on all four channels “with no compromise,” in the words of Agilent’s press release. The Q-Series scopes enable a variety of test and measurement functions, including:

  • Direct digitization of M-band signals (60 GHz to 100 GHz).
  • Capture of the third harmonic on 28-, 32-, and 40-Gbps digital signals.
  • Analysis of IEEE 802.3ba 40/100/400 Gigabit Ethernet and Optical Internetworking Forum CEI 3.0 signals.
  • Measurement of up to four differential channels in a single acquisition.
  • Direct measurement of voltage swings larger than 1 V when high-bandwidth and general-purpose measurements need to be made with the same instrument.

Asay asserted that the Q-Series pairs high bandwidth with high performance. The scopes offer the lowest noise (4.4 mV at 50 mV/div, 63 GHz) and have the lowest jitter measurement floor (~75 fs) available, he said. A new technological approach, called RealEdge, provides the foundation of the new performance specifications, Asay added. RealEdge combines new architectures, microcircuits, thin-film components, and application of Agilent’s indium phosphide semiconductor process.

Agilent has begun to accept orders for the Infiniium 90000 Q-Series; limited shipments will begin in July. Prices start at $191,000 for a scope with two- and four-channel bandwidth of 20 GHz, 80 GS/s sampling rate over both channel plans, and a maximum memory of 2 Gpts. The top-end unit offers 63 GHz of bandwidth over two channels and 33 GHz over four channels, a sample rate of 160 GS/s over two channels and 80 GS/s over four, and the 2 Gpts of memory for $436,000.

For more information on test instruments and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyers Guide.

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