Product of the Week: Rohde & Schwarz R&S MXO 4 Series

October 03, 2022

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Product of the Week: Rohde & Schwarz R&S MXO 4 Series

Oscilloscopes are a necessary part of any EE’s workbench. Modern oscilloscopes can accelerate – or, in some cases, make possible – EMI debugging, RF and power analysis, logic and serial debugging, waveform generation, and more across the gamut of electronic systems and components. But, not all ‘scopes are created equal, even within the same performance category.

The Rohde & Schwarz® MXO 4 Series of oscilloscopes are undisputed, best-in-class mixed-signal test and measurement platforms built on the R&S MXO-EP ASIC, the centerpiece of the “world’s fastest scope” that chews through data at 200 Gbps to enable a 4.5 million waveform per second acquisition rate. Supported bandwidths of 200 MHz to 1.5 GHz not only deliver rangy resolution, but also contribute to the MXO 4 Series’ FFT per second acquisition rate of 45,000 for RF spectrum measurement.

Inside the MXO 4 resides a 12-bit ADC that serves all sampling rates, but can be ramped to an 18-bit HD mode for fine-grained vertical resolution. This pairs with a ±5V offset and extremely low-noise front end that help ensure signal clarity. There’s an optional two-channel, 100 MHz arbitrary waveform generator built in that provides 16-bit resolution, but standard are mixed-signal channels that all come accessible via the front panel.

All of this is backed by 400 Mpoints of memory per channel to provide long, continuous samples orders of magnitude longer than competing scopes and segmented memory captures of up to a million segments. The depth of this memory makes capabilities like always-on history mode possible.

Obviously, the first thing you notice about the MXO 4 Series is the 13.3² full HD multi-touch display with gesture support. But that’s not the only first with the MXO 4: In addition to the performance breakthroughs mentioned previously, it’s also the first value-range oscilloscope to feature digital triggering ability.

From spectrum analysis to power integrity analysis and all the debug in between, the MXO 4 Series offers state-of-the-art signal capture, process, and visualization of waveforms that allow developers of all experience levels and across a wide range of markets to precisely debug and test their electronics in both frequency and time domains.

The Rohde & Schwarz’ R&S MXO 4 Series in Action

The MXO 4 digital trigger is the first trigger in this class of scope. For higher ADC bits, the solution enables a low measurement noise of t 22 µV AC (RMS) at 1 mV/div, as well as a high vertical resolution of 500 µV/div with ±5 V offset range with any unexpected reductions in bandwidth.

The continuous operation of the oscilloscope also supports deep memory to trigger signals captured by the ADC/DAC in a real-time acquisition path, which comes standard throughout the MXO 4 series.

The digital trigger uses the ADC bits to dictate a trigger event with the ability to achieve trigger sensitivity of a 1/10 000 division to find small physical layer anomalies in large signals. Providing provides 4.5 M waveforms per second, the MXO 4 is capable of quickly finding and mitigating anomalies at a trigger rearm time under 21 nanoseconds.

The digital trigger bits on the MXO 4 are incredibly close together; using all 18 bits of ADC resolution, they can trigger the aforementioned division of change at all bandwidths to find small anomalies in large signals, as well as provide 8ms of power up or power down sequences with a high sample resolution of 200 ps.

Getting Started with the Rohde & Schwarz’ R&S MXO 4 Series

The R&S®MXO 4 series provides full software-based upgrades for projects by simply installing the necessary software licenses, such as the triggering and decoding of serial protocols and the frequency response analysis options.

The series also includes a built-in waveform generator and MSO capabilities that just need to be activated upon use. To enable easy retrofitting, the bandwidth can be upgraded up to 1.5 GHz via keycode.

According to Rohde & Schwarz, users can beat the learning curve in less than 15 minutes with features for user experience like the 13.3" Full HD capacitive touchscreen and intuitive user interface. Further, these features include a pull-up menu in the lower right corner placed close to the front panel for easy navigation and reduced hand movements between the two menu dialogs.

For better views of waveforms, the MXO 4 provides a left-hand tab dialog for small areas, as well as a box design for large areas. For easy turn off/on and R&S®SmartGrid layout adjustments, the solution includes signal icons. The tool bar enables easy access to tools, in addition to a repurposed toolbar space for modifications to existing cursors, measurements and spectrum settings, and element deletion.

For the digital trigger, the one-touch option provides access to the trigger setup, horizonal settings, and acquisition control from the information panel. By selecting the Rohde & Schwarz icon, users have visibility of current instrument details such as LAN IP and firmware. The MXO 4 UI can also be used with the R&S®RTO6 and R&S®RTP oscilloscopes.

The active probe interface positioned on the front of the MXO 4 supports over 30 Rohde & Schwarz current and voltage probes, with a 50 Ω and 1 MΩ path for passive and active probes, including ones from third parties.

The Rohde & Schwarz® MXO 4 Series starts just below $8500 with the option to build/configure your own MXO 4 oscilloscope.

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