In the past, it was easy to decide whether to use a real-time oscilloscope or an equivalent-time “sampling” oscilloscope. To view very-high-speed signals, you needed the bandwidth of the sampling scope. However, with real-time oscilloscopes now available with bandwidths well above 10 GHz, it is no longer obvious whether you should use a real-time oscilloscope or a sequential-sampling oscilloscope. The two instruments now have significant overlap in their ranges of operation.

So what do you base your decision on?

Even though bandwidth is certainly a primary consideration, if the scope doesn’t have the bandwidth to reproduce your signal faithfully, other considerations don’t matter. A brief discussion on the fundamental architectural differences between the two scopes will help you understand why some capabilities exist for one and not the other.

Read the full discussion and article here.

Picking the Optimal Oscilloscope for Serial Data Signal Integrity Validation and Debug

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