June 28, 2013. Tektronix Inc. has announced that its next generation of high-performance real-time oscilloscopes will incorporate IBM’s latest 9HP silicon-germanium (SiGe) chip-making process. This fifth generation of IBM’s semiconductor technology along with other advances such as patent pending Asynchronous Time Interleaving announced previously will result in oscilloscopes with bandwidth capability of 70 GHz and improvements in signal fidelity.
Operating at speeds up to 350 GHz, 9HP is the first SiGe technology in the industry featuring the density of 90-nm BiCMOS and delivers higher performance, lower power and higher levels of integration than current 180-nm or 130-nm SiGe offerings. Tektronix has been a long-time adopter of SiGe.
The next generation of performance oscilloscopes from Tektronix is due for availability in 2014. With real-time bandwidth of 70 GHz, and the potential for more in future iterations, the new oscilloscope platform will deliver the performance and signal fidelity needed for applications such as 400-Gbps and 1-Tbps optical communications and fourth-generation serial data communications.
“By extending our long-standing relationship with technology leader IBM, Tektronix is continuing to push the envelope on what can be achieved in high-fidelity, high-speed data acquisition systems. Early adoption of 9HP has allowed our engineers to explore innovative architectures and performance thresholds once thought unattainable,” said Kevin Ilcisin, chief technology officer, Tektronix. “The advanced 9HP SiGe BiCMOS technology provides the faster switching speeds, high integration levels, and low noise our next generation of performance instrumentation requires to meet customer requirements.”
In addition to leveraging the advances made possible by 9HP, Tektronix’ forthcoming oscilloscopes will benefit from the use of Asynchronous Time Interleaving technology to improve signal-to-noise ratio beyond the frequency interleaving approach in use by some vendors today. In traditional frequency interleaving, each analog-to-digital converter (ADC) in the signal-acquisition system only sees part of the input spectrum. With Asynchronous Time Interleaving, all ADCs see the full spectrum with full signal path symmetry. This offers the performance gains available from interleaved architectures but without the same impact to signal fidelity.