Differential Probes from Rohde & Schwarz Appeal to Users with High Signal Fidelity and Easy Operation

Electronic designs today are increasingly based on high-speed interfaces. This makes it necessary to measure differential and ground-referenced signals. Rohde & Schwarz opens up this application area to its customers by offering new differential probes with outstanding characteristics.

High-speed interfaces are currently used in almost all fields: in the wireless communications and electronics industry, in aerospace and defense, and also in medical engineering. To analyze the ground-referenced or differential signals used in these applications, hardware and software specialists need differential probes. Similarly, differential clock signals require more than single-ended probes because the edge transitions must be assigned accurately to evaluate a measurement. Both applications call for high sensitivity, a wide dynamic range and a minimal load on the DUT’s operating point. Rohde & Schwarz took these requirements into account in the design of its new differential probes.

Probe sensitivity is crucial because small signal amplitudes are very prone to interference and must therefore be tested thoroughly. The Rohde & Schwarz probes offer exceptionally low noise (typ. 3 mV) and an extremely wide dynamic range. Their high DC input impedance of 1 MΩ and the low input capacitance (0.6 pF) ensure that the load on the DUT’s operating point remains low. The wide dynamic range (+/– 5 V) even at high frequencies allows measurements on fast ground-referenced signals and prevents distortion. Offset and gain errors are very low throughout the entire temperature range, which means that users do not have to interrupt their measurements for compensation or recalibration when temperatures vary.

In addition to signal fidelity and measurement reliability, operating convenience also plays a major role in satisfying customers: The base unit can easily be controlled from the probe thanks to the micro button in the probe tip. Functions such as Run/Stop, Autoset or screen dump can be assigned to this button for easy use. The probe tip also accommodates the R&S ProbeMeter, which delivers DC measurement results for common mode and differential voltage regardless of the base unit’s settings. This is the first time that a differential probe enables the user to determine the common mode operating point at a glance.

The probes can be connected to the R&S RTO and R&S RTM oscilloscopes and also to the Rohde & Schwarz spectrum and network analyzers by using the R&S RT-ZA9 probe adapter. The R&S RT-ZD20 and R&S RT-ZD30 differential probes are now available from Rohde & Schwarz.


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