Photonics Dictionary

mixed-signal oscilloscope

A mixed-signal oscilloscope (MSO) is a type of electronic test instrument that combines the capabilities of both a traditional oscilloscope and a logic analyzer. It is designed to capture and display both analog and digital signals simultaneously, providing a comprehensive tool for analyzing and debugging mixed-signal electronic systems.

Key features and components of a mixed-signal oscilloscope include:

Analog channels: Like a traditional oscilloscope, an MSO includes one or more analog channels that allow the user to observe and measure continuous analog signals such as voltage waveforms.

Digital channels: In addition to analog channels, an MSO incorporates digital channels, typically used for analyzing and displaying digital signals in the form of logic high and low levels. These channels are helpful for examining digital communication protocols, logic states, and timing relationships.

Triggering and timing analysis: MSOs provide advanced triggering capabilities to synchronize the capture of both analog and digital signals. This enables precise timing analysis and correlation between analog and digital events.

Waveform display: The oscilloscope's display shows both analog and digital waveforms on the same screen, allowing users to easily correlate events in the time domain.

Logic analyzer functionality: The logic analyzer component of the MSO allows for the capture, analysis, and decoding of digital signals, making it particularly useful for debugging digital systems with multiple signal lines.

Protocol decoding: Many MSOs support the decoding of various digital communication protocols, such as I2C, SPI, UART, CAN, and others, simplifying the analysis of complex digital data.

Mixed-signal triggering: MSOs often provide advanced triggering options that allow users to trigger on specific digital patterns or events, providing enhanced control over the capture conditions.

Mixed-signal oscilloscopes are valuable tools in the field of electronics, especially in the development and troubleshooting of embedded systems, digital communication circuits, and other applications where both analog and digital signals need to be analyzed concurrently.
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