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25 June 2013

Tektronix adopts IBM’s 9HP SiGe technology in 70GHz oscilloscopes

Test, measurement and monitoring equipment supplier Tektronix of Beaverton, OR, USA says that its next generation of high-performance real-time oscilloscopes will incorporate IBM’s latest 9HP silicon-germanium (SiGe) chip-making process. The 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 70GHz and improvements in signal fidelity, says Tektronix.

Operating at speeds up to 350GHz, 9HP is claimed to be the first SiGe technology in the industry featuring the density of 90nm BiCMOS, and delivers higher performance, lower power and higher levels of integration than existing 180nm or 130nm SiGe offerings. Tektronix has been a long-time adopter of SiGe for its oscilloscopes.

The next generation of oscilloscopes from Tektronix is due for availability in 2014. With real-time bandwidth of 70GHz (and the potential for more in future iterations), the new oscilloscope platform will deliver the performance and signal fidelity needed for applications such as 400Gbps and 1Tbps optical communications and fourth-generation serial data communications, says Tektronix.

“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,” says chief technology officer Kevin Ilcisin. “Early adoption of 9HP has allowed our engineers to explore innovative architectures and performance thresholds once thought unattainable,” he adds. “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.”

Tektronix’ forthcoming oscilloscopes will also benefit from the use of Asynchronous Time Interleaving technology to improve signal-to-noise ratio beyond the frequency interleaving approach currently in use by some vendors, it is claimed. 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, says Tektronix.

See related items:

IBM launches fifth-gen SiGe process, compatible with 90nm CMOS

IBM’s 8HP SiGe process meets Tektronix 30+GHz oscilloscope design goals

Tektronix using 200GHz IBM’s 8HP SiGe technology for 30GHz oscilloscopes

Tags: IBM SiGe Tektronix



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