Digital Sampling Ocilloscopes

Digital sampling oscilloscopes, not to be confused with digital storage oscilloscope, use the equivalent-time sampling method to capture and display samples of a signal.

Sampling oscilloscopes can measure signals up to an order of magnitude (10x) faster than real-time oscilloscopes (all the rest). As such, these scopes are ideal tools for capturing and characterizing computer, datacom and telecom signals. Sampling oscilloscopes can capture signals up to 90 GHz.

A real-time oscilloscope, sometimes called a “single-shot” scope, captures an entire waveform on each trigger event. This requires the scope to capture a large number of data points in one continuous record. A sequential equivalent-time sampling oscilloscope, sometimes simply called a “sampling scope,” measures the input signal only once per trigger. The next time the scope is triggered, a small delay is added and another sample is taken. Thus a large number of trigger events must occur in order to collect enough samples to build a picture of the waveform.