Tektronix Introduces New TekVPI Probe Interface

Tektronix, Inc. introduced a new probe interface architecture and a new family of versatile, feature-rich, and easy-to-use probes. Designed for use with new Tektronix oscilloscopes including the just introduced DPO7000 Series, TekVPI (Tektronix Versatile Probe Interface) probes provide intelligent bi-directional oscilloscope/probe communications resulting in a simplified user experience and easier access to relevant information while preserving excellent signal fidelity.

Versatility and ease-of-use are a fundamental part of the TekVPI probe design, enabled by intelligent bi-directional oscilloscope/probe communications with the host oscilloscope. The design of the TekVPI probes provides customers with improved probe setup, easy selection of viewable probe status information, and accurate probe measurement results to simplify and improve both the results and user experience.

Each TekVPI probe features a rich set of controls and indicators located on the probe compensation box designed to provide users quick and easy access to the probe's most commonly required setup controls and operating status. Highly visible colored LED indicator lights on the box are clearly labeled to provide easy-to-understand probe setup and key operating status information. To provide greater versatility and for remote monitoring of probe set-ups, TekVPI probes provide a menu button that enables users to quickly and easily access a graphical probe menu display on the TekVPI host oscilloscope. The scope menu provides comprehensive probe information including: attached probe channel number, operating status and warnings, and probe diagnostics to aid troubleshooting events. Using the menu, all probe setup control functions can be set, changed, or monitored from the instrument display. To aid with setup of the applied test and measurement configuration, the TekVPI host instrument also is able to record and save a setup file of probe configurations, enabling users to re-construct the test configuration applied during their test application's measurement acquisition.

At introduction there are three new TekVPI probes. The TCP0030 is a world class AC/DC current probe providing high measurement sensitivity and high bandwidth critical for accurately measuring low level currents and frequency components in today's electronic designs. With a wide dynamic measurement range of 1mA to 30A, >120 MHz bandwidth, and 50A peak pulse capability, the TCP0030 connects directly to any probe input channel of the DPO7000 Series oscilloscopes without the need for an external power supply or amplifier. The TCP0030 probe provides the greatest bandwidth and dynamic measurement range, and the best low level current measurement sensitivity of any current probe of its class in the market.

TAP1500 is a 1.5 GHz active voltage probe with a compact probe head for accessing small design geometries and a dynamic range of +/- 8V input. TAP2500 is a 2.5 GHz active voltage probe with the compact head and supports rise times< 140 ps. The low input capacitance and high input resistance characteristics of these active probes minimizes probe loading effects upon the device under test providing design engineers with optimal signal fidelity for a truer signal representation of high frequency measurements.

The TekVPI interface is designed to provide legacy probe interface support for the plain BNC connector, TekProbe-BNC Level 1, and TekProbe-BNC Level 2 probe types. Plain BNC connected probes, and TekProbe-BNC Level 1 probes (having the single analog encoded scale factor detection pin) can be connected directly to the TekVPI probe channel input connector on TekVPI oscilloscopes. All performance features and capabilities of these connected probe types are supported and available to the user. TekProbe-BNC Level 2 probes can be connected to the TekVPI oscilloscopes by using the new TPA-BNC TekProbe-BNC to TekVPI probe interface adapter (TPA-BNC). With this adapter, all performance features and capabilities of the connected TekProbe-BNC Level 2 probes are supported and available to the user.

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