MANHASSET, NY A study by research firm Hansa|GCR concluded that among three scopes performing similar tasks the Tektronix MSO4000 mixed signal oscilloscope was preferred.
Using a Tek scope users were able find runts and glitches 53 percent faster when debugging a design than with scopes by Agilent and LeCroy.
The study "Finding Runts and Glitches in Digital Signals: An Examination of User Experience with Three Oscilloscopes" was conducted in December 2009.
The Time and Motion Study examined user experiences when performing common test tasks using three comparable oscilloscopes from Tektronix, Agilent, and LeCroy in the $20,000 price range.
"For this study we conducted in-person interviews with 47 experienced oscilloscope users, asked them to complete the same debug task from start to finish and to describe their experience," said Andrea Eaker, Senior Research Consultant, Hansa|GCR.
The expert oscilloscope user participants were asked to perform three tasks on each scope:
Set-up the oscilloscope to monitor for glitches and runts
Set up a trigger and capture a runt
Search the waveform to locate all runt instances
All participants were given a two minute time limit to complete each task. The Tektronix oscilloscope was the only instrument that participants were able to complete all the three tasks well under the two minute time limit.
With both the LeCroy and Agilent oscilloscopes, several of the experienced participants failed to complete 2 out of the 3 test tasks within the allotted time.
Hansa|GCR conducted 47 in-person interviews from scope users recruited from publication lists, and from panelists who had been pre-qualified as experienced scope users.
Interviews were conducted in Austin, Texas and Boston, Massachusetts. Research participants included users of all three oscilloscope brands.
The three scopes selected for testing were all from the $19,000 to $21,000 price range and included: Agilent MSO7000 Series; LeCroy WaveRunner Xi Series; and Tektronix MSO4000 Series.