BOSTON — The market for low-end (about $500 to $1000) digital oscilloscopes (DSOs) has new a player: Keysight Technologies. This already crowded market, with perhaps 100 models across several manufacturers, just picked up another four, the InfiniiVision 1000 X-Series of digital oscilloscopes (DSOs). Keysight is betting that its name and product features will win over engineers, technicians, and educators in this most price-sensitive segment of the oscilloscope market.
Keysight Technologies EDU1002A Oscilloscope has two channels with 50-MHz bandwidth.
"We compare the 1000-X Series to the Rigol 1000Z and Tektronix TBS1000B series," Keysight Business Development Engineer Mike Hoffman told EE Times.
The 1000-X Series has comparable bandwidth and price to the TBS1000B series, but with far more waveform memory (100 ksamples and 1 Msample versus Tek's 2.5 ksamples). Plus the 1000 X-Series DSO's include two models with a function generator. Compared to the Rigol 1000Z series, the 1000 X-Series lacks a mixed-signal option and has less memory that Rigol's 12 Msamples. One place where the 1000 X- series shines is its ability to display 50,000 waveforms/s on the screen.
Hoffman explained that Keysight took technology developed for the InfiniiVision 2000-X series and applied it to the 1000 X-Series. That's where features such as the function generator, frequency counter, digital voltmeter, masks, and FFT come from.
The 1000 X-Series is aimed at the education market, one that Tektronix covers with the TBS1000B. "Tektronix has brand loyalty," said Hoffman. But then, Keysight has been supplying test equipment to universities for years and the 1000 X-Series is certainly priced right for that market. One feature that sets Keysight apart in this price range is the ability to display Bode Plots. That's a significant timesaver for education. Students need not plot, say, the frequency response of a filter on paper or export data to a PC.
Although the 1000 X-Series is aimed at the education market, Hoffman doesn't expect the large universities to scoop up the DSOs, but he does expect smaller schools such as community colleges to use them. He also expects that a significant portion of sales will come from the Asia-Pacific area, India, Eastern Europe, and South America. "We see applications outside of electronics, such as in physics and biology labs," he said.
Calling the 1000-X Series "Not a toy," Keysight is promoting the InfiniiVision 1000 X-Series not only to educators, but to small labs. They're not really marketing the product to individuals, but you can get them through distributors.
This promotion for the InfiniiVision 1000 X-Series proclaims "Scrap the toys, get a real oscilloscope."
While Rigol and Tektronix are the competitors that Keysight is targeting, there are several others. For example, B&K Precision, GW Instek, Siglent, Owon and Teledyne LeCroy (WaveAce 1000 series). Then, there are a host of oscilloscopes that require a PC, tablet, or smartphone to operate. Those are almost always under $500.
With the InfiniiVision 1000 X-Series, Keysight continues a market trend where oscilloscopes today offer features once only available in higher-end models. "There's been a lot of innovation at the lower end of the oscilloscope market," said Jessy Cavazos, industry director for test & measurement at Frost & Sullivan. In Keysight's case, the company has incorporated technology developed for the 2000-X Series into the 1000 X-Series. Indeed, Hoffman noted that the microcontroller and FPGA gives the InfiniiVision 1000-X series "room to grow." Because features such as math, cursors, masks, and FFTs are implemented in software or firmware, what you pay for as you go higher up the oscilloscope chain is bandwidth, sample rate, memory, and connectivity.
—Martin Rowe covers test and measurement for EE Times and EDN. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org