Digital Oscilloscope

alt text Digital Storage Oscilloscope

Conventional digital oscilloscopes are known as digital storage oscilloscopes. These types of oscilloscopes generally have a raster type display screen as opposed to the luminous phosphor. They are great for capturing events that may only happen once but cannot provide a real time intensity of a signal event.

alt text Digital Phosphor Oscilloscopes

Digital Phosphor oscilloscopes offer a new approach for displaying information to the user. These scopes are excellent for acquiring waveform images at high capture rates and provide a higher level of signal visualization. If you are capturing transient events like glitches or transition errors a phosphor oscilloscope is the ticket.

About Digital Oscilloscopes

Digital oscilloscopes, in contrast to analog oscilloscopes, use an analog-to-digital converter to convert a voltage into the digital domain where it can easily be displayed as a waveform.  These ADCs capture thousands and even millions of datapoints and store them until a waveform can be described and displayed to the user.

There are three different classifications of digital oscilloscopes.  Digital Storage Oscilloscopes (DSOs), Digital Phosphor Oscilloscopes (DPOs) and Sampling Oscilloscopes.  Each have their own strengths and weaknesses that must be considered before purchasing a digital oscilloscope.