Tektronix Oscilloscopes Overview

What is Tektronix Oscilloscopes?

8 out of 10 engineers around the world trust Tektronix to help them debug and test tomorrow's designs faster. With the broadest portfolio of digital oscilloscopes available, the richest set of product features, the most extensive analysis capability and our award-winning service and support, Tektronix has the right oscilloscope to meet your needs.

Tektronix Oscilloscopes is also known as TBS Series, TDS Series, MDO Series, MSO Series.

Tektronix Oscilloscopes Video

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HC
Sr Engineer at a tech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Leaderboard
B-scan is its most valuable feature. However, we are looking for an Intel platform with the newest chipset.

What is our primary use case?

We are using it for testing. The application space that this solution targets is embedded systems, i.e., security and data storage.

Pros and Cons

  • "B-scan is its most valuable feature."
  • "We have multiple systems for manufacturing tests, and it's critical for our support. The support increases our productivity."
  • "We are looking for an Intel platform with the newest chipset."

What other advice do I have?

Try it if it is within your budget. It is a good product. The learning curve is very quick. It takes about one or two days. While we have plans to use this product to support connect devices, we are not currently doing so. We are currently measuring signals from 3.0 and 4.0, and looking for 5.0.
FG
Lead Design Engineer at Cadence
Real User
It is easy to handle, but not cheap

What is our primary use case?

It's a different bandwidth, so I use it for test compliance.

Pros and Cons

  • "It is easy to handle, so everyone likes to use it."
  • "I use microservices, but you cannot really probe it, since the technology is not really there."

What other advice do I have?

We have pretty good scopes. The console is pretty standard. It is easy to use, without too many knobs around the scope. When learning how to use the scope, the technical terms are mostly the same. You can also Google Tektronix, as they have their own documents, which are good to read and informative.
YK
Post Doctoral Researcher at a university with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Time domain measurement is very accurate compared to other devices

What is our primary use case?

We mainly use it for TDR measurement. Sometimes, we convert them into a frequency domain. I'm working on a standard. They have a frequency requirements and time domain requirements. Sometimes, we will mix our equipment, but it's easier to do everything at the same time, so we measure in the time domain and convert it to the frequency domain. I'm measuring high speed differential lines.

Pros and Cons

  • "Time domain measurement is very accurate compared to other devices."
  • "If you are dealing with time domain measurement, I strongly recommend using a vendor other than this company."

What other advice do I have?

If you are dealing with time domain measurement, I strongly recommend using a vendor other than this company. The application space that we are using the solution to target is high-speed serial, like USB or HDMI. We used to connect this product to supported devices, but anymore because we don't need to, though we should.
Jason Rivera
Computer Engineer at Sandia National Laboratories
Real User
Provides high confidence in the data being presented in the measurement. There are other devices out there which are more capable, offering more features.

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is usually for testing analysis and diagnostics, or characterization. We are using various models, power supplies, and scopes. We are measuring all classes of signal families: Power, high-speed digital, RF, and analog.

Pros and Cons

  • "This solution provides high confidence in the data being presented in the measurement to inform a design decision going forward."
  • "There are other devices out there which are more capable, offering more features, with as good quality tech support."

What other advice do I have?

The user interface is simple and straightforward. The application space that we are using the solution to target is vehicle devices. We are not using this product to support connected devices, e.g., IoT development, nor are we planning to going forward.
JN
Radio Frequency Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Leaderboard
The learning curve is fast. It takes about a day.

What is our primary use case?

The application space that we are using the solution to target is 5G and WiFi. We are using this solution to measure WiFi signals. We are using this product to support connected devices for IoT development.

What is most valuable?

Its transferring function: I can check transfers and responses for checking if a signal is back up and posting a response. The learning curve is fast. It takes about a day. The user interface is good, not very complicated. It is very intuitive.

What needs improvement?

I want the system to have a wider bandwidth because high-speed continues to move faster, so there is more bandwidth to cover. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The…
RO
SI Consultant at a energy/utilities company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Because it does a smart software trigger in the PAM-4 GUI, it's very easy to hook up

What is our primary use case?

I'm currently using the 200 gigasample per second real-time scope and have a 70000 Series. The primary use case is optical product development for 56 gig PAM-4 with the ability to acquire and display at those rates. We need the 70 gigahertz bandwidth and 200 gigasample per second.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are its ease of use, user interface, and PAM-4. The user interface is good and easy to use."
  • "On the source side, their AWGs don't have enough bandwidth. They need to increase the bandwidth of their AWGs, meaning they have to have a faster sample rate."

What other advice do I have?

It is a very capable instrument. It really does the job. It's in a fairly compact form factor at a reasonable power level. There's some other products right now that are huge and take an enormous amount of power, so I would still say it's a key player in the market. The learning curve was pretty quick. We needed some hand-holding on a few items, but it went pretty fast. We're measuring electrical signals to ICs that are in the optical modular space and out of the ICs from the ICs in the same space. The application space that we are using the solution to target is 100 gigabit Ethernet and 400…
George Brown
Sr Electrical Engineer at TVH Americas
Real User
Sensitivity of the trigger and reliability are key for us in troubleshooting the HF arena

What is our primary use case?

We use it for detailed troubleshooting, mainly in the time domain. It has very slow ports. We use the measuring functions of the scope, tracking peak-to-peak, average, and min-max. For us the application space it's targeting is mainly the HF arena. We do get into 2.4 gig on a regular basis, but not usually much higher. We predominantly measure analog signals and signals that are power-supply related. With the switching of power supplies the way it happens now, the more information the better.

Pros and Cons

  • "The sensitivity of the trigger and the reliability are the most valuable features."
  • "It needs one button and every time you push it, you get whatever you need."

What other advice do I have?

I was at KU for 18 years, where I was director of the electronics labs there. Yes, every semester there was a new learning curve but they did catch on fairly quickly. The scopes were extremely reliable.
Curtis Jones
Teacher (emeritus) at San Jose State University
Real User
High sampling rate enables it to clearly render the envelope

What is our primary use case?

I'm using it for teaching students, familiarizing them with the oscilloscope. I want them to spend some time looking at waveforms. The main signals that we measure are pretty simple sine waves. The interesting waveforms are the succession of waveforms in a simple power supply, where you have the rectified AC and then the filtered AC, so you have to measure the DC and then you have to know how to use AC coupling to show the ripple clearly. We don't utilize the full bandwidth. We get up to a couple of megahertz.

Pros and Cons

  • "When I was looking for a scope for that lab, that five subdivisions per division was important."
  • "I wish we could turn off the automatic measurement feature of the oscilloscope, for teaching purposes."

What other advice do I have?

I have been using Tektronix scopes since about 1962. I would recommend the product to a colleague. The user interface is fine. It has knobs. There was a phase where the oscilloscope designers - and this may have been Hewlett Packard, Agilent, Keysight - tended to have one big knob and then you had to push various buttons and you had to have the buttons pushed the right way for the knob to do whatever you wanted it to do. These scopes are a reversion to the old scopes where you have an individual knob or button for each function, and that has helped. In terms of being upgradable, there are…
BC
Product Line Manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
The user interface is like an Apple iPhone, but for oscilloscopes

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is measuring data. It is a great software. It's quite good. I like the hardware. I like the user interface. We use Tektronix just like Apple.

Pros and Cons

  • "The Tektronix user interface is like an Apple iPhone, but for oscilloscopes. It is simple to use."
  • "It takes 35 to 45 minutes to get acclimated to the solution."
  • "I would like to see some WiFi capabilities. I would like to upgrade equipment, and if I was in the U.S., I could do that with WiFi capabilities."

What other advice do I have?

The application space that we are using the solution to target is 5G. We are measure the following high-speed signals: 1Gb, 2Gbs, 5Gbs, and 10Gbs. We are not using this product to support connected devices, e.g., IoT development, nor are we planning to going forward.
FC
R&D at LTK
Real User
Good user interface and good technical support help us with equipment testing

What is our primary use case?

We use it for testing. Usually, for testing equipment, we define the test frequency in the range of 50 gigahertz.

Pros and Cons

  • "The user interface is good."
  • "I would like to see an app from this company for test fixtures."

What other advice do I have?

It's a good product. I would recommend it to colleagues at other companies. Regarding a learning curve for the equipment, when we purchase this testing equipment from the company, they provide training for us, so if we have any issues we can contact them with the details and they help us to resolve the problem. I would rate the product at nine out of ten. I'm satisfied with it.
CN
Designer/Consultant at a transportation company
Consultant
Leaderboard
It has the ability to monitor data from a CAN bus

What is our primary use case?

I develop electric vehicle systems. I use the serial protocol analysis tools, as well as using it with some high voltage differential probes for measuring motor voltage and battery current. We are measuring CAN bus RS232, as well as some power signals for voltage and current.

Pros and Cons

  • "Being able to monitor data from a CAN bus while the vehicle is running will cut down a lot of the feedback for the design mode."
  • "We would like more features for the CAN bus decoding, such as importing DDC files, which allows us to take the raw data and convert it into engineering units."

What other advice do I have?

It is really solid hardware. The only room for improvement is the software. Make sure that you understand what you are going to use these oscilloscopes for and don't spend money on features which you don't need. Some of competitors' user interfaces are more intuitive. The Tektronix Oscilloscopes user interface is a lot of method menu. The newer Tektronix user interfaces are easier, because they have touch screens. The application space that the solution targets is embedded systems for electric vehicle development. For example, I'm working on an electric bicycle dashboard right now. There will…
CR
Hardware Design Engineer at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Real User
Software packages make it easy to do some really complex measurements

What is our primary use case?

We use a range of Tektronix scopes. We have a 33-gig, real-time scope, as well as some lower-end models that we use for general digital debugging. In addition, we do ISP/IO characterization and general analysis. We do high-speed serial designs that are embedded. We mainly focus on fiber-optic telecom gear. We measure the full gamut of signals, whether it's low-speed control IO, like Is4c, all the way up to 28G certes designs. It's a full range of signals, and as far as the applications it's enabling, that's really our entire design. We are utilizing the whole bandwidth.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the automation component in setting up some of these measurements."

    What other advice do I have?

    Research well what you need because, with the capabilities of the instruments, you definitely pay up for getting a very high-end piece of gear, and that might not necessarily be exactly what you need, even though the sales guys tell you that it is. It doesn't take too long to get acclimated to the product. Whenever we do have a problem, the local rep seems to be able to help us with it. It's important too, to make sure you're doing things right, and not necessarily do them on your own, thinking you're doing things right. The user interface is usable. It's nothing fancy. I believe our solution…
    Ramesh Thangellapslli
    QA Director at a recruiting/HR firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Leaderboard
    Works at both high and low frequencies and has an excellent user interface

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Tektronix instruments for testing and measuring instruments. We use them in a broadcasting video technology, for video and video applications, to measure CD waveforms and other testing processes. We use them in almost every testing instance for automated design and research. We measure RF, video, and sometimes audio. We are utilizing the full bandwidth of the product.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The user interface is excellent. The GUI is so self-explanatory and there are the same knobs everywhere; the design is a standard design line."
    • "The ruggedness could be improved."

    What other advice do I have?

    Regarding a learning curve, if you are an engineer, it wouldn't take that much time. You could probably learn it in a couple of days. I would rate the products at eight out of ten because of the design, performance, the ruggedness, and the ease-of-use for the layman. All those things put together make it an eight.
    VD
    Engineer Manager
    Real User
    Robust and reliable, it's a hammer-resistant machine

    What is our primary use case?

    We're using the Tektronix 8300 for measurements. It's a very good machine. We typically run with a serial DSLR application. The signals we measure are pulse and we are utilizing the full bandwidth.

    Pros and Cons

    • "Tektronix is robust and reliable. It's a hammer-resistant machine, a fact which is most important on our manufacturing floor."
    • "They need to add more memory to this machine."

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend this product. Regarding a learning curve, there isn't one. It's a very good machine with very good support. If we need the support, they're there every time. In terms of upgradability, again, I would like to see more memory. Right now, the machine has up to 50 gigahertz variance which, in most cases, is okay. I would rate the product at eight out of ten because it's not too small and works in most cases. The two missing points are for the upgrades I mentioned. And if I give it a ten, they'll sleep quietly.
    XL
    Electrical Engineer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Mixed Domain scope provides spectrum analyzer and regular scope together

    What is our primary use case?

    We're using the MDO3000 or MDO4000 series. They're very similar. We use them for making measurements or working on testing electrical signals. We use them for general purpose. I'm working on computer motherboards. It's a different type of signal. The good thing is that it's very general-purpose. In most cases, the frequencies are up to six gig for the spectrum analyzer. For example, I measure I2C5 and USB. It cannot go into superspeed. But for superspeed I can look at the frequency. That's useful at times. At times I'm almost using the full bandwidth of the product. For example, if I want to… more »

    Pros and Cons

    • "I haven't seen anything similar where it has a spectrum analyzer and regular scope together."
    • "The power of the computer inside is weak. Sometimes I send a lot of data and I'll feel the lag... I would like to see them improve the processing power."

    What other advice do I have?

    I would definitely recommend this scope to colleagues. There was a little bit of a learning curve regarding the menu, but I eventually figured out how to get multiple windows or single windows and how to turn on a given domain. Overall, it's really quick. The front panel, the operational panel, is very straightforward. It has the scope plus a regular spectrum analyzer, with keys for the numbers. I rate the product at ten out of ten. If someone needs a general-purpose scope, it's a good one.
    CL
    Hardware Engineer at Northrop
    Real User
    Good user interface helps us with circuit debugging and signal analysis

    What is our primary use case?

    We're mostly using high-speed network analyzer models, but then we have some low-speed signal integrity work that we do as well. We use the product for circuit debugging and signal analysis. For us, the product targets high-speed serial applications. It's fantastic. We use it to support IoT development as well. I'm not personally utilizing the full bandwidth of the product but there are other people who are using it to the full bandwidth. It's working well for the stuff that's meant for high-speed.

    Pros and Cons

    • "It has a good user interface. It's easy to use, easy to read. It's intuitive."
    • "If they could make the user interface even more intuitive that would help. If they could make it easier to read, to know where the buttons are, that's all I need."

    What other advice do I have?

    There isn't so much of a learning curve. They'll come in and give you training for whatever kind of toy you want to use. The learning curve is fine. The solution is field-upgradable. We have upgraded several modules as we have needed to. We'll buy the baseline and if something comes up, we'll upgrade.
    Sai Ram Anand Vempati
    Hardware Validation Engineer at Qualcomm
    Real User
    Provides you the best way to view information without opening multiple applications

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary case would be passenger measurements and calculations for all PCIe US facilities.

    Pros and Cons

    • "It provides you the best way to view information without opening multiple applications, like a single solution."
    • "There was a learning curve, which was a little tricky at times. Getting used to the GUI took time because we had to learn the different features."

    What other advice do I have?

    The applications that this products target are more services. We do target certain applications, like PCIe and USB. We are not using it for IoT development. It is mostly used for measuring NRB signals.
    CC
    Distinguished Technologist at HP Enterprise
    Provides fast response, helping our design-verification cycle

    What is our primary use case?

    We use many models of oscilloscopes for lab tests. We use it for high-speed systems, mostly for PCIe Gen4. We utilize the full bandwidth of the product.

    Pros and Cons

    • "It has very fast response with deep memory."
    • "I would like to see more integration into machine learning because that's what we try to apply it to."

    What other advice do I have?

    It's a very reliable product. I would rate the product a ten out of ten. They provide a great partnership with us. We have certain projects going on with together with Tektronix and they're great partners.
    Jose Silva
    Senior Design Engineer at PETsys Electronics SA
    Real User
    Enables us to validate electronics designs and to use it for debugging and prototyping

    What is our primary use case?

    We use several models for validation of electronics designs, for particle physics, or for medical applications. It's a debugger and for prototyping. For us, the solution is mostly targeting 6G. We are measuring data transfer applications, mostly; data links and transference stability. We don't utilize the full bandwidth.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The Ipath and measurements are fantastic and simple to implement."

      What other advice do I have?

      We would definitely recommend this product. There is an ongoing learning curve. They exponentially increase the number of functions. I don't think I ever use 80 percent of the functionality. I probably use only 20 percent of the functions. The user interface is complicated when you first start it up, but then you get used to the sequences. Our solution is field-upgradable up to 10 gigahertz. I would rate the product at nine out of ten. A ten is never achievable. There is always room for improvement.
      Glenn Snyder
      Principal Electrical Engineer at a aerospace/defense firm with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      Multi-channel, with bandwidth filtering, it helps reduce my testing time

      What is our primary use case?

      Debugging is our primary use case for the product. We use it around 500 megahertz, maybe one gigahertz, but we're not implementing any serial links. The signals we measure are clocks and data. For the most part we're measuring between FPGAs and memory chips and looking at their data buses. We're not usually utilizing the full bandwidth.

      Pros and Cons

      • "Valuable features include that it's multi-channel... and has bandwidth filtering. The user interface is good."
      • "I know you can get the Bit Masks but it's generally really expensive to get the eye diagrams and Bit Masks with it. I wish they were included or cheaper."

      What other advice do I have?

      It's pretty intuitive after you've used any scope. It's relatively easy. I like to use it and it does what I need it to do. For what I use it for, it works perfectly well for me. Our solution is field-upgradable, but it's good the way it is for us. I would rate the product at eight out of ten. I don't usually find that the scope is holding me back from finding out what I need to.
      RD
      Electrical Design Engineer at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
      MSP
      The O-scopes help us figure out what's going wrong with our scope out signals

      What is our primary use case?

      We use them for testing and measurement. We do pretty standard stuff. We come up with a circuit and we expect it to do something. We simulate it, and then we test it out in the lab. We prototype it and then use the O-scope to verify our results, and if something's going wrong we try to track down what it is. The application space we use it for is embedded systems. We do contract engineering and we pick up projects from different groups. We make an end solution for them. It's business-to-business, it's not really like end-consumer stuff. They come up with all sorts of things, like printers or… more »

      Pros and Cons

      • "The most valuable features are everything they do. We primarily use the O-scopes and they help us figure out what's going wrong with our scope out signals."
      • "There is room for improvement when it comes to the screen size. I don't really have a lot of complaints but screen size would be the biggest thing."

      What other advice do I have?

      It works really well for general lab stuff, general testing, prototype and measurement. I have been using Tektronix products since I started. I might have used them in college, too, so it's been about seven-and-a-half years. We're using a couple of the O-scopes, the MSO3000 and the MSO4000. We also have some arbitrary function generators and some power supplies. There is definitely a learning curve. It was so long ago that I don't really know how long it takes to get acclimated to the equipment. We actually just started an IoT project, so I'm now using it for that. I would rate the products at…
      WenjunShi
      Engineer at NVIDIA Corporation
      Real User
      An accurate, high speed product which could use more customer engagement

      What is our primary use case?

      The primary use case is for signaling to every waveform measurement and doing some post analysis of the waveform.

      Pros and Cons

      • "I trust Tektronix for its accuracy. The probes of solution fit my application. E.g., the speed of probes, the way that it is using probes with designs, and the probes' size."
      • "I would like if they could have more customer support engagement."
      PH
      Founder at a tech company
      Real User
      I can take my lab to customers by accessing their domain and showing them signals

      What is our primary use case?

      I do everything with this product. I categorize and test. It can be online on the cloud in the lab, allowing us to see what the data conditions are. It has an automatic extracting level. I use most of the high end digital scopes that I like, because they have a lot of features for software user interfaces, captures, or shared transit control. The user friendliness of these boxes is very useful.

      Pros and Cons

      • "It has digital scopes with a high bandwidth and digitized signal. It can do whatever you want with the signal. Since its user-friendly software allows you to work with the signal, which is pretty cool."
      • "I am not utilizing the full bandwidth of this product."

      What other advice do I have?

      They are closer to 4G in the applications space.