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Analyzing, Sharing, and Documenting Oscilloscope Data has Never Been Easier – N8900A Infiniium Offline Oscilloscope Analysis Software

Blog Post created by rlashlee


Several years ago, the Keysight Oscilloscopes R&D team was working on a project to completely redesign the GUI for our Infiniium oscilloscopes. In the early stages of this project, we performed a ton of customer research to see what people expected out of a modern oscilloscope GUI. Most of these items were then included in the GUI you currently see on Infiniium oscilloscopes today – things like multitouch gestures, annotated markers, easy-to-use wizards, grids, flexibility of windows to choose what’s displayed on screen, etc. The other interesting thing we found was that many users wanted to have the ability to analyze, share, and document results at the comfort of their PC or laptop. From this discovery came the N8900A Infiniium Offline Oscilloscope Analysis Software. Many oscilloscope vendors offer offline software, but it is usually a pared-down version of the GUI found on an oscilloscope. With the Infiniium Offline Oscilloscope Analysis Software, the exact same GUI is used that is found on an oscilloscope – meaning you do not have to learn a new user interface and you can perform all of the analysis as if you were sitting in front of an oscilloscope.

Analyzing Data

During the customer research, we found that many people share an oscilloscope in their lab or workspace. Doing so causes issues with scheduling and having enough time on the oscilloscope to capture and analyze the data properly. One large benefit to using Infiniium Offline is that you can capture your data on an oscilloscope, move the data to your PC via a thumb drive (or stream it directly to your PC), and then perform all of your analysis and documentation within the offline software – freeing up the oscilloscope to be used by another team member. This enables the team to much more efficiently use the oscilloscope and offers the added benefit of being able to analyze and document results from the comfort of your desk or even at home if you have a laptop.

Documenting and Sharing Results:

Another finding in the customer research was how much time people spend documenting their results on an oscilloscope. The traditional method used by many was to take numerous screen shots and then import them into a document along with text describing the results. This was found to be very laborious so we sought out ways to help make this easier.

The first thing R&D did was include many items in the GUI to make documentation easier. All of these are then naturally found in the Infiniium Offline software since it matches what is found on the oscilloscope. Examples include annotated markers (so you can easily see the delta values directly on a screen shot), annotated axes, bookmarks (to make comments on certain measurements or portions of the waveform), measurement call-outs (to see measurements results directly on the screen), and so on. All of these enhancements enabled people to easily show valuable information in a screen shot in a much easier way.

Secondly being able to use offline software helped with documentation in two ways. People found it much easier to make screen captures and paste into a document on their PC/laptop than from the oscilloscope. They were able to finish their documentation quickly and more efficiently, freeing them up to do other tasks. Secondly, many of the people we interacted with needed to share their documentation with others. Using the offline software made this incredibly easy because not only could they send the report document, but they could also send the setup file/waveform via Infiniium Offline with the waveform/results completely annotated. The other team member could then open the file on their copy of Infiniium Offline and see all of this information. Collaboration made easy!

Controlling More than One Instrument:

Several applications require more than four oscilloscope channels and while some vendors have oscilloscopes with this capability, Keysight found that people wanted the choice of when to use a setup for more than four channels and when to have two multiple oscilloscopes to use separately. From this, Keysight designed the N8834A MultiScope Application. This software enables people to synch up to 10 oscilloscopes and uses the Infiniium Offline software as the master control for all of these oscilloscopes. In this way, you can have up to 40 channels, all controlled from a single GUI on your laptop or PC. Then, when you do not need all of these channels for your application, you can disconnect the oscilloscopes and use them separately throughout your lab. This gives you incredible flexibility.

Test it Out – Download a Trial Version Today

If you are interested in seeing the N8900A Infiniium Offline Analysis software, you can download a trial version here. It enables you to test out the Infiniium GUI without having an oscilloscope as well – testing whether the capabilities match your needs.