Rohde & Schwarz finds scope for expansion

June 29, 2010

colin.holland-June 29, 2010

Rohde & Schwarz is launching its first dedicated oscilloscopes. It has developed its own ASICs and A to D converters to support the new design which is described as 20 times faster than existing devices.

The company is using many of the technologies developed for its communications design and test equipment using frequency domain techniques to attack the competitive time domain scope market.

Naerly ten years ago the company launched the VSA video measurement system which it said combined the functions of a video analyzer, vectorscope, oscilloscope, monitor and controller (PC) in a 19-inch desktop.

The VSA's 3-channel oscilloscope could simultaneously display of the same signal with different time scales in up to three separate windows.

In 2005 it brought Hameg Instruments, an established vendor with more than 20 years of experience in the field of budget oscilloscopes and measuring equipment. In early 2008, Hameg expanded its product portfolio, introducing digital oscilloscopes in the frequency range up to 350 MHz.

The latest initiative is an entirely different prospect to the VSA and the company is claiming that "there wasn't an instrument on the market that could meet our engineers requirements. So we built one ourselves."

It has developed two families to attack the 500 to 2GHz segments —  the RTM oscilloscopes have 500 MHz bandwidths while the  RTO family  are designed for speed and signal fidelity win two- and four-channel models with bandwidths of 1 GHz and 2 GHz and a maximum sampling rate of 10 Gsample per second.



"We are looking at a global market volume of around one billion dollars," said Michael Vohrer, President and CEO of Rohde & Schwarz. "This is why Rohde & Schwarz is focusing strategically not just on its existing customer base in areas such as wireless communications or aerospace and defense, but also on new customers, particularly those in the wide-base electronics market."

"In response to our customers’ wishes, we are rounding out our portfolio and moving into an interesting, yet highly competitive market – exactly the kind of challenge we like to take on at Rohde & Schwarz," added Vohrer.

Market figures issued by specialist sector researcher Prime Data showed that Tektronix had 55 percent of the market with Agilent having a 23 percent share and Le Croy 13 percent while Yokogawa had 4 percent. "It is our initial intention to take  third spot," said Roland Steffen, head of the test and measurement division.

The two new product families consist of a total of six instruments. The R&S RTO family, comprising oscilloscopes with bandwidths of 1 GHz and 2 GHz, is aimed at the high-performance segment while the RTM family are 500 MHz and intended for universal applications wherever electrical signals need to be measured.

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