Author Topic: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?  (Read 18450 times)

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Offline EEVblogTopic starter

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Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« on: February 11, 2022, 07:27:12 am »
It's been almost 11 years to the day that Agilent/Keysight released the Megazoom IV ASIC. Way past the, IIRC, 6 years or so between previous generations.
What's up? :-//
I know the 2000/3000/4000 series scopes are still selling and they are milking that Megazoon IV ASIC, but geeze, 11 years now?
 
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2022, 07:31:47 am »
Probably have a few hundred full wafers still in storage, fully tested but not packed, and an equal number of assembled packages of them as well. So will be using them, and making the product, till they are near the end of that stock, and only then start to look at making a new version.
 

Offline EEVblogTopic starter

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2022, 07:38:46 am »
Probably have a few hundred full wafers still in storage, fully tested but not packed, and an equal number of assembled packages of them as well. So will be using them, and making the product, till they are near the end of that stock, and only then start to look at making a new version.

It takes years to develop a new ASIC like this and get it into a product, they would have started a long time ago. I'm sure it's already done.
 

Online tautech

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2022, 07:39:33 am »
It's been almost 11 years to the day that Agilent/Keysight released the Megazoom IV ASIC. Way past the, IIRC, 6 years or so between previous generations.
What's up? :-//
I know the 2000/3000/4000 series scopes are still selling and they are milking that Megazoon IV ASIC, but geeze, 11 years now?
:-//
Go talk to Mark at IPD to see what he knows.
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Online nctnico

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2022, 09:04:56 am »
Probably have a few hundred full wafers still in storage, fully tested but not packed, and an equal number of assembled packages of them as well. So will be using them, and making the product, till they are near the end of that stock, and only then start to look at making a new version.

It takes years to develop a new ASIC like this and get it into a product, they would have started a long time ago. I'm sure it's already done.
I'm not so sure that a new ASIC brings much advantage to the table in this day & age. They could put more memory inside the ASIC (or use external memory) but  that solves only 1 problem and still is outdated on the day of release. Nowadays DSOs are moving quickly into becoming more versatile signal analysis machines. It makes more sense to add a lot of computational power and do operations in software. IMHO a better choice for Keysight would be to leave the ASIC path and go for a platform with lots of computational power. I think a combo of a fast CPU with a decent GPU would offer great flexibility while still offering snappy operations.
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Offline 2N3055

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2022, 09:57:05 am »
If you keep analog front end from 3000T/4000, get rid of aMegazoom IV, put a  single 16GS/s (a variant of?) converter from EXR (which would still get you 4GS/s in full channel mode, instead of 2,5GS/s now) and pipe that into Zynq, you would get immensely more powerful platform than now, and 10bit too.... You would literally solve all of the shortcomings of current platform. Pretty much what Rigol is doing, but with better performing components.

As for ASICS, they do bring a lot to the table, but not in this range anymore. For that range all can be done in FPGA now.
11 years ago only way to make 3000/4000 series was ASIC: not anymore

Keysight made a whole bunch of new ASICS in the last few years.

New EXR and MXR have new ASICS (I guess Keysight spend their money in higher end offering) that enable real-time spectrum mode, DDC, frequency domain triggering etc etc... All of that at very high trigger rate.

Also, people keep forgetting Infiniivision scopes are Keysight entry level scopes... Bottom of the offering range.
They won't make new version that has capability of EXR. If they make new version, it will be competitive with offering from other manufacturers in that range. So pretty much not much changes in way it is used and works for user, maybe bigger screen, better resolution and more memory. And that's it.. No more capability. They already newly refreshed mid range.
They won't create internal competition.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2022, 11:31:18 am »
If you keep analog front end from 3000T/4000, get rid of aMegazoom IV, put a  single 16GS/s (a variant of?) converter from EXR (which would still get you 4GS/s in full channel mode, instead of 2,5GS/s now) and pipe that into Zynq, you would get immensely more powerful platform than now, and 10bit too.... You would literally solve all of the shortcomings of current platform. Pretty much what Rigol is doing, but with better performing components.
No. In the end the Zync platform is just a crutch to be able to do some functions in software but in the end the performance can't get nowhere near oscilloscopes that do functions like protocol decoding in hardware. Scopes from Rigol and Siglent can't get even close to the performance and comfort you get from Keysight or R&S where it comes to protocol decoding. In the end you pay for the engineering to do the hardware accellerated decoding. If you want to get close with a (mostly) software solution with low NRE then the only way out is a GPU based platform.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2022, 11:33:04 am by nctnico »
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Offline MadTux

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2022, 11:54:25 am »
Why should they??
As long as that ancient Megazoom still keeps selling for insane prices, they keep selling it.
 Megazoom (HP 54645/54622D) with 4MB memory was great in the 1990s, back then it was nice to play Quake1 @ 30FPS.
Nowadays, you can play Quake on your washing machine, yet HPAK keeps selling that obsolete stuff and treat their customers like trash.

Basically they only sell their name, anyone buying features per price, buys Rigol 5k for less than $1000 or similar.
8GS/s, 100MS/channel.... everything about a magnitude better than a similar priced Keysight pile of trash....
« Last Edit: February 11, 2022, 12:01:20 pm by MadTux »
 

Offline 2N3055

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2022, 09:08:58 pm »
If you keep analog front end from 3000T/4000, get rid of aMegazoom IV, put a  single 16GS/s (a variant of?) converter from EXR (which would still get you 4GS/s in full channel mode, instead of 2,5GS/s now) and pipe that into Zynq, you would get immensely more powerful platform than now, and 10bit too.... You would literally solve all of the shortcomings of current platform. Pretty much what Rigol is doing, but with better performing components.
No. In the end the Zync platform is just a crutch to be able to do some functions in software but in the end the performance can't get nowhere near oscilloscopes that do functions like protocol decoding in hardware. Scopes from Rigol and Siglent can't get even close to the performance and comfort you get from Keysight or R&S where it comes to protocol decoding. In the end you pay for the engineering to do the hardware accellerated decoding. If you want to get close with a (mostly) software solution with low NRE then the only way out is a GPU based platform.

Zynq is just a sea of logic gates together with a fast cpus on a same chip with a fast interconnect.
You can load same IP into it that they hardcoded into Megazoom IV.

And I don't know what you think hardware decode means in Keysight. Their most advanced Infinium scopes are same software based decoding, like Lecroy, Siglent and the rest. Software based decoding has it's advantages, like for instance where you can enable decoding after you captured signal, and tune parameters until you get it right. For instance, you captured something that seems like UART data but runs nonstandard speed. On Keysight with hardware decoding you need to be able to capture and capture experimenting until it works and then make a capture you want to analyse. If you want to  try different settings, you need to change the settings and recapture. If you have system that keeps sending thousands of messages in a second in a loop it's easy. If system is more sparse with messages and you happened to capture something that you think might be interesting but decoding wasn't on, you're out of luck.

Also what do you think hardware accelerated decoding is?  With Keysight it is actually done in a way that analog input channel has an analog comparator in parallel with ADC input (not really but functionally equivalent to that). They seem to sample and feed that bit stream in parallel with analog sampled data. Decoding happens in software too (visible in segmented mode, when decoding happens when analysing segments).
Software only decoding works on analog captured buffer data, and it has to firstly run a piece of code to extract edges and digitize stream and only then start to decode. On Keysight, you already have digitized stream in memory (digitized in "hardware" by virtue of analog comparator) so decoding by software is extremely fast.

On a scope with digital triggering, and no analog comparator, you can tap off the digital trigger engine and use that to get same type of digitized bitstream as Keysight does in analog domain. At the same hardware realtime speeds. And in Zynq you can pipe that to decoders real fast. Not to mention that in Zynq, you can actually use FPGA fabric to have hardware assisted decoding FSMs transparently..

All of those will have triggering fully implemented in hardware anyways...

GPU based platform is actually useful (you're are correct there) but for a completely software based scope, higher end one. That would have advanced analysis options, and not very fast acquisition retrigger rates...

But even there Keysight went with heavy hardware acceleration and ASICs in newest generation, because they wanted to make fast mixed domain instruments. And that requires heavy hardware acceleration.
 

Offline EEVblogTopic starter

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2022, 09:25:48 pm »
If you keep analog front end from 3000T/4000, get rid of aMegazoom IV, put a  single 16GS/s (a variant of?) converter from EXR (which would still get you 4GS/s in full channel mode, instead of 2,5GS/s now) and pipe that into Zynq, you would get immensely more powerful platform than now, and 10bit too.... You would literally solve all of the shortcomings of current platform. Pretty much what Rigol is doing, but with better performing components.

As for ASICS, they do bring a lot to the table, but not in this range anymore. For that range all can be done in FPGA now.

Then why hasn't anyone else done so with their Zynq based designs?
The Keysight is still the market leader in wavefor update speed and processing after 11 years.

Quote
Keysight made a whole bunch of new ASICS in the last few years.
New EXR and MXR have new ASICS (I guess Keysight spend their money in higher end offering) that enable real-time spectrum mode, DDC, frequency domain triggering etc etc... All of that at very high trigger rate.

Yeah, but you won't see those asic in a 3 or 4 digit priced scope I'm sure.

Quote
Also, people keep forgetting Infiniivision scopes are Keysight entry level scopes... Bottom of the offering range.
They won't make new version that has capability of EXR. If they make new version, it will be competitive with offering from other manufacturers in that range. So pretty much not much changes in way it is used and works for user, maybe bigger screen, better resolution and more memory. And that's it.. No more capability. They already newly refreshed mid range.
They won't create internal competition.

Maybe, but we still haven't seen a new design after 11 years, ASIC or not.
The real question of this thread is really when will Keysight come out with a new design base/mid level scope, ASIC or no ASIC.
I'm absolutely sure they have been working on a new Megazoom V ASIC for a long time, perhaps from only a year or two after the IV was released. Whether or not we'll see another ASIC design, or if they ditch it and go with another solution is the question. My bet is on ASIC, or maybe ASIC's plural. But they probably won't integrate the sample memory this time, as that's the biggest thing that has bitten them on the arse.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2022, 09:35:22 pm by EEVblog »
 

Online wraper

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2022, 09:29:01 pm »
If you keep analog front end from 3000T/4000, get rid of aMegazoom IV, put a  single 16GS/s (a variant of?) converter from EXR (which would still get you 4GS/s in full channel mode, instead of 2,5GS/s now) and pipe that into Zynq, you would get immensely more powerful platform than now, and 10bit too.... You would literally solve all of the shortcomings of current platform. Pretty much what Rigol is doing, but with better performing components.
Somehow I didn't notice a better performance overall. Performance of Zinq based scopes fall flat beyond certain performance friendly settings and do not actually reach the performance of Megazoom to begin with. Megazoom based scopes perform well regardless. If Zinq is so perfect, why Rigol rolled out their own custom ASICs for their Ultravision II scopes (with Zinq also included)?
« Last Edit: February 11, 2022, 09:35:56 pm by wraper »
 

Online Martin72

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2022, 09:55:09 pm »
The Keysight is still the market leader in wavefor update speed and processing after 11 years.

The new rigol 70000/ultra-vision III also got 1,000,000wfms/s.

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Online nctnico

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2022, 10:19:38 pm »
If you keep analog front end from 3000T/4000, get rid of aMegazoom IV, put a  single 16GS/s (a variant of?) converter from EXR (which would still get you 4GS/s in full channel mode, instead of 2,5GS/s now) and pipe that into Zynq, you would get immensely more powerful platform than now, and 10bit too.... You would literally solve all of the shortcomings of current platform. Pretty much what Rigol is doing, but with better performing components.
No. In the end the Zync platform is just a crutch to be able to do some functions in software but in the end the performance can't get nowhere near oscilloscopes that do functions like protocol decoding in hardware. Scopes from Rigol and Siglent can't get even close to the performance and comfort you get from Keysight or R&S where it comes to protocol decoding. In the end you pay for the engineering to do the hardware accellerated decoding. If you want to get close with a (mostly) software solution with low NRE then the only way out is a GPU based platform.

Zynq is just a sea of logic gates together with a fast cpus on a same chip with a fast interconnect.
You can load same IP into it that they hardcoded into Megazoom IV.

And I don't know what you think hardware decode means in Keysight. Their most advanced Infinium scopes are same software based decoding, like Lecroy, Siglent and the rest. Software based decoding has it's advantages, like for instance where you can enable decoding after you captured signal,
The Megazoom ASIC does decoding in hardware. On a PC based scope you have enough processing power to do decoding in software so needing hardware accelleration is less likely. Being able to change the decoding parameters after an acquisition is handy but if it comes at the cost of reduced memory depth, speed and other limitations, the benefit becomes very small quickly.

Quote
And in Zynq you can pipe that to decoders real fast. Not to mention that in Zynq, you can actually use FPGA fabric to have hardware assisted decoding FSMs transparently..
But what you forget here is that FPGA development is very time consuming (= extremely expensive) and there are not many that master the skills to do FPGA development effectively so most of the lower end scope (B brand) manufacturers opt for a software solution at the cost of lower performance. It works but it is slow and needs all kinds of workarounds (like only decoding what is on screen or larger decimation steps) to get to an acceptable user experience. The only low-end DSO manufacturer I can think of that does decoding inside the FPGA is MicSig. Also keep in mind that the low cost Zyncs don't have that much gates to begin with so it is easy to run out of space. For example: GW Instek uses partial reconfiguration in their Zync based DSOs to load a different trigger engine to trigger on protocols. I guess they ran out of space to simply include all trigger engines and had to resort to a complicated solution.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2022, 10:30:38 pm by nctnico »
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Offline 2N3055

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2022, 10:31:39 pm »
If you keep analog front end from 3000T/4000, get rid of aMegazoom IV, put a  single 16GS/s (a variant of?) converter from EXR (which would still get you 4GS/s in full channel mode, instead of 2,5GS/s now) and pipe that into Zynq, you would get immensely more powerful platform than now, and 10bit too.... You would literally solve all of the shortcomings of current platform. Pretty much what Rigol is doing, but with better performing components.

As for ASICS, they do bring a lot to the table, but not in this range anymore. For that range all can be done in FPGA now.

Then why hasn't anyone else done so with their Zynq based designs?
The Keysight is still the market leader in wavefor update speed and processing after 11 years.

Keysight made a whole bunch of new ASICS in the last few years.
New EXR and MXR have new ASICS (I guess Keysight spend their money in higher end offering) that enable real-time spectrum mode, DDC, frequency domain triggering etc etc... All of that at very high trigger rate.
[/quote]

Yeah, but you won't see those asic in a 3 or 4 digit priced scope I'm sure.

Quote
Also, people keep forgetting Infiniivision scopes are Keysight entry level scopes... Bottom of the offering range.
They won't make new version that has capability of EXR. If they make new version, it will be competitive with offering from other manufacturers in that range. So pretty much not much changes in way it is used and works for user, maybe bigger screen, better resolution and more memory. And that's it.. No more capability. They already newly refreshed mid range.
They won't create internal competition.

Maybe, but we still haven't seen a new design after 11 years, ASIC or not.
[/quote]

Rigol scopes have very fast WFM's per second. They are second fastest to Keysight. And it has nothing to do with what most people are referring to as "Keysights are fast". Keysights are not fast to use because  of Megazoom. Megazoom only helps with WFMs/s.
Rigols are almost as fast in WFMs/s but feel like molasses in comparison. Because user interaction is not done well.

The fact that (for instance) 3000T is so responsive is fact that Keysight did best job optimizing U/I. User input is priority 0 thread and everything stops as soon as you touch something. Also they did best job of optimizing background running threads and it's communication with hardware. Actual waveform rendering happens in hardware and is physically injected into screen area. That made it possible to have small CPU (that doesn't have graphics accelerator) and still be fast.
To be honest, all of that is also possible by the fact that 12000 USD scope has a screen with resolution that LESS than my hand watch.. Ruminate on that.

It is highly optimized user experience that is fast, not Megazoom. 1000X series has 1/5th of WFMs/s of 3000T and people still find it as fast. Because user experience was tuned for that.

Processing leader it is NOT. It (3000T) samples fraction of data even the cheapest scope now have, it does all measurements, filters, math on decimated 64k buffer. FFT is 64k max. Here, too, it cleverly trades off capability for speed.

BUT...

It is not a analytic scope. All the tradeoffs Keysight decided to do were done well, and with full understanding of it's target market and audience. It is a masterpiece of engineering: how to achieve most with as little as possible.
It is actual delicate balance of how much user gets while giving as little as possible.

Most users of these scopes are not bothered by low memory. It gets the job done.
Most users of these scopes are not bothered by low screen resolution. It gets the job done.
Most users of these scopes are not bothered by small screen resolution. It makes scope compact and easy to put on the desk. It gets the job done.
etc etc.
All while giving great user experience, instant response to user input. It is closest thing to CRT scope on market.

In its current form it gets the job done. No need to mess with it. There is no need for new design.
These scopes are Fluke 87 of scope industry.. Same rules apply.
Only when it stops selling they will offer something else. It's just good business.

Do I think they have at least rough draft on something new for that moment? Of course they do.
They are Keysight. And also being Keysight, you bet they can whip up new product in very little time.

In meantime they focus their effort on midrange/high end. Where their new corporate policy puts their priority.
They don't seem to care for entry level that much anymore.
 

Online jjoonathan

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2022, 10:41:35 pm »
Gehn stole the Megazoom V because it had the number 5 in it, and now you need to travel to 5 tropical islands to get it back.
 

Offline 2N3055

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2022, 10:44:00 pm »
If you keep analog front end from 3000T/4000, get rid of aMegazoom IV, put a  single 16GS/s (a variant of?) converter from EXR (which would still get you 4GS/s in full channel mode, instead of 2,5GS/s now) and pipe that into Zynq, you would get immensely more powerful platform than now, and 10bit too.... You would literally solve all of the shortcomings of current platform. Pretty much what Rigol is doing, but with better performing components.
No. In the end the Zync platform is just a crutch to be able to do some functions in software but in the end the performance can't get nowhere near oscilloscopes that do functions like protocol decoding in hardware. Scopes from Rigol and Siglent can't get even close to the performance and comfort you get from Keysight or R&S where it comes to protocol decoding. In the end you pay for the engineering to do the hardware accellerated decoding. If you want to get close with a (mostly) software solution with low NRE then the only way out is a GPU based platform.

Zynq is just a sea of logic gates together with a fast cpus on a same chip with a fast interconnect.
You can load same IP into it that they hardcoded into Megazoom IV.

And I don't know what you think hardware decode means in Keysight. Their most advanced Infinium scopes are same software based decoding, like Lecroy, Siglent and the rest. Software based decoding has it's advantages, like for instance where you can enable decoding after you captured signal,
The Megazoom ASIC does decoding in hardware. On a PC based scope you have enough processing power to do decoding in software so needing hardware accelleration is less likely. Being able to change the decoding parameters after an acquisition is handy but if it comes at the cost of reduced memory depth, speed and other limitations, the benefit becomes very small quickly.

Quote
And in Zynq you can pipe that to decoders real fast. Not to mention that in Zynq, you can actually use FPGA fabric to have hardware assisted decoding FSMs transparently..
But what you forget here is that FPGA development is very time consuming (= extremely expensive) and there are not many that master the skills to do FPGA development effectively so most of the lower end scope (B brand) manufacturers opt for a software solution at the cost of lower performance. It works but it is slow and needs all kinds of workarounds (like only decoding what is on screen or larger decimation steps) to get to an acceptable user experience. The only low-end DSO manufacturer I can think of that does decoding inside the FPGA is MicSig. Also keep in mind that the low cost Zyncs don't have that much gates to begin with so it is easy to run out of space. For example: GW Instek uses partial reconfiguration in their Zync based DSOs to load a different trigger engine to trigger on protocols. I guess they ran out of space to simply include all trigger engines and had to resort to a complicated solution.

Read my lips: on 3000T decoding is hardware/software hybrid. Like I explained. It is visible in segmented mode.

Cost of reduced memory depth in software decoding scope is such that they will all still have an order of magnitude more memory than Megazoom does.

FPGA development is expensive? So you're saying that Keysight ASIC development is cheaper and easier than FPGA development? News flash, their scopes are chock full of FPGA already, and EXR/MXR are running lots of internal glue and architecture in them. If anybody would be able to make fantastic scope on Zynq that would be them.

They went with ASICS for their higher end scopes because in a long run it will be cheaper for them to run the heavy lifting in ASICs (and because they have capability to design and make them) and for ADC and such where it provides competitive advantage i.e there is no off the shelf component and they are pushin state of the art.

FPGA that you would use in 3000T replacement would be a bit bigger than one used in Micsig or GW Instek 2000E series.
 

Offline Pinkus

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2022, 10:56:54 pm »
All the tradeoffs Keysight decided to do were done well, and with full understanding of it's target market and audience. It is a masterpiece of engineering: how to achieve most with as little as possible.
It is actual delicate balance of how much user gets while giving as little as possible.

Most users of these scopes are not bothered by low memory. It gets the job done.
Most users of these scopes are not bothered by low screen resolution. It gets the job done.
Most users of these scopes are not bothered by small screen resolution. It makes scope compact and easy to put on the desk. It gets the job done.
etc etc.
All while giving great user experience, instant response to user input. It is closest thing to CRT scope on market.

In its current form it gets the job done. No need to mess with it. There is no need for new design.
These scopes are Fluke 87 of scope industry.. Same rules apply.
It is exactly this. Having a DSOX4000a on my bench, I looked at the newer R&S / Rigols / Siglents in the past years.  Their UI looks very impressive at first, but if you know a Keysight DSOX3000/4000 from practice, you quickly realize that you can still do your job faster and better with it, faster than with the said 10 years newer scopes with a often sluggish behaviour.
Sure more memory would be nice, but do I really need it? I have segmented memory and otherwise I just trigger on what I want to see. Period. I am convinced, in most cases where people are wanting more memory, they just do not know how to trigger. Very rarely do I need tons of data before and after. Do I need fast boot up time or 12 bit resolution and/or 0.5uV vertically? Yes, it would have been helpful sometimes, but I rather choose the reliability and speed of the Keysight as this is what I need in 99,99% of all time.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2022, 10:58:44 pm by Pinkus »
 

Offline 2N3055

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2022, 11:03:44 pm »
If you keep analog front end from 3000T/4000, get rid of aMegazoom IV, put a  single 16GS/s (a variant of?) converter from EXR (which would still get you 4GS/s in full channel mode, instead of 2,5GS/s now) and pipe that into Zynq, you would get immensely more powerful platform than now, and 10bit too.... You would literally solve all of the shortcomings of current platform. Pretty much what Rigol is doing, but with better performing components.
Somehow I didn't notice a better performance overall. Performance of Zinq based scopes fall flat beyond certain performance friendly settings and do not actually reach the performance of Megazoom to begin with. Megazoom based scopes perform well regardless. If Zinq is so perfect, why Rigol rolled out their own custom ASICs for their Ultravision II scopes (with Zinq also included)?

Like I said, "Keysight is fast!" is a U/I responsiveness thing. It is something that "button twiddlers" (people that turn buttons real fast to benchmark how fast scope will respond) notice immediately but rest of people not so much.
It is a credit to how well software in Keysight scopes is written.

People seem to praise 1000X series as being as fast to use as 3000T, glory to the Megazoom IV.
Despite 1000X having less than 1/5th of WFM/s per second.
Clever software writing AND same application processor as in 3000T makes user experience the same. Not Megazoom IV

And, as I know you know damn well, ASIC is short for Application Specific Integrated Circuit. It doesn't even have to have complicated function. You can make 5 transistor IC in SiGe process for your scope front end and it is ASIC.

Rigol has 3 ASIC chips. One is an amplifier for an active probe. Other one is amplifier/attenuator/integrated front end for a scope. Both analog chips. And third one is their ADC. That gets piped into Zynqs where they run all the scope logic...
They could as easily just buy off the shelf ADC and use that with minor adjustments.
And they did it this way because it doesn't lock them in into architecture that will get outdated in few years. And with expectation that FPGA market will keep expanding and FPGA chips they use will get even cheaper with time.


As a side note, current chip market must worry all those that did that bet. And those (like Keysight) that run their own ASICs must be smiling short term. Until they need to run another batch and then they are also in trouble.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2022, 11:07:11 pm »
If you keep analog front end from 3000T/4000, get rid of aMegazoom IV, put a  single 16GS/s (a variant of?) converter from EXR (which would still get you 4GS/s in full channel mode, instead of 2,5GS/s now) and pipe that into Zynq, you would get immensely more powerful platform than now, and 10bit too.... You would literally solve all of the shortcomings of current platform. Pretty much what Rigol is doing, but with better performing components.
No. In the end the Zync platform is just a crutch to be able to do some functions in software but in the end the performance can't get nowhere near oscilloscopes that do functions like protocol decoding in hardware. Scopes from Rigol and Siglent can't get even close to the performance and comfort you get from Keysight or R&S where it comes to protocol decoding. In the end you pay for the engineering to do the hardware accellerated decoding. If you want to get close with a (mostly) software solution with low NRE then the only way out is a GPU based platform.

Zynq is just a sea of logic gates together with a fast cpus on a same chip with a fast interconnect.
You can load same IP into it that they hardcoded into Megazoom IV.

And I don't know what you think hardware decode means in Keysight. Their most advanced Infinium scopes are same software based decoding, like Lecroy, Siglent and the rest. Software based decoding has it's advantages, like for instance where you can enable decoding after you captured signal,
The Megazoom ASIC does decoding in hardware. On a PC based scope you have enough processing power to do decoding in software so needing hardware accelleration is less likely. Being able to change the decoding parameters after an acquisition is handy but if it comes at the cost of reduced memory depth, speed and other limitations, the benefit becomes very small quickly.

Quote
And in Zynq you can pipe that to decoders real fast. Not to mention that in Zynq, you can actually use FPGA fabric to have hardware assisted decoding FSMs transparently..
But what you forget here is that FPGA development is very time consuming (= extremely expensive) and there are not many that master the skills to do FPGA development effectively so most of the lower end scope (B brand) manufacturers opt for a software solution at the cost of lower performance. It works but it is slow and needs all kinds of workarounds (like only decoding what is on screen or larger decimation steps) to get to an acceptable user experience. The only low-end DSO manufacturer I can think of that does decoding inside the FPGA is MicSig. Also keep in mind that the low cost Zyncs don't have that much gates to begin with so it is easy to run out of space. For example: GW Instek uses partial reconfiguration in their Zync based DSOs to load a different trigger engine to trigger on protocols. I guess they ran out of space to simply include all trigger engines and had to resort to a complicated solution.

Read my lips: on 3000T decoding is hardware/software hybrid. Like I explained. It is visible in segmented mode.

Cost of reduced memory depth in software decoding scope is such that they will all still have an order of magnitude more memory than Megazoom does.

FPGA development is expensive? So you're saying that Keysight ASIC development is cheaper and easier than FPGA development? News flash, their scopes are chock full of FPGA already, and EXR/MXR are running lots of internal glue and architecture in them. If anybody would be able to make fantastic scope on Zynq that would be them.

They went with ASICS for their higher end scopes because in a long run it will be cheaper for them to run the heavy lifting in ASICs (and because they have capability to design and make them) and for ADC and such where it provides competitive advantage i.e there is no off the shelf component and they are pushin state of the art.

FPGA that you would use in 3000T replacement would be a bit bigger than one used in Micsig or GW Instek 2000E series.
And hence the higher price Keysight charges for their oscilloscopes. They do more engineering work so they have to charge a higher price for their product. B-brands are cutting corners to push engineering and hardware costs down.

And sure, at a high volume an ASIC is cheaper compared to bringing money to Xilinx. I never claimed that designing an ASIC is cheaper BTW. Putting functionality into an ASIC or FPGA is more expensive to develop compared to software.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2022, 11:12:16 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline 2N3055

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2022, 11:51:25 pm »
All the tradeoffs Keysight decided to do were done well, and with full understanding of it's target market and audience. It is a masterpiece of engineering: how to achieve most with as little as possible.
It is actual delicate balance of how much user gets while giving as little as possible.

Most users of these scopes are not bothered by low memory. It gets the job done.
Most users of these scopes are not bothered by low screen resolution. It gets the job done.
Most users of these scopes are not bothered by small screen resolution. It makes scope compact and easy to put on the desk. It gets the job done.
etc etc.
All while giving great user experience, instant response to user input. It is closest thing to CRT scope on market.

In its current form it gets the job done. No need to mess with it. There is no need for new design.
These scopes are Fluke 87 of scope industry.. Same rules apply.
It is exactly this. Having a DSOX4000a on my bench, I looked at the newer R&S / Rigols / Siglents in the past years.  Their UI looks very impressive at first, but if you know a Keysight DSOX3000/4000 from practice, you quickly realize that you can still do your job faster and better with it, faster than with the said 10 years newer scopes with a often sluggish behaviour.
Sure more memory would be nice, but do I really need it? I have segmented memory and otherwise I just trigger on what I want to see. Period. I am convinced, in most cases where people are wanting more memory, they just do not know how to trigger. Very rarely do I need tons of data before and after. Do I need fast boot up time or 12 bit resolution and/or 0.5uV vertically? Yes, it would have been helpful sometimes, but I rather choose the reliability and speed of the Keysight as this is what I need in 99,99% of all time.

I have on my desk both 3104T with full options and new 6000A Siglent. And Siglent is not slow. U/I is not as fast as Keysight at moments but slow it is not, certainly not sluggish. Certainly not to the point that it would slow me down.
These comparisons start to sound like benchmarking the PCs: even if you can reliably say some PC is 28% faster running some benchmark, what does it mean to me in real life when editing a document in Word?
But as a sidenote: I did try R&S 2000/3000/4000 and Rigols 5000/7000 and I agree with you. Actually, early versions of R&S 3000 series felt slower than DS7000 from Rigol in general. Both felt slow compared to 3000T. I don't know if they made it faster in newer versions of firmware.
But I could have worked with R&S 3000 (it is noticeable, but not that slow that it slows you down, mind you) but it lacked features that 3000T had.

More memory is very important. My biggest complaint on 3000T is how fast sampling rate drops as soon as I start going to slower timebases.
Also there are two school of though (let's say you're looking at rise time of some signal):
- You put shortest possible time on screen, and let scope gather statistics over thousands of triggers. Here Keysight fast retrigger comes in..
- Or (if your scope has enough memory) you capture very long sequence at full sample rate. And you run analysis on ALL the edges inside that buffer. Thousands of those. You get low triggers/seconds, but at every trigger you get statistics worth of 10000 of triggers on other scope.. In the end you get same numbers per second. But there is one benefit: inside that capture, there was NO blind time. So if you have one glitchy edge happening every 10 ms, in one 50 ms long capture  you will have POI of 100%. And not only that, you will be able to see and measure if it is random or periodic.

Therefore : long memory -> useful.

As for reliabilty, that is superb on all mentioned scopes.

As for 12 bit, that is something that is very, very noticeable. If you do analog, you wouldn't want to go back to 8 bit. Trust me. It is addictive as hell.. That thin line that looks like it came fro best analog Tek that let's you see things you didn't see before...

I do agree wholeheartedly that triggering is the key to using the scope. But sometimes it is hard to find what to trigger on. It is easy when you're going for something specific. But, when examining signal for unknowns you might spend some time until you find something of interest and then you can formulate trigger conditions for that.

I will tell you, though, one simple, stupid little thing ( if you look at it superficially, that is ) that changed my life: little hysticons on measurements. That thing is just brilliant. It allows me to not only see signal on the screen, but to better understand what is going on, with one look on the screen.
I would not want to buy another scope that doesn't have that feature, ever... That is something that I miss very, very much on my 3000T.
 
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Offline TheSteve

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2022, 12:11:09 am »
Only Keysight knows if the sales volume is still good enough with all of the current scopes using Megazoom IV . Incentive is likely low to release Megazoom V if sales are still solid.
If they did develop Megazoom V right after the IV they would probably have to redesign it again as the landscape has changed so much with memory, screen resolution, sample bits, etc.

I still find my 3000t a joy to use - but I'd wouldn't say no to more res, bits, memory etc. I will continue to say no to a Siglent, Rigol etc scope though.
VE7FM
 

Online Martin72

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2022, 12:29:07 am »
Siglent are on it´s way to convince "people like you"... ;)
In private, I enjoy working with my siglent scope, there is nothing on the B-Brands side which will come close to it.
But when I´m at work, working with our lecroy waverunner 9054 or hdo6034 scopes...
Makes you bow down, it´s still another world.
And costs min. 10 times more, not to forgotten.

"Comparison is the end of happiness and the beginning of dissatisfaction."
(Kierkegaard)
Siglent SDS800X HD Deep Review
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2022, 12:37:31 am »
Siglent are on it´s way to convince "people like you"... ;)
Well, the Siglent equipment I bought or recommended in the past decade turned out to be a waste of money sooner or later so no thanks. I'm cured.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline 2N3055

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2022, 12:49:11 am »
I still find my 3000t a joy to use - but I'd wouldn't say no to more res, bits, memory etc. I will continue to say no to a Siglent, Rigol etc scope though.

3000T IS a joy to use. And is one of my favorites. And since I owned it for few years now, I know it inside out and am very productive with it. Until I encounter some of the limitations.

But, honestly, SDS6000A is shaping up to be something very, very, good.
It is a LeCroy type of concept though, so people that don't like LeCroy will always complain.

But, nowadays, i started to switch on the SDS6000 first. It used to be 3000T.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2022, 12:56:27 am by 2N3055 »
 

Offline 2N3055

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Re: Where is the Keysight Megazoom V ASIC?
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2022, 12:55:40 am »
Siglent are on it´s way to convince "people like you"... ;)
Well, the Siglent equipment I bought or recommended in the past decade turned out to be a waste of money sooner or later so no thanks. I'm cured.

Yes we know.
Also you think Keysight scopes are unusable because of your experience with long discontinued 7000 series...
You seem to hold the grudge for a long time.
 


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