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New Power Rail Probes Solve Key Measurement Challenges

Ahmed Eisawy, Product Marketing Manager, Probing Solutions

As advanced embedded designs adopt faster clocks and high-speed serial buses, designers across many industries, including automotive, aerospace, medical, industrial, and consumer electronics need to ensure clean power to their processors, ASICs and FPGAs. Simultaneously, the push toward higher power efficiency is driving signal amplitudes lower. Power rail noise from switching (including harmonics), crosstalk, and other sources has become a more significant issue for many of us.

All of these trends point to the importance of carefully measuring and analyzing power rails. To that end, Tektronix is introducing the TPR1000 and TPR4000 power rail probes that combine with the 12-bit 5 or 6 Series MSO mixed signal oscilloscopes to offer the lowest system noise of any power-rail measurement solution available in the market today. The new probes are backed by a complete set of connectors for small, difficult-to-access test points helping to reduce connection frustration

The new TPR1000 and TRP4000 power rail probes combined with a 5 or 6 Series MSO, offer the lowest system noise on the market.


Several factors conspire to make accurate power rail measurements challenging:

  • Noise from the oscilloscope and probe is indistinguishable from the noise and ripple of your DC supply
  • Oscilloscopes often don’t have enough offset to shift DC rails onto the display
  • Low-impedance probes can load down a power rail – changing the way it performs.  But high-impedance, high-attenuation probes tend to be noisy.  The perfect probe would present high resistance to DC but 50 ohms for AC
  • Probes may not have sufficient bandwidth to see GHz noise that can affect high-speed drivers

The new TPR1000 and TPR4000 power rail probes address each of these concerns. The ultra-low noise contribution of the probes helps you measure the noise on your DUT – well below a millivolt.  The probes offer up to 60 V offset, 1 V dynamic range and up to 4 GHz of bandwidth.

They offer connection options to cover most scenarios:

  • Various solder-in tips offer reliable access to hard to reach, sensitive signals with optimal signal resolution at up to 4 GHz
  • For connecting to test points, SMA, MMCX, U.FL and square pins  are included
  • An optional handheld browser makes quick measurements up to 1 GHz

The trends toward more data, faster signals and increased power efficiency are here to stay. Tektronix low-noise oscilloscopes combined with the lowest additive noise provided by these new power rail probes represent the measurement solution you need to ensure clean, noise-free voltage sources in your designs.

Available for order with shipments expected to begin in late March 2019, the 1 GHz TPR1000 and 4 GHz TPR4000 single-ended power rail probes with the TPR4KIT accessory kit are priced at $4,000 and $6,000 respectively.