Oscilloscope is a widely used time-domain measuring instrument product, mainly used to collect electrical signals in circuits, store and display them, and measure, analyze and process the signals. Its function is to convert electrical signals into visible images. Engineers can observe the waveforms of the amplitudes of various signals changing with time through the oscilloscope, and can also measure various quantities of electricity, such as voltage, current, frequency, phase difference, etc. Those periodic physical processes that can be converted into electrical effects are all It can be observed with an oscilloscope.
According to the different signal processing methods, oscilloscopes are divided into two types: digital oscilloscopes and analog oscilloscopes. At present, digital oscilloscopes are the mainstream in terms of market scale and application scope. According to Imarc's forecast, the global digital oscilloscope market size in 2021 is about 13.5 billion yuan, and is expected to exceed 19 billion yuan in 2027. The industry CAGR from 2021 to 2027 is 5.1%, and the industry growth rate is stable.
The core indicators and main players of digital oscilloscope
For digital oscilloscopes, its core performance indicators include bandwidth, sampling rate and storage depth. Bandwidth refers to inputting a signal with the same amplitude and varying frequency. When the oscilloscope reading is attenuated by 3dB compared to the true value, the frequency at this time is the bandwidth of the oscilloscope. The bandwidth determines the signal frequency range that the oscilloscope can detect. The higher the maximum bandwidth, the higher the highest signal frequency that can be detected. The real-time sampling rate is closely related to the bandwidth, which determines the number of sample points that the oscilloscope ADC can collect in a unit time interval, which directly affects the restoration of the signal waveform. The higher the real-time sampling rate, the faster the sampling speed and the smaller the distortion. The higher the maximum bandwidth and real-time sampling rate, the higher the technical difficulty, the richer the application fields, and the more expensive the product. Memory depth is a measure of how many sample points a digital oscilloscope can store.
In the industry, digital oscilloscopes divide products into three categories: low-end, mid-range and high-end according to their bandwidth. According to international standards, digital oscilloscope products with a maximum bandwidth of less than 1GHz are low-end digital oscilloscope products, accounting for about 40% of the market. They are mainly used in application scenarios that do not require very high test functions and measurement accuracy, such as Education and teaching, research and development, measurement of low frequency circuits, electronic compatibility, power supply and power grids, etc. The main players are Tektronix, Puyuan Jingdian, Dingyang and other manufacturers.
Products with a bandwidth between 1GHz and 10GHz are called mid-end products. These products are mainly used to view signal integrity analysis, eye diagram and jitter analysis, high-speed data acquisition analysis, etc. Production testing such as MIPI, USB Type-C and other medium speed data bus analysis. The market share is about 40%. The main players are Keysight, Tektronix, R&S, LeCroy, NI, Ganges, Anritsu and other manufacturers.
Digital oscilloscopes with bandwidths exceeding 10GHz are called high-end digital oscilloscopes, and are mainly used in high-performance circuit research and development and cutting-edge research, such as high-speed serial bus transceiver research and development, optical communication network physical layer testing, ultra-wideband signal analysis, terahertz systems, and high-end chips. R&D testing, etc. The market share is about 20%. Major manufacturers include Keysight, Tektronix and LeCroy.
Domestic digital oscilloscopes are mainly concentrated in the middle and low end, and there are three barriers
From the perspective of the market structure, overseas manufacturers account for most of the high-end market share, and domestic manufacturers' products are mainly concentrated in the low-bandwidth market. For example, the oscilloscopes of Keysight, LeCroy and Tektronix have the highest sampling rates of 110GHz, 100GHz and 33GHz respectively, while domestic manufacturers' products are mainly concentrated in the low-bandwidth market below 4GHz. At present, the highest frequency band in China is the DS70000 series of Puyuan Jingdian, with a maximum bandwidth of 5GHz. There is a big gap between the oscilloscopes of leading manufacturers at home and abroad in the field of bandwidth. From the perspective of sampling rate indicators, overseas manufacturers still have obvious advantages.
Closely related to the bandwidth is actually the ADC chip, which is responsible for sampling the analog signal at the front end and converting it into a digital signal. It only needs a digital intermediate frequency and then analyzes it. If domestic instruments want to make breakthroughs in the field of high-end oscilloscopes, they must break through three major barriers:
The first is key chips such as ADC. Generally speaking, the upstream suppliers of the electronic measuring instrument industry mainly include various raw material suppliers, including IC chips, diodes, triodes, RCL components, PCB boards and enameled wires. The IC chip is its core material, accounting for nearly 40% of its cost. According to the prospectus of Dingyang Technology and Puyuan Jingdian, among its raw material procurement, IC chips account for the largest proportion, close to 40%; followed by electronic components (diodes, transistors, RLC, etc.) It is 10%, the display screen is about 7%, the structural parts are about 17%, and other materials are about 6%.
The ADC chip is the key to affecting the bandwidth, and its performance will affect the measurable frequency band range of the entire oscilloscope. At present, domestic ADC and DAC products mainly purchase ADI and TI products. But in fact, many manufacturers of ADCs for oscilloscope products with bandwidths above 2 GHz will make their own. For example, among the global manufacturers of oscilloscopes, there are five that can be developed by themselves. Keysight, Tektronix, LeCroy, R&S and Puyuan Precision Electricity is self-developed. Other manufacturers basically buy from external sources, and there are few high-end products from ADC brands. Therefore, if you want to go high-end, the demand for self-developed ADCs is still relatively high.
The second is the computing power of the digital intermediate frequency, that is, computing power, including real-time performance. The so-called real-time performance is because as the sampling rate is higher, the sampling speed is larger, so the amount of data obtained per unit time is larger. In order to keep the dead time of the oscilloscope itself from being too long, the dead time is equivalent to the period of time during which it is collected and then analyzed. The instrument does not collect, which is called dead time. The longer the time, the more data that cannot be collected. If you want to make the acquisition time as short as possible, the speed and intermediate frequency of the oscilloscope will require relatively high processing power, so this is also a point that needs to be broken through. This requires the support of processors such as CPU, GPU, FGPA, and DSP. Instruments in the frequency domain, and circuits such as crystal oscillators, mixers, or mixers. Because the oscilloscope is like a broadcast, it needs to mix a certain frequency band for analysis, and it also has requirements for the analysis bandwidth. The bandwidth is limited by the intermediate frequency, that is, by the FPGA, so the R&D performance of the entire FPGA, including the parameters and performance of the DSP, including their algorithms. This domestic start is relatively late.
The third is software. The oscilloscope itself has relatively many applications in the industry, so the introduction of software licenses, such as measuring high-level USB, serial or parallel digital processing signals, etc., requires software to assist customers in measurement. This piece also requires the oscilloscope manufacturer to carry out software research and development.
At present, domestic manufacturers also have some layouts in terms of software, and the basic license can be done well, such as serial bus analysis such as USB. However, compared with foreign manufacturers, the software coverage may be relatively low. For example, compared with Keysight, there are 30 to 40 kinds of software for an oscilloscope of Keysight, and only 10 of Dingyang and Puyuan. Kind, still much worse. The software is made according to the market demand, so if the scope of application of the oscilloscope is wider, the types of software will be more abundant.
Of course, customers can also write their own software without the original software, but they need to understand programming, and also need the oscilloscope manufacturer to open the core in the oscilloscope for customers to use. However, if the customer does not have the ability to write software by himself, he needs to rely on the software proposed by the original manufacturer, including the platform of the software.
In fact, in recent years, the representative manufacturers of domestic oscilloscopes, Puyuan Jingdian and Dingyang Technology, have significantly increased their market share in the field of oscilloscopes. 2.7%, Dingyang Technology's global market share of digital oscilloscopes will increase from 0.9% in 2017 to 1.4% in 2020. It can be seen that the penetration rate of domestic digital oscilloscopes is rapidly increasing.