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Can Your Oscilloscope Capture Elusive Events? Why Waveform Update Rate Matters

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Waveform update rate can be extremely important when evaluating oscilloscopes for purchase. Although this specification is often overlooked, it can have a direct impact on your ability to capture a random and infrequent event which occurs just once in a million occurrences of your signal. There are three reasons why fast update rates are important for today’s oscilloscopes:

1. Scope Performance. If an oscilloscope updates waveforms very slowly, it makes using the oscilloscope very difficult. When you rotate the timebase control, you expect the oscilloscope to respond immediately — not seconds later after the scope has finished processing the data.

2. Detailed Display. A fast waveform update rate can improve the oscilloscope’s display quality to show subtle waveform details such as noise and jitter with display intensity modulation.

3. Glitch Capture. A fast waveform update rate increases the scope’s probability of capturing random and infrequent events in your signal that may be unreliable.


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