Tektronix adds Java set-up to scope line

Tektronix adds Java set-up to scope line
Steve Bush Test equipment maker Tektronix is adding a Java virtual machine into its oscilloscopes to enable custom set-ups to be downloaded without risking internal software. “We chose Java because it provides a firewall, separating the instrument’s own software and calibration data from any customisation programmes that the user adds,” said Tom Brinkoetter, a man-machine interface specialist at Tektronix. Custom set-ups are becoming an important differentiator in the oscilloscope market. There are several well known operators making high-end scopes including Tektronix, HP, Hitachi and Le Croy. All produce good quality products at several price points so factors such as ease of use are becoming important selling features. “Java technology will enable us to deliver application-specific measurement functions quickly, without the customer having to buy new hardware,” said Brinkoetter. “We are trying to remove the need for a scope user to be an expert in the operating of oscilloscopes.” He argues that someone developing a disk-drive shouldn’t have to know what set-up is required to measure a familiar parameter like track access time. They should be presented with a push button marked ‘Measure Access Time’ and have that and associated parameters displayed automatically. Java will first be introduced in the Tektronix TDS700 range of oscilloscopes.


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