PicoScope 9404-05, 4-Channel Sampler-Extended Real-Time Oscilloscope (SXRTO)

Item number: PQ181

  • 5GHz bandwidth, 70ps transition time
  • 1TS/s (1 ps) equivalent-time sampling
  • Four 12-bit 500MS/s ADCs
  • Pulse, eye and mask testing to 70ps and 3Gb/s
  • Up to 2 million triggered captures per second
  • Logical, configurable and touch-compatible Windows user interface
  • Comprehensive built-in measurements, zooms, data masks and histograms

Category: Pico RF Products and Accessories

13.275,00 €

Excluding 19% VAT.

Delivery status: ca. 1 week

Shipping time: 7 workdays


PicoScope 9404-05, 4-Channel Sampler-Extended Real-Time Oscilloscope (SXRTO)

The PicoScope 9404-05 is the first of its kind: a sampler-extended real-time oscilloscope (SXRTO). It's as easy to use as a real-time scope but gives you a choice of real-time or equivalent-time sampling.

  • 5GHz bandwidth, 70ps transition time
  • 1TS/s (1 ps) equivalent-time sampling
  • optional 5Gb/s clock recovery
  • Four 12-bit 500MS/s ADCs
  • Pulse, eye and mask testing to 70ps and 3Gb/s
  • Up to 2 million triggered captures per second
  • Logical, configurable and touch-compatible Windows user interface

Comprehensive built-in measurements, zooms, data masks and histograms


Typical applications:

  • Telecom and radar test, service and manufacturing
  • Optical fiber, transceiver and laser testing (optical to electrical conversion not included)
  • RF, microwave and gigabit digital system measurements
  • Signal, eye, pulse and impulse characterization
  • Precision timing and phase analysis
  • Digital system design and characterization
  • Eye diagram, mask and limits test to 3Gb/s
  • Clock and data recovery at up to 8Gb/s
  • Ethernet, HDMI 1, PCI, SATA, USB 2.0
  • Semiconductor characterization
  • Signal, data and pulse/impulse integrity and pre-compliance testing


Download for further details:

SXRTO explained:

The real-time oscilloscope
Real-time oscilloscopes (RTOs) are designed with a high enough sampling rate to capture a transient, non-repetitive signal with the instrument's specified analog bandwidth. According to Nyquist's sampling theorem, for accurate capture and display of the signal the scope's sampling rate must be at least twice the signal bandwidth. Typical high-bandwidth RTOs exceed this sampling rate by perhaps a factor of two, achieving up to four samples per cycle, or three samples in a minimum-width impulse.



Equivalent-time sampling
For signals close to or above the RTO's Nyquist limit, many RTOs can switch to a mode called equivalent-time sampling (ETS). In this mode the scope collects as many samples as it can after a trigger event, and then continues to collect samples on subsequent trigger events. Because the scope’s sampling clock is independent of the trigger event, each trigger has a random time offset relative to the scope's clock. The scope measures this offset and displays the samples at their correct times. After a large number of trigger events the scope has enough samples to display the waveform with the desired time resolution, called the effective sampling resolution (the inverse of the effective sampling rate), which is many times higher than is possible in real-time (non-ETS) mode. As this technique relies on a random relationship between trigger events and the sampling clock, it is more correctly called random equivalent-time sampling (or sometimes random interleaved sampling, RIS). It can only be used for repetitive signals – those that vary little from one trigger event to the next.

Uniquely, the PicoScope 9404 SXRTO has a maximum effective sampling rate in ETS of 1 TS/s. This corresponds to a timing resolution of only 1 ps, 20,000x higher than its actual maximum sampling rate.

The sampler-extended real-time oscilloscope (SXRTO)
Now that we have a technique (ETS) for extending the sampling rate of a real-time oscilloscope, we find that we can achieve an effective sampling rate far higher than is needed to match the instrument’s analog bandwidth. In order to make better use of these high effective sampling rates, we can increase the analog bandwidth of the scope. Pico has developed a way to achieve this at a moderate cost, compared to the very high cost of increasing the real-time sampling rate. The result is the sampler-extended real-time oscilloscope (SXRTO).



The PicoScope 9404-05 SXRTO has an analog bandwidth of 5 GHz. This means that it requires a sampling rate of at least 10 GS/s, but for an accurate reconstruction of wave shape without interpolation, we need far higher than this. The 9404 gives us 200 sample points in a single cycle at 5 GHz and 140 points in a minimum-width impulse.


So is the SXRTO a sampling scope?
All this talk of sampling rates and sampling modes may suggest that the SXRTO is a type of sampling scope, but this is not the case. The name sampling scope, by convention, refers to a different kind of instrument. A sampling scope uses a programmable delay generator to take samples at regular intervals after each trigger event. The technique is called sequential equivalent-time sampling and is the principle behind the PicoScope 9300 Series sampling scopes. These scopes can achieve very high effective sampling rates but have two main drawbacks: they cannot capture data before the trigger event, and they require a separate clock signal – either from an external source or from a built-in clock-recovery module 

We've compiled a table to show the differences between the types of scopes mentioned on this page.
The example products are all compact, 4-channel, USB PicoScopes:

Real-time scope:


Sampling scope: 










Analog bandwidth:







Real-time sampling?:




Sequential equivalent-time sampling?:




Random equivalent-time sampling?:






Trigger on input channel?:




Yes, but only to 100MHz bandwidth -  requires external trigger or internal clock recovery option

Pretrigger capture?:




Vertical resolution:

8 bits

12 bits

16 bits

 * Higher-bandwidth real-time oscilloscopes are available from other manufacturers. For example, a 16 GHz analog bandwidth, 80 GS/s, 8 bit sampling model is available for a $119,500 starting price.

This USB controlled instrument is supplied with PicoSample 4 software. The touch compatible GUI supports set up of the instrument and presents waveforms, measurements and statistics on the user preferred size and format of display.  This includes full support for Hi Resolution monitors and projection, for example 4k.  Up to four independent zoomed trace views can be used to examine the waveform details.

A wide range of automated and user-configurable signal integrity measurements, mathematics, statistical views and limits test facilities are included for validation and trending of pulse and timing performance, jitter, RZ & NRZ eye diagrams. Industry-standard communications mask tests such as PCIe, GB Ethernet and Serial ATA are included as standard. 

While most users will use the PicoSample 4 software in their workplace, for OEM and custom applications the PicoScope 9404 can operate under ActiveX remote control. Programming examples are provided in Visual Basic (VB.NET), MATLAB and LabVIEW, but any programming language or standard that supports the Windows COM interface standard, including JavaScript and C, can be used. 

PicoConnect™ 900 Series gigabit and microwave passive test probes are recommended for use with the 9404, offering a range of bandwidths, coupling types and division ratios for diverse applications.  The PicoScope 9404 has an active SMA interface to support future configurations and accessories on this new product architecture. 

resolution: 16 bit
channels: 2-channel
band width: 20 GHz

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