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Exclusive Interview- How Rohde & Schwarz Made Once-In-A-Decade Engineering Breakthrough in the Oscilloscope Business?

Samuel-LurBringing along a legacy of more than eight (8) decades, Rohde & Schwarz today is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of information and communications technology products for professional users. It has been driving innovation in RF engineering and RF applications in Test & Measurement, Radio communications, Broadcasting, and Monitoring & Network testing. Rohde & Schwarz has made substantial investments in future technologies such as artificial intelligence, the industrial internet of things (IIoT), 6G, cloud solutions, and quantum technology. The company recently made a once-in-a-decade engineering breakthrough in the oscilloscope business with its new MXO 4 oscilloscope series. In a face-to-face meeting with Nitisha Dubey, Samuel Lur, General Manager, Rohde & Schwarz Regional Headquarters Singapore shares key facets of this new-gen oscilloscope and how it plans to nurture innovations for modern engineers with its innovative range of testing equipment. Edited Excerpts Below.

Rohde & Schwarz have continued to roll out new oscilloscopes since their entrance into the market 10 years ago. What is the motivation behind it?

Rohde & Schwarz has 90 years of history, with Test & Measurement being our biggest business field, largely driven by our market-leading solutions for RF testing. To meet the needs of our customers in the non-RF time domain side, we had to enter the market.

Zoom into 15 years ago, our experts assessed solutions and incumbent oscilloscope brands that have been around for 30 years. Entering this red ocean meant that Rohde & Schwarz needed to innovate beyond the existing solutions.

We leveraged our expertise in RF technology to incorporate features into the time domain solutions, listened closely to the voice of the engineers, and heavily invested in R&D. The market reception and successful journey so far has given us strong confidence to address the needs of customers in this time domain market. Today Rohde & Schwarz has a vast portfolio for every engineer. The long-term goal is to provide the right scope to every engineer not only for wide but also deep applications.

Kindly elaborate on the role of Rohde & Schwarz in nurturing innovation with its range of oscilloscopes.

The evolution of technology is driven by engineers’ very pragmatic needs. Our breakthrough in today’s competitive market, comes from the integration of our own performance-range ASIC chip in the R&S®MXO 4.

As a privately-owned company, Rohde & Schwarz has the unique advantage among our competitors of making long-term investments to benefit the market. Our steady investments in ASIC, Pre-Amp, and FPGA lay down the fundamental technology blocks that will continue to enable R&S to redefine modern digital oscilloscopes starting in 2010 with RTO1000 series. Overall this approach has served us well and we will continue to invest our R&D efforts and innovation in the oscilloscope space.

Rohde & Schwarz claims that its MXO 4 oscilloscope series helps users not only capture more signals but also measure them more accurately. Kindly tell our readers about the value and performance it delivers. 

R&S®MXO 4 has the industry’s fastest update rate – over 4.5 million acquisitions per second. Acquiring a high number of waveforms in a short time, increases the likelihood of detecting and displaying signal faults that would otherwise have been missed by other oscilloscopes with lower acquisition speed. For engineers, generating trustworthy statistical results is crucial for quickly understanding electronic circuits.

Memory depth is also an important factor for oscilloscopes. The R&S®MXO 4 provides simultaneous standard acquisition memory of 400 Mpts (million points) on all four channels and an optional 800 Mpts interleaved. This is up to 100 times the standard memory of its leading competitor. Deep memory enables longer time captures at full sample rate and bandwidth even with slower timebase settings.

With high vertical resolution (12-bit at all sample rates and 18-bit with HD mode), even the smallest signal details are visible and measurable. This is especially important in applications such as power measurements.

The R&S®MXO 4 Series is said to have achieved a once-in-a-decade engineering breakthrough, hence the price must be paramount; how competitive has the price kept given the competitiveness in today’s market?

MXO-OscilloscopeThe R&S®MXO 4 oscilloscope delivers on performance with the fastest update rate, deepest memory and highest vertical resolution. With high precision triggers, spectrum analysis capability, a great user interface and very competitive price, we strongly believe that it delivers the best value in its class for engineers today.

Key sectors which have been driving the growth of the oscilloscope market and the emerging markets?

Last few years, there was a pandemic and everybody was at home dependent on video calls and online meetings which brought an emergence towards more bandwidth. In these times, digitalization and big servers were the requirements. To have high speed we need servers delivering high performance and power. Hence more power measurement became a challenge for these servers. Power has been everywhere and it is set to grow on par the need for green energy is also growing. So, when we make oscilloscopes, we also cater to this part of engineering.

Samuel, you have been in a leadership role for Rohde & Schwarz Singapore for years. Being one of the Industry stalwarts, kindly share with our young engineers, startups, hobbyists, etc. the key mantra to success and the act to improve work-life balance.

I like the quote: “Without curiosity, there will never be innovation”. In 1938, curiosity and innovation led Rohde & Schwarz’s founders to invent the first portable crystal clock. Today, this same programming is present in our young engineers who make ideas real with their passion for innovation and engineering. This led them to make technology breakthroughs in the performance and value of the new R&S MXO4. As a company, we believe that holistic balance has a positive impact on our people’s ideas and productivity, and we fully support them with flexibility and trust to find this optimal balance. As much of the working culture depends on the company, my advice to engineers is to actively look for jobs in organizations that support curiosity, innovation, and balance.


Nitisha Dubey

I am a Journalist with a post graduate degree in Journalism & Mass Communication. I love reading non-fiction books, exploring different destinations and varieties of cuisines. Biographies and historical movies are few favourites.

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