The world's fastest oscilloscope, the Rohde & Schwarz MXO4 teardown!
Wow, this is an impressive beast in more ways than one.
Teardown photos:
Unboxing and testing:
00:00 - Rohde & Schwarz MXO4 The world's fastest oscilloscope
00:55 - The handle doesn't cut the mustard these days
02:02 - The production flap
03:54 - ALL scopes should use this power connection!
04:32 - This is gorgeous, and it just gets better.
06:38 - Look at it! Look at it!
08:14 - RF goodness
08:35 - Dual 100MHz Arb generator
08:54 - Best probe interface solution ever
09:55 - The world's best low noise fan?
10:53 - Main PCB
13:17 - Inside the front end RF can
19:48 - The MXO4-EP ASIC
21:30 - External trigger system
22:43 - $3300 12bit ADC
23:29 - The $3400 Xilinx Zynq FPGA and applications processor.
26:08 - I'm now uploading videos natively on Twitter
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#ElectronicsCreators #Oscilloscope #Teardown

Hi, it's tear down time again. We've got this: Beast the Rhoden Schwartz Mx04 series. The world's fastest oscilloscope. I've already done an unboxing and uh, first testing of this scope.

So I'll link that in. uh, down below if you haven't seen it. but you know, say here on the Eev blog, don't turn it on. Take it apart Inglorious 4K Resolution Ah hi to all my Romanian viewers.

Beauty So on the back looks like we've got four big ass screws here and a giant fan in this thing. it is whisper quiet. I'm telling you, the most underrated feature of any benchtop Uh, test equipment is a quiet fan and oh, it's just dead beautiful. It looks like I've got some screws on the uh handle as well, but apart from that should pop off.

but uh yeah, there'll be a metal can inside here no doubt. or 1.5 gig bandwidth 12-bit ADC of it. Ah, thing of beauty Joy forever that gonna pop off. Not without a fight.

Here we go. Well, that didn't help at all actually. Um, so I'm not sure what the deal is there we go, but that's I Expected metal there I Expected more bang for my buck. Aha gotcha! and I'll tell you what I didn't know these legs extended.

Isn't that neat? I've been using it. um in but it hasn't fallen over yet so I took a nice touch. Wow, Oh this is the best part. Oh oh, look at that.

Prepare to be underwhelmed unless you're your metal case. Aficionado There you go. Well that is shielded. Um I don't actually know why they've got these giant cutouts here like this.

Not sure what the deal is, they've already got the uh. great there for the um. all the air vents on the side so not sure what that's doing. but damn there's a lot of shielding on this sucker.

It's an extra bit of metal there that goes under I Wonder what that's doing? Let's have a look that actually slides off. Aha, that is a USB interface. Um, and that'd be the LCD but there's like a USB cable as this so that you can get easy access for like, Well, you can do the firmware upgrade in either firmware upgrade is really nice on this. You can do it uh, via USB stick or you can do it uh, via the network.

Yeah, that's just a micro b Um, some reason to access I will have to see where that goes, but there's some reason to access that after the case after all the metal work is on. Oh, that's reveal time. Here we go to watch yourself. You know, cut yourself on the sharp edges and whatnot.

Oh okay, looks like I do have to get that USB out. Looks like we're gonna have to get these cables out first though, but that is, uh, that is terrific. Maybe that's why. maybe that's just an assembly thing at the end rather than uh, having to access programming or something.

Yep, that's the reason that they have. that cut out is just for easy. Cable Management Very nice. Let's see the PCB Oh, we've been mooned.

We've been mooned. We've got just the bottom side of it. but oh beautiful. It's going to say are these metal cans on the other side of here? It's like there I've now I Haven't seen like silk screen like that on the bottom without it being associated with like a metal can on the top.
But obviously this is probably the main. Um, you know the main. Asic that's uh, that's doing all the uh Magic Inside this thing got a die cast alloy. Look at that die cast alloy block.

Oh beautiful. Oh, look at those power connections. Seriously, that's pornographic demonetized. Well, yep, that has well and truly set the Benchmark for oscilloscope power connections 12 volts and that's it.

Now that Molex connector. rubbish or anything like that. No, oh, it's beautiful. Um, a shake proof, washer, crimp screw PCB Mount terminals.

Ah, thing of beauty, it's Joy Forever Behold the Wonka mobile thing of beauty is a joy. Forever places most religiously designed and constructed oscilloscope I've ever torn down and it just gets better, right? I Mentioned the die-cast alloy. um, cast alloy here. Um, like front end shielding block.

But then we've got the uh Beautiful Probe PCB here with a surface mount board to board interconnect there so that's like it's just beautifully the way they've done that and then screwed that into the die-cast case. It's absolutely fantastic and then. but look at this. Look at this.

All of the logic analyzer inputs are on one board here. and the test signals and uh oh, Pat and Jen sorry and the test signal up here and the USB interfaces are on these two gorgeous boards connected. and we've got RFI strips here and here as well. And they're actually connected through to a PCI like uh, board to board in.

Connect there and they're screwed together with this huge custom metal plate here with massive screws and shielding and everything else that is just oh brings a tear to the eye. Brilliant hats off to whoever has done this. Absolutely fantastic. And then we've got a shielded block it down here.

That's all of our way for arbitrary waveform dual. Channel job in a single Channel Rubbish, by the way. Uh, this might be an early release one. I'm not sure if it's I don't think it's quite pre-production but this one is one of their showroom.

um, early showroom instruments. Uh, before release. So yeah, our date of 2021 on there 21st of the 10th 2021 when this PCB was designed. So they had this board locked down for a solid year.

It just you know, refining it, working on the and everything else, the software and the firmware and operation oil and whatnot by the looks of it. So yeah. wow. they're ending The Skunk works for a long time.

Look at it. Look at it. Look at it. Look at it.

Just gorgeous. Oh, there's a button I can push it's other really nice touches on this board. Check out the layout of this: International Rectifier DC to DC converter that is a tight as layout. Look at it.

it's just beautiful. And it's 45 degrees so all the electrons are going to come out the right way and then above that we've got another one. Look at that. Ah, beautiful.
Whoever laid out this board takes pride in their work and they know what they're doing. They're our 10 megahertz in and out and uh, external trigger well to see all the goodness. Uh, we're gonna have to take all this off and to access the power supply as well. I Think that's the first time I've ever seen that where I've got to take uh, the main board out in order to get to the power supply under here and even the fans.

So yeah, that's just an interesting note. They've got it. you know, totally backwards to the way everyone else does it. but it's brilliant.

Look at the beautiful attention to detail on the metal work and all the grass helmets and the cable clamps here. And of course that cut that dedicated uh, production cut out we saw in there and then we've got a dedicated Shield enclosure once again with um RFI uh conductive foam there to go against the connectors to ensure a beautiful seal. and this is all that. This has got a insulating sheet on it as well.

Oh beautiful, it's got more. RFI sponge here. Ah, they love the stuff. Then again, that's not a surprising considering Rodent Schwarzer.

Basically, you know one of the if not the Rfr company and that's why this thing has the best and fastest Spectrum analyzer built into any scope. So yeah, they just know this stuff in the RF domain and there's the bottom side load of our dual ARB waveform gen. so not much doing there, just uh, maybe regulation and other miscellaneous stuff. But yeah, all the interesting stuffs on the top side, but that'll just be like a an Uh Fpga or an Asic oh best probe interface solution ever I Deem that anything on the bottom? got a few itty bitty Parts on the bottom there.

wow I can't even see them look at it. look at it. Die Cast Alloy Oh oh, it's got a port. Ah, found out what the USB was touching a face.

Okay, the board ain't budging. I think this is, uh, screwed down here I have to take off the standoffs. from there, they might be screwing down into a standoff on the chassis actually. I don't have to take the ones on the side off I think I can.

just yeah I can just lift it off. Oh, look, look at it. Look at it. Beautiful.

Will it lift out? Oh yeah, Oh yeah. look at that. Oh what a Bobby Tesla Oh I'll show you up close soon. but oh wow, look at the inside of that beautiful and well yeah, it looks like the world's fastest oscilloscope and the world's best designed and assembled oscilloscope has got the world's lowest noise fan.

Haven't looked up the data sheet. This is a noise blocker nbe Loop Oh, you have to put up the data sheet for that one. I'm sure it's a Bobby Dazzler I'm sure it costs an absolute fortune and little rubber baby buggy bumper compliant Mount As well. look look at the compliant Mount look oh, play with that all day.
So I haven't even looked up the brochure for this data sheet for this fan. But yeah, you can see like it's got the edges on this and it's got slightly, uh, like scalloped edges on it as well. This is all to reduce the fan noise. Oh my.

God Oh, frame rate. it's going backwards. This is so utterly pornographic. They should be charging a subscription on only fans.

Well, it turns out that actually none of these uh, devices which, uh, have the this is actually uh, silver. This isn't silk screen. it's actually um, silver plated. uh board.

I've done, uh. the previous videos on that. Turns out none of those are actually shielded. although they've put, um, the ability for like for them to be shielded.

You can see like shielded cans can actually go over that, But they put in the design stage and went yeah, we don't need that. So obviously what we've got going on here, you've got your four front ends. You've got two ADC chips I think it is shared. so yeah, that's common in all designs.

so I don't know if that is a dual ADC or it's a single ADC and then it's got a mux in there I can't actually uh, remember and this is the new Bad Boy Asic that's responsible for uh, the world's fastest updating scope and obviously, um, F Pgae applications processory thing over here. Whatever it is, they're using uh, clock Gen in there. It's a dead giveaway when you've got a couple of oscillators in there that'll be like a uh PLL like a clock uh Gen for all the sampling. so that'll be doing all that.

And here is our sampling memory. Huge amount, can't remember what, but definitely let that be top of the Uh line. It's interesting that it's got like six of them and sort of like these four seem to be physically arranged together. we'd have to check the size of that and then it's got like two separate ones over here.

so that might be doing holding Um for some other holding waveforms and stuff for other uh processing functions of the separate Fft or something. Don't know there it is nude without the heatsinks or the shields. I Left that heatsink on because it's exactly the same ADC over here that's a TI 12-bit uh Joby so that's not a Rhoden Schwartz ADC But here's the main magic Asic that makes it all possible. the four million way for four and a half million waveform updates per second.

um, and xylink zinc yet again. uh, winner and uh, let's look at the front end looks really nice and our waveform gen's over here I've taken as always high-res tear down photos available over on on my which links to my Flickr account and uh, you can see those but let's go through it quickly. Uh, you've got to love taking off RF metal cans I'll get back to you. come on.

Oh, look at that. look at that Got it? Oh that little Port there just for the external trigger input. but look at that. For all you RF aficionados, there's the backside in Glorious 4K But uh, high-res photos over on EV zooming in because I can Oh, look at those isolation slots 4K Front end Beautiful.
All right. let's do a quick look at the analog front end here. I've got the top side of the board here and I've got the bottom side which I have flipped horizontally so that everything matches up. So what we've got here is our BNC input here and this shielded uh can here this is another relay under there I'm not sure if it's the exact same one as that looks similar, but anyway, that one's shielded because it's right at the front end.

Remember, this is 1.5 gig bandwidth on the 50 ohm termination side. On the one Meg side, it's 750 megahertz. Now this is all very interesting, right? We've got multiple paths, we've got pars going out here. whoa, and here.

And we've got Parts going through here like this through to the variable gain amplifier which is a rodent. Schwartz Uh Joby We don't know. it says R Us I guess that's Rhoden Schwartz Um, if you you have any info on that, please leave it down below. Are they re-badging someone else's I Don't know, but it'd be a one and a half gig bandwidth programmable gain amp.

So yeah, very impressive. Okay, so our BNC input comes in here and then we're basically switching it like this. and then we've got our 50 ohm path. Like this goes into this.

uh, relay. We'll take a look at the data sheet in a minute and then it looks like this second relay here splits it into two different paths. there. That one has some sort of amplifier or some sort of buffer in there.

Something like that. Um, I don't know. you want to decode that part, knock yourself out, but the other input goes here. so these two would be different attenuation paths.

So this is the full one and a half gig bandwidth part here. I Don't know where the 50 ohm Terminators are like the actual 50 Ohm termination resistor I Don't know. But anyway, let's have a look at these Axi com relays here. The these are exactly what you'd expect.

These are RF signal relays DC to three gig bandwidth. They've got 50 ohm impedance and exactly what you want. Sure enough, there it is there measurement and test equipment. Um, so yeah there it is.

a nice RF signal relay Uh, three gig bandwidth and does 50 watt power handling. but we're talking signal here. So yeah, no workers, exactly what you want and then this other relay here. this is a different one because remember this is only 750 Meg bandwidth part.

This is all part of the one megahertz bandwidth Channel And sure enough, this is just a signal relay. It's not an RF uh relay as such. so it's not, you know, 50 Ohm impedance. Uh, controlled everything else because all of this is the one Mega Ohm Channel And if we have a look on the bottom side there, Bingo, there's our one Meg input uh resistor there.
There's our AC coupling cap. This is our solid state relay here. which, uh, switches your AC DC coupling and then it splits it into basically uh, two different parts here. One goes through here like this, another then curiously splits like that.

So they're not using the relay to switch that, they're just using different paths like that. And of course, these are the capacitors. Here are the coupling for the resistors on the top side here. so these will just have different attenuation ranges.

So this is what you get when you hear the relays click, when you change the vertical attenuation setting, it's switching a different path in there for different attenuation front-end attenuation settings, and then the program bull Gain Amp does the rest there. So, and that'll do software bandwidth limiting inside, uh, there as well. So let's load out a super secret uh, Analog Frontier 1.5 gig bandwidth Pretty. Schmick Now you might be wondering what's the deal with these uh slots.

Here are these for high voltage isolation which is what you're doing? We see, no. these are four. uh, not for clearance, but what's called creepage and I've done videos on this. You don't want any contamination on the boards actually.

you know, causing coupling between the channels because when you're talking about 750 Meg bandwidth like this, you know they've gone to town just to make sure they're just reducing the coupling between hits and there is some reduction in there in capacitance as well. But yeah, basically you know you want to stop, the board gets contaminated or anything. You just want to minimize your capacitance across all these channels. so that's really nice.

And they got the isolation slots under the relay there too. They didn't bother with the 50 ohm pars here because, uh, the capacitance or leakage between channels in the 50 ohm low impedance path doesn't really matter because it's 50 home impedance and all this stuff down here. this would all be. uh, offset control for vertical offset range I Think it has a phenomenal offset range, doesn't it? If memory serves me correctly.

And of course, over here we have the old school R595 shift register for driving various stuff and you find it in every scope. It's absolutely amazing. Anyway, it looks like we have a differential amp here and it looks like this is some sort of differential driver. Perhaps it looks like that's just driving the high impedance lines.

You can see those over on this side here. these are the control impedance differential lines which bugger off to the Adcs up there. So yeah, are they are they like discrete? Parts Maybe they may be like a discrete transistor. uh, differential amp? perhaps? I Don't know.

and all the rest of it's just miscellaneous housekeeping stuff so we won't bore ourselves with that. But yeah. nice front end implementation. and when you're paying for it, of course, and this is where the magic happens, this is their new uh XP um for extra performance.
Um Asic the Mx04 Asic and it's responsible for the four and a half million waveform updates per second industry leading. and it would also do the uh digital triggering because it's got one of the world's best digital triggering systems in it as well. so that's really remarkable. So yeah, that'd all be being done inside.

Um that? Asic So they've been in working on that for donkeys years. I'm sure. Now the memory up here. Um, as I said, look at how they group things when you're looking at Pcbs because the PCB designer usually groups functional blocks together.

so the fact that there's a bigger space between here tells me that these are functionally a different block to what these are doing. That'd be my guess anyway. I'd love to have that uh, confirmed. but I don't think it's any coincidence that they're You know this in these gaps here are even and these ones aren't So my guess is sample memory and then something else.

I Don't know. Fft digital analogic analyzer and you know stuff like that? Um, so yeah. I've decoded the part number here and we can go over there. that's actually a micron.

uh, eight gig bit. so that would give four gig bytes sample. but because this is a 12 bit ADC we can't just store it in one bite so it's got to be uh yeah, it's I need at least two bytes to store each uh sample in there and this has got 400 Meg samples. So yeah, there's plenty of that and they have to do waveform storage and everything else so there's more than enough memory in there, that's for sure.

So what? What we've got here is the external trigger system. Now that uh, digit that superb digital trigger system, they're really sensitive one. I told you about. It's not just for the external trigger, it's for the analog uh ones as well.

So that's done. Inside the Asic and in here you can see the controlled impedance Trace There that's the one and a half gig bandwidth going up to the ADC up here. Um yeah, so this is just another 595 and there's an Analog Devices are comparator down there I won't look at that. but look, they've got the uh, nice, uh.

creepy slots. Again, very nice. So they're just switching in different paths there and just the top side of that digital trigger. under my head there is the BNC input.

Once again, we've got ourselves a solid state. uh. relay there. uh to switch the AC coupling one Meg input impedance? Then they've just got the parts going through there.

Uh, what's over here? It's a TI Jobby I Don't know. like not too fast. Don't know what this contamination here in this board is. That's rather interesting in it's on the other side too.

So I'm not sure what happened there once again. I Don't think this is actually a production unit so I'm not sure what's going on. but anyway. interesting.
Some Engineers spilled their coffee. Maybe there's our ADC Isn't that sweet? It's a TI Jobby. There's no uh, custom Road and Schwartz here. Um, let's go to the videotape.

As I said, these are controlled impedance traces coming in here. one and a half gig bandwidth a pop. So let's have a look so you can either implement it as a single Channel or a dual channel here depending on the bandwidth. 6.4 gig sample second or 3.2 uh dual channels.

and that's more than enough for the five gig samples per second on two channels or a two and a half gig on the one. No worries, and that's got an eight gig bandwidth, a usable input frequency range greater than 10 gig. So I wonder how much that thing costs? I I Don't even want to check. Only draw three Watts That's all right.

And the applications process is that xyling Zinc. We just see it everywhere. Ultra Scale Jobby and you can look at that individual part number. compare it with different oscilloscopes I've done, couldn't be bothered.

So I think zinc like they win. Practically every Um oscilloscope, almost every name, name an oscilloscope I've torn down in the last five years. It doesn't have a Xilinx some variation of the xylin zinc in it. Obviously, this is probably going to be one of the bestiest, uh ones because this sucker is really quick, but of course all the grunt work is done in that custom.

Asic So yeah, that's a combination of uh, Fpga of course, but it's got the arm core like multiple arm cores doing their um thingy. unit price? Um, three thousand dollars, one off, no stock? Gosh darn it. Rune Schwartz Baltimore Yeah, down here it says it's got a quad Um Cortex core, dual Arm Cortex R5 with core side and an arm Mali as well. How many bloody cores is that unboxing coming on one end? Quick look at the arbitrary waveform generator here: I Expected.

like some sort of little Cpld or Asic under here, but uh, we don't so that must be handled by the uh, Zinc maybe. or maybe the Mx04 async? Not sure. but anyway, there's a TI DAC there won't look up details more 595s. they're everywhere.

Another little DAC here, so that'll be maybe doing some offset or something like that. So yeah, this is dual. You can see the path going out there. so this is the main dual DAC for doing that.

Um, yeah, but there's no Associated logic with that. anyway. lots of relay, switch in and then you've got your 50 ohm output impedance and you've got all sorts of stuff. So but yeah, that is.

um, dual 100 megahertz bandwidth not only 20 meg. Rubbish. And here's some power supply stuff down here. This is where this is the inputs down here.

the 12 volt inputs and uh oh, look at that. Mill Oh the Hotmail Fanboys Go wild. Oh wow I wonder what that button does I might have to try it anyway. How cool is that? That is one Beast of a board I Can't go over every single detail as I said high-res photos over on EV Check it out.
but yeah, hats off to Rhoden Schwartz This is one of the best uh design and built Scopes I've seen it'd want to be. It's pretty pricey, starts at about eight, seven and seven thousand U.S something like that and goes up depending on your options, but the world's fastest oscilloscope. It's absolutely nuts. So I'm the only issue I have with the tear down is the plastic handle.

even our cigarette doing metal handles Now come on anyway. I hope you enjoyed that video, found it interesting and useful. If you did, please give it a big thumbs up. As always, discuss down below our and by the way I'm now uploading all of my videos natively on Twitter so if you want to watch them over there, can't upload this in 4k on there because they're only doing 720ps.

They're recommended they do the 1080 but yeah, you know they recommend 720 but I uploading videos natively there now so hope to get subscription system up and running soon. They haven't approved me yet anyway. it'll eventually come catch you next time. Foreign, foreign,.

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17 thoughts on “Eevblog 1545 – r s mxo4 teardown. the world’s fastest oscilloscope!”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Fabrizio Brutti says:

    Nice but ahhhhhh you didn't show the PSUuuuuu😮😂

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tibor Gáts says:

    "The World's Fastest"??? So, in your fantasy a Keysight (Agilent) UXR1104A (110 GHz, 256 GSa/s) is slower than this one?

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars floodo1 says:

    Not sure which is more pornographic: the scope or Dave’s love for it (-8

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars ExplodingWaffle101 says:

    is that the ill-fated dual link type b hdmi they used on the logic analyser? that port should count itself lucky 😂

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bernd Felsche says:

    But can you play Doom on it?

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars georgian- marian cetacli says:

    Romanian electronics engineer here! Thanks Dave for pointing it out! I will research exactly where (at what plant in Romania) was made and make it public!

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars infango says:

    noiseblocker fan .. impressive !!

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars shoppy Infrastructure says:

    Ieeeei Romania!

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Erik den Houter says:

    Started to look for a helicopter pad on that lay-out.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ryan E says:

    RuS – Rhode und Schwarz

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ryan E says:

    It feels like Christmas!

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars zapro_dk says:

    The ring-lug for the GND wire is wayyyyyy to big. Looks like a hack job. Why would they use only one wrong ring-lug?

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars john shaw says:

    Does your wife know about this scope?

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Manawyrm says:

    "Whoever laid out this board takes pride in their work and they know what they're doing."
    That Rohde & Schwarz engineer should be putting that sentence with a link to this point in the video into their resume (or perforrmance review)

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Simon Johnson says:

    I think Dave maybe feeling moist 😂

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bogdan Serban says:

    Hello from Romania! I never expected this to be made here.

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars N-audio says:

    This is definitely the teardown of the year! Wanted to see the PSU board btw.

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