SLA1016 Mixed Signal Oscilloscope Whitepaper

April 26, 2023

About the Author

Mike Cardoso is a controls engineer working for a leader in the industrial automation sector, primarily focused on motion control and variable frequency drive (VFD) technology. In his free time Mike has a passion for industrial robotics, electrical design and test, and machining and has a home shop for pursuing these activities. Mike purchased a Siglent SDS1204X-E Super Phosphor Oscilloscope for use at home in designing and troubleshooting his projects.

About Siglent and the SDS1000X-E/SDS2000X-E Oscilloscopes

Siglent is known in both the professional and hobby spaces as a manufacturer of well built, intelligently designed, and affordable electrical test and measurement equipment. The SDS1000X-E and SDS2000X-E Super Phosphor Oscilloscopes are well known in the high-end hobby market and professional markets for being one of the most featured oscilloscopes in the price range and the best value one can find. The features available on these oscilloscopes rival those of many large domestic electrical test and measurement manufacturers at a fraction of the price.

About the SLA1016

The SLA1016 is an optional Mixed Signal Oscilloscope (MSO) accessory for the SDS1000X-E and SDS2000X-E oscilloscopes. The SLA1016 consists of a logic module, probe set, and connection cables which allow the user of the scope to add (16) channels of digital measurement in addition to the standard analog channels of the oscilloscope. This allows for the measurement and troubleshooting of more complex digital designs (e.g., parallel data busses, sequential logic, etc.) while maintaining the same timebase as the analog measurements.

The SLA1016 is designed to measure digital logic levels up to 5.0VDC and comes with preconfigured thresholds for TTL, CMOS, LVCMOS3.3, and LVCMOS2.5. The user may also select custom voltage thresholds for their unique needs. The SLA1016 has (2) banks of (8) channels which may be independently configured for the desired voltage threshold. With a sampling rate of 1GSa/s and 1.4Mpts deep memory, the SLA1016 can easily capture high frequency digital signals and save the data for later investigation. Like the analog channels, the SLA1016 will dynamically update the sample rate as the oscilloscope timebase is adjusted to maximize the sample memory of the channels.

The SLA1016 is provided with probes which can attach to standard 0.1” header pins, and included spring loaded clips can optionally be connected for measuring wires or legs of larger integrated circuits.

Features of the SLA1016

The SLA1016 can display digital waveforms on the oscilloscope in banks of either (4), (8), or (16) channels, trading waveform height for additional data on screen. The standard features of the oscilloscope such as cursors, measurements, decode, and triggering can all be used on the digital channels. Additional features specific to the MSO capabilities of the oscilloscope can be found in the
“Digital” menu. These include parallel data bus decoding, deskew control, channel enable, channel height control, and channel positioning on the screen. Channels may be individually enabled/disabled and rearranged in any order desired.

The oscilloscope can be configured to display all channels at the same time (4 analog + 16 digital) in addition to serial bus decoding and 2 parallel bus decoding displays. The screen can become quite full in this configuration; however, the advanced oscilloscope user quickly sees the power and value in having this much data available at their fingertips. When all the channels are not needed, the MSO signals can be configured to be more spread out to make them easier to read.

Comparison of SLA1016 vs Logic Analyzers

The SLA1016 Mixed Signal option module competes against other traditional logic analyzers, both standalone units as well as PC based USB logic analyzers. Compared to purchasing a standalone logic analyzer, the SLA1016 is a fraction of the price and paired with the capabilities of the SDS1000X-E and SDS2000X-E oscilloscopes has a very expansive set of features. Standalone logic analyzers do not typically offer analog channels for measurement which may limit their capabilities depending on the project.

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