White Paper: Test & Measurement

Five Tips for Power Integrity Measurements


Rail voltages are getting smaller and tolerances are decreasing. As a result, making accurate power rail measurements has become much more difficult. In the past, any scope was able to measure ripple on historical 5 V rails with 10 % tolerance, since the 500 mV requirement was well above the noise level of the scope.

Industry dynamics are driving both a decrease in rail voltage values as well as tighter tolerances across a wide range of rails. Making an accurate ripple measurement on a 1 V rail with 2 % tolerance, for example, is difficult on all scopes.

This guide describes five tips for making accurate power integrity measurements with oscilloscopes:

  • Adjust viewing characteristics: Including waveform intensity and color grading
  • Lower noise: Choosing a scope with low noise is critical to accurate measurements
  • Achieve sufficient offset: Coupling the scope with a 1:1 probe with built-in offset, high bandwidth, high DC impedance and an integrated R&S®ProbeMeter delivers superior capability and measurements
  • Evaluate switching and EMI: Characterizing power rails typically involves ensuring there are no unwanted signals coupled onto the power rail.
  • Accelerate measurement time: Fast update rates let users test power rails more quickly.

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