Logic Analyzer vs. Oscilloscope | Distinguishing features

Assuming you have to look at the inputs and outputs of a 16bit counter to detect a timing error, but you only have a 2-channel area. What do all required signals look like? Or suppose you have just developed timing diagrams for a board full of digital circuits. How do you verify them? How do you acquire and analyze the signals on the board?

Without the right tools, solving such problems can be very time consuming. For the problems mentioned above, a logic analyzer is the best solution. 


Oscilloscope or logic analyzer?

When many engineers have the choice between an oscilloscope or a logic analyzer, they choose an oscilloscope. However, ranges are of limited use in some applications. Depending on what the user wants to achieve, a logic analyzer can provide more useful information.

When to use a range

  • When it is necessary to observe small voltage variations in the signal.
  • When high time interval accuracy is required.


Reasons for using a logic analyzer

  • To observe many signals at the same time.
  • Viewing signals such as hardware
  • Triggering of heights and depths in several lines and output of their results

A logic analyzer reacts in the same way as a logic circuit when a single threshold is exceeded by a signal in the system. It detects that the signal is either low or high. It can also trigger patterns of highs and lows that are displayed on these signals.

In general, you should use a logic analyzer if you need to view more lines than can be monitored with an oscilloscope. Logic analyzers are especially useful for viewing time relationships or data on a bus - for example, a microprocessor address, data, or a control bus. They can decode the information on microprocessor buses and present it in a meaningful form.


What specifications should a logic analyzer meet?sp209i-logic-analyzer-device

Nowadays there are suitable logic analyzers for almost every application, which differ in the number of channels of memory and other features. The Logic Analyzer Series SP209 from Ikalogic has proven to be especially reliable. It has 9 logical channels and is connected to the PC via USB. By the cooperation between PC and Logic Analyzer, hours of data can be recorded and streamed directly into the PC's memory. Alternatively, the internal 2 GB sniffer memory can be used.

The device comes with the appropriate analyzer software, ScanaStudio, which is available free of charge to all users. The biggest unique selling point between other Logic Analyzers is the huge database of Add On Scripts, with which every common protocol can be analyzed and is unique on the Logic Analyzer market.