PicoScope 9221A Sampling Oscilloscope

Pico Technology
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PicoScope 9221A Sampling Oscilloscope, 12 GHz  bandwidth on 2 channels, with Optical Input, CDR

If you need to measure high-speed electrical signals, the PicoScope 9000 Sampling Oscilloscopes deliver the ultimate price/performance.

At prices starting from under €7500 — less than half the price of comparable sampling oscilloscopes — the PicoScope 9000 Series has all the features and performance you need at a price you can afford. Unlike other manufacturers, all software functionality is included in the cost of the oscilloscope, and software updates are provided free of charge for the life of the product.

Designed specifically for the complex task of analysing high–speed electrical signals, PicoScope 9000 Sampling Oscilloscopes are ideal for many advanced applications including: signal analysis, timing analysis, testing and design of high–speed digital communication systems, network analysis, semiconductor testing, and research and development.

The PicoScope 9211A and 9231A TDR/TDT Sampling Oscilloscopes are specially designed for time–domain reflectometry (TDR) and time-domain transmissometry (TDT).
They provide a low–cost method of analysing cables, connectors, circuit boards and IC packages.

The PicoScope 9221A and 9231A have a built–in 8 GHz optical-electrical converter that allows the analysis of optical signals.

Specifications of the PicoScope 9200 range include:

  • 12 GHz bandwidth on 2 channels
  • 8 GHz optical–electrical converter (PicoScope 9221A and 9231A only)
  • Dual timebase from 10 ps/div
  • Up to 10 GHz trigger bandwidth
  • 1 GHz full–function direct trigger
  • 5 TS/s equivalent time sample rate
  • Integrated 2.7 Gb/s clock recovery (not PicoScope 9201A)
  • Integrated pattern sync trigger (not PicoScope 9201A)
  • High resolution cursor and automatic waveform measurements with statistics
  • Waveform processing including FFT
  • Time and voltage histograms
  • Eye–diagram measurements for NRZ and RZ
  • Automated mask test
  • USB 2.0
  • LAN (PicoScope 9211A and 9231A only)
  • Familiar Windows graphical user interface
  • Lightweight and energy–efficient design

Typical applications include:

  • Electrical standards compliance testing
  • Semiconductor characterization
  • Telecom service and manufacturing
  • Timing analysis
  • Digital system design and characterization
  • TDR/TDT measurement and analysis (PicoScope 9211A and 9231A only)
  • Electronic mask drawing and display
  • Automatic pass/fail limit testing
  • High-speed serial bus pulse response

Documents available for download:
PicoScope 9000 data sheet

Channels (vertical)
Channels 2 (simultaneous acquisition)

DC to 12 GHz
DC to 8 GHz
Rise time (calculated)
Full bandwidth
Narrow bandwidth
10% to 90%, tR = 0.35/BW
29.2 ps
43.7 ps
Input connectors SMA (F)
ADC resolution 16 bits
Scale factors (sensitivity) 2 mV/div to 500 mV/div.
1-2-5 sequence and 0.5% fine increments
Nominal input impedance (50 ±1) Ω
Optical–electrical (O/E) converter (PicoScope 9221A and 9231A)
Unfiltered bandwidth DC to 8 GHz typical.
DC to 7 GHz guaranteed at full electrical bandwidth
Effective wavelength range 750 nm to 1650 nm
Calibrated wavelengths 850 nm (MM), 1310 nm (MM/SM), 1550 nm (SM)
Transition time 10% to 90% calculated from tR = 0.48 / BW: 60 ps max.
RMS noise, maximum 4 µW (1310 and 1550 nm), 6 µW (850 nm)
Scale factors (sensitivity) 1 µV/div to 400 µV/div (full scale is 8 divisions)
DC accuracy, typical ±25 µW ±10% of vertical scale
Maximum input peak power +7 dBm (1310 nm)
Fiber input Single-mode (SM) or multi-mode (MM)
Fiber input connector FC/PC
Input return loss

−24 dB, typical
−16 dB, typical; −14 dB, maximum
Timebase (horizontal)
Digitising rate DC to 200 kHz maximum
Timebases 10 ps/div to 50 ms/div (main, intensified, two delayed, or dual delayed)
Time interval resolution 200 fs minimum
Data record length 32 to 4096 points maximum per channel in x2 sequence
Delta time interval accuracy
For horizontal scale > 450 ps/div

For horizontal scale = 450 ps/div

±0.2% of Delta Time Interval ±15 ps at a temperature within ±3 °C of horizontal calibration temperature.
±15 ps or ±5% of Delta Time Interval ±5 ps, whichever is smaller at a temperature within ±3 °C of horizontal calibration temperature.
Acquisition modes Sample (normal), average, envelope
Dynamic performance (typical)
RMS noise, maximum
Full bandwidth
Narrow bandwidth
With averaging

2 mV
1.5 mV
100 µV system limit
Trigger sources External direct trigger, external prescaled trigger, internal clock trigger, clock recovery trigger (not 9201A)
Direct trigger bandwidth and sensitivity
DC to 100 MHz
100 MHz to 1 GHz

100 mV p-p
Increasing linearly from 100 mV p-p to 200 mV p-p
Trigger RMS jitter, maximum 4 ps + 20 ppm of delay setting
Prescaled trigger bandwidth and sensitivity
1 to 7 GHz
7 to 8 GHz
8 to 10 GHz typical

200 mV p-p to 2 V p-p
300 mV p-p to 1 V p-p
400 mV p-p to 1 V p-p
Clock recovery and pattern sync trigger (PicoScope 9211A only)
Clock recovery sensitivity
12.3 Mb/s to 1 Gb/s
1 Gb/s to 2.7 Gb/s

50 mV p-p
100 mV p-p
Continuous rate
Pattern sync trigger 10 Mb/s to 8 Gb/s with pattern length from 7 to 65,535 max.
Recovered clock RMS trigger jitter, maximum 1 ps + 1.0% of unit interval
Maximum safe trigger input voltage ±2 V (DC + peak AC)
Trigger input connector SMA (F)
Signal generator output (PicoScope 9211A and 9231A)
Modes Step, coarse timebase, pulse, NRZ, RZ
Rise/fall times 100 ps (20% to 80%) typical
Measurement and analysis
Marker Vertical bars, horizontal bars (measure volts) or waveform markers (× and +)
Automatic measurements Up to 40 automatic pulse measurements
Histogram Vertical or horizontal
Mathematics Up to four math waveforms can be defined and displayed
FFT Up to two fast Fourier transforms can be run simultaneously with the built-in filters (rectangular, Nicolson, Hann, flat-top, Blackman–Harris and Kaiser–Bessel)
Eye diagram Automatically characterizes NRZ and RZ eye patterns. Measurements are based on statistical analysis of the waveform.
Mask test Acquired signals are tested for fit outside areas defined by up to eight polygons. Standard or user-defined masks can be selected.
Display resolution Variable
Display style Dots, vectors, variable or infinite persistence, variable or infinite grey scaling, variable or infinite colour grading
Temperature range (operating) +5 °C to +35 °C
Temperature range (stated accuracy) +15 °C to 25 °C
Temperature range (storage) -20 °C to +50 °C
Humidity range (operating) Up to 85% RH, non-condensing, at +25 °C
Humidity range (storage) Up to 95% RH, non-condensing
Physical properties
Dimensions 170 x 255 x 40 mm (6.7 x 10.0 x 1.6 in)
Weight 1.1 kg (2.3 lb) max.
PicoScope 9000 for Windows PicoScope 9000 software is capable of many advanced features such as mathematical analysis, histogram analysis, eye-diagram analysis and mask testing. All features are included as standard. Updates can be downloaded for free.
Software development kit The SDK allows you to control the scope from your own program. The software can act as an ActiveX COM server, allowing any program to send commands to it using a standard Windows protocol. This is ideal for production and test environments where multiple scopes need to be controlled from a single PC, or where automated tests need to be run. The SDK contains full documentation and example code for various programming languages.
Languages English
Additional hardware (supplied) 2 x SMA M-F connector savers (supplied fitted to scope)
Additional SMA M-F connector saver (9221A and 9231A only)
TDR Accessory Kit (PicoScope 9211A and 9231A only)
LAN patch and crossover cables (9211A and 9231A only)
USB 2.0 cable
AC adaptor
Tough carry case
TDR Accessory Kit contents
(supplied with PicoScope 9211A and 9231A only)
30 cm precision cable
80 cm precision cable
0 Ω short
50 Ω terminator
Resistive power divider
SMA wrench
Operating system 32-bit edition of Windows XP (SP3), 32 or 64-bit edition of Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 (not Windows RT)
PC connection USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 and USB 3.0 compatible)
LAN connection 10/100 Mb/s (PicoScope 9211A and 9231A only)
Power supply
PicoScope 9201A
PicoScope 9211A
PicoScope 9221A
PicoScope 9231A
AC adaptor

+6 V DC ±5%. @ 1.9 A max
+6 V DC ±5%. @ 2.6 A max
+6 V DC ±5%. @ 2.3 A max
+6 V DC ±5%. @ 2.9 A max
Mains adaptor supplied for USA, UK, Europe and Australasia
Compliance FCC (EMC), CE (EMC and LVD)
Total satisfaction guarantee In the event that this product does not fully meet your requirements you can return it for an exchange or refund. To claim, the product must be returned in good condition within 14 days.
Warranty 2 years (1 year for input sampler)