Teardown & Analysis of an Agilent 86109B Optical/Electrical DCA-X Oscilloscope Module

In this episode Shahriar presents the inner workings of an Agilent 86109B optical/electrical DCA-X oscilloscope module. This particular model offers up to 50GHz of electrical bandwidth and an optical input capable of receiving up to 40Gb/s data rates. The differences between a real-time and sub-sampling oscilloscopes are presented with focus on ADC resolution, signal periodicity requirements and input bandwidth. The block diagram of the module as well as a sub-sampling oscilloscope is also presented.

The teardown of the module shows various components such as samplers, O/E conversion block, impulse generator as well as a step-recovery diode driver. I/O interfaces as well as various analog blocks are also shown. Several modules are further disassembled to observe the inner semiconductor designs under the microscope.


  1. Bhavani sankar says:

    Dear Shahriar Shahramian,
    1.i have been following your videos and they are quite educational and very useful, i have a question ,currently i am testing a receiver chip (direct conversion receiver, baseband bandwidth is 0-2MHz)

    2.we have a noise source N4002A from keysight of range 10MHz to 26.5 GHz and my receiver IF is DC-2MHz can you suggest some method to measure noise figure @ 2MHz using the same noise source

    3.i am also using the above said noise source with MXA N9020A Spectrum Analyzer from keysight

    Thanks in Advance & Best Regards
    Bhavani Sankar Appalla
    Engineer Test & Measurement,
    Indian Institute of Science,

  2. حسین کرد شبستری says:

    I have a question about adc’s! could I achieve higher sample rate with using 4 of max1434 octal 50msps chip? like 1Gsps ?

  3. Jarek says:

    These short videos are great. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Social Media

  • Administrator

  • Archives