Oscilloscope Glossary

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Term Definition

Printed Circuit Board


Peripheral Component Interconnect - computer bus used for connection of peripherals in a PC.


PCI express (Peripheral Component Interconnect) - computer bus used for connection of peripherals in a PC.

Synonyms: PCI express

Maximum signal level measured from a zero reference point.


Level measured from the maximum point of a signal to its minimum point.

persistence mode

The captured signals "persist" on the display for a certain time so multiple waveforms of the same view are superimposed. More frequent or newer waveforms are displayed with higher color intensity than older ones. This mode is useful to look for rare intermittent events.


PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group - Industry consortium that defines and manages the CompactPCI and CompactPCI Express standards. See http://www.picmg.org/


According to ISO 5725-1 the precision of a measurement refers to the closeness of agreement within individual results. 


Provides the connection between the oscilloscope and the signal to be measured. There are different types of probes available such as passive probes, active probes, differential and single-ended probes, current and high voltage probes. The ideal probe is characterised by a high signal fidelity, very low signal source loading and high noise immunity.


Pulse-width modulation - amplitude of a signal is encoded into the pulse width (duration) of a pulsed carrier signal.

PXI (PCI eXtensions for Instrumentation) - modular instrumentation platform used for building electronic test, measurement and automation systems. PXI was originally introduced in 1997 by National Instruments and is promoted by the PXI Systems Alliance (PXISA).

PXI Express = adaptation of PCI Express to the PXI form factor.


PXI Systems Alliance - Industry consortium that defines andmanages the PXI standard. See http://www.pxisa.org/