Digital Oscilloscopes are preferred for industrial applications, although simple analogue oscilloscope are used by hobbyists. Digital equipment works with discrete binary numbers.

A digital oscilloscope uses an analog-to-digital converter (or ADC) to convert the voltage being measured into digital information that is stored in the memory of a microprocessor.

Some digital oscilloscopes¨s systems are the same as analog oscilloscopes; however, digital oscilloscopes contain additional data processing systems, collecting data for the entire waveform and then displays it.

digital oscilloscope

When you attach a digital oscilloscope probe to a circuit, the vertical system adjusts the amplitude of the signal, just as in the analog oscilloscope, next de ADC in the acquisition system samples the signal at discrete points in time and converts the signal's voltage at these points to digital values called sample points. The horizontal system's sample clock determines how often the ADC takes a sample. The rate at which the clock "ticks" is called the sample rate and is measured in samples per second.

The sample points from the ADC are stored in memory as waveform points. More than one sample point may make up one waveform point.

The screen image can be directly recorded on paper, without the need for an oscilloscope camera. The scope's own signal analysis software can extract many useful time-domain features (pulse width, amplitude, frequency spectra, histograms and statistics, persistence maps, and more.