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Tektronix FCA3000 300 MHz Frequency Counter

Tektronix FCA3000 300 MHz Frequency Counter

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12 digit/s frequency resolution See small changes in frequency with industry-leading frequency resolution.
Down to 50 ps time resolution Accurately capture signal details with industry-leading single-shot time resolution.
Multi-parameter display Read critical auxiliary measurement values displayed with your main frequency, time, or phase measurement to quickly asses your device’s performance.
Trend Plot mode Plot measurement trends and graphically identify the extent of drift and intermittent events.
Histogram mode Discover stability or noise problems by viewing results as a histogram.
Statistics mode View multiple statistical values such as average, min, max, standard and Allan deviation to see how your signal is changing.
Optional TimeView™ software Transform your timer/counter into a modulation domain analyzer and see frequency changes over time to truly characterize your device’s performance.
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Tektronix FCA3000 300 MHz Frequency Counter

Features & Benefits

Key Performance Specifications
  • 300 MHz, 3 GHz, 20 GHz Models
  • 300-400 MHz in Manual Trigger Mode
  • Up to 3 Input Channels
  • 50 ps (FCA3100 Series) or 100 ps (FCA3000 Series) Single-shot Time Resolution
  • 12 Digit/s Frequency Resolution
  • 0.001° Phase Resolution
  • 3 mV or better Voltage Resolution
  • Optional 5×10–8 High-stability Oven Time Base
Measurement Throughput
  • 250k Sample/s Data Transfer Rate to Internal Memory(Up to 3.75M samples stored)
  • Up to 15k Sample/s Data Transfer Rate over USB/GPIB Bus(Block mode)
  • Up to 650 Individually Triggered Measurements/s
Available Functions and Features
  • Automated Measurements: Frequency, Period, Ratio, Time Interval, Time Interval Error, Pulse Width, Rise/Fall Time, Phase Angle, Duty Cycle, Maximum Voltage, Minimum Voltage, Peak-to-Peak Voltage
  • Totalize Measurement (FCA3100 Series)
  • Multi-parameter Display
  • Trend Plot Mode
  • Measurement Statistics Mode
  • Histogram Mode
  • Allan Deviation
  • Zero Dead-time Frequency/Period Measurements
  • Continuous Data Streaming over USB/GPIB Bus during Measurement (FCA3100 Series)
  • Programmable Pulse Output from 0.5 Hz to 50 MHz
  • Optional Rear-panel Inputs
  • USB Device and GPIB Ports on Rear Panel for Quick PC Connectivity
  • GPIB Interface Supports Full SCPI-compatible Programmability and offers an Emulation Mode for Plug-and-Play Replacement in Existing ATE Systems
  • External Arming Input
  • 10 MHz Reference Oscillator Output
  • Includes National Instrument’s LabVIEW SignalExpress™ TE Limited Edition Software for Connecting Your Bench
  • Optional TimeView™ Software Available for Modulation Domain Analysis
3-year Warranty

Feature-rich Tools for Precision Measurements

The FCA3000 and FCA3100 Timer/Counter/Analyzer Series pack many different functions into one feature-rich instrument. With industry-leading frequency and time resolution, the FCA Series comes standard with deep internal memory and a fast data transfer rate of 250k Samples/s to internal memory. In addition, the multi-parameter display shows auxiliary measurements alongside your main measurement to provide you with the results you need at a glance. With the industry’s most comprehensive analysis modes, including measurement statistics, histograms, and trend plots, you have the tools you need to quickly and accurately analyze your signal.

Industry-leading Performance for Demanding Designs

High-resolution is critical for R&D and production testing on today’s demanding designs. The FCA Series delivers 12-digit/s frequency resolution and for time measurements, single-shot resolution of 50 ps (FCA3100 Series) or 100 ps (FCA3000 Series) is available with measurement values displayed up to 14 digits. With industry-leading performance, the FCA Series provides you with fast, precise measurements.

Unique Features for Accurate Measurements

To ensure correct measurements of Allan Deviation, the FCA3100 Series offers a zero dead-time measurement technique and continuous time stamping of trigger events. This feature is vital for mechanical and medical measurements where every single cycle must be measured. The FCA3000 Series offers this functionality through the USB/GPIB interfaces with a raw time-stamping function.

For correct calculation of statistical parameters, the FCA Series comes standard with limit-qualifying capability. By setting limits, you can isolate one cluster in your calculation. This is important for applications such as verifying the jitter of digital pulses that appear in discrete clusters in CD players or in HDB3-coded data.

Also available is hysteresis compensation for time interval measurements. By adding hysteresis, you can reduce trigger-level error from the typical 15-20 mV found in most counters on the market today, down to a typical 2.5 mV. This means 6-8 times improved trigger precision in critical time interval measurements.

Fast Throughput Reduces Test Time

The FCA Timer/Counter/Analyzer Series offers industry-best throughput, saving you up to 90% on your testing time compared to other timer/counters on the market. Up to 250,000 measurement results per second can be stored in the internal memory. Alternatively, you can transfer up to 15,000 measurement results per second in Block mode through the GPIB or USB interface. For added flexibility, the FCA3100 Series offers a zero dead-time counter feature to continuously stream measurement data over the GPIB/USB bus during, not after, measurement. This creates a dynamic measurement and analysis system.

Analyze Your Device with the Industry’s Only Graphical Display

With the unique display of the FCA Series, you can measure multiple parameters of the same signal from one test connection. To reveal signal quality issues like drift, intermittent transients, and stability, you can view the data as a real-time trend plot or a histogram with the FCA Series graphical display mode, or you can use measurement statistics to track how signal parameters are changing over time. A single-button Analyze mode gives you fast insight into the behavior of your device right on the timer/counter’s display.

Multi-parameter Display
Multi-parameter Display.

With the multi-parameter display, you can read important auxiliary measurement values (such as Vmax, Vmin, Vp-p, and more) displayed with your main frequency, time, period, or phase measurements. With one glance, you can see the information you need to quickly assess your device’s performance.

Phase Relationship Measurement.

With up to 3 input channels, you can measure the relationship between different signals. For example, you can measure the phase relationship between the input and output signals of your device. You can read other critical parameters simultaneously, such as the test frequency of the signal and the voltage ratio (in dB), in one glance with the multi-parameter display.

Measurement Trend Plots
Trend Plot Analysis.

Depending on your test case, your signal parameters may change from instant to instant. With the Trend Plot Analysis mode, you can graphically plot the trend of a measured value over time.

Measurement Statistics
Measurement Statistics.

With integrated statistics processing, you can calculate the average, standard, and Allan deviation of a measurement, as well as track the minimum and maximum measured values, all with the push of a button.

Histogram Plots
Histogram Plot.

To graphically see the average and standard deviation of a set of measurements, you can use the histogram function to see the distribution of measurement results.

Optional Modulation Domain Analysis
Tektronix TimeView™ Software.

With the optional Tektronix TimeView™ software (TVA3000), the FCA Timer/Counter/Analyzer Series can become a high-performance modulation domain analyzer. With high measurement speeds (up to 250k measurement/s) and large memory depth (up to 3.75M points), fast frequency changes can be captured in real time and then analyzed with TimeView. This comprehensive software tool allows for remote instrument control, and the analysis and display of measurement results in a choice of graphs. For example, results can be displayed as raw data, statistical histogram, waveform graph (as if you were using an oscilloscope), or as an FFT spectrum graph. TimeView further allows analysis of modulation parameters like modulation depth or frequency modulation index.

Designed to Make Your Work Easier

The FCA Timer/Counter/Analyzer Series are designed with the ease of use and familiar operation you have come to expect from Tektronix.

Intuitive Operation

Menu-oriented settings reduce the risk of mistakes. With dedicated and menu-driven front-panel buttons, you will have fast access to frequently used functions and parameters, reducing setup time. For example, a single-touch Analyze key toggles you between Statistics, Trend Plot, and Histogram modes.

Autoset Function

Similar to Tektronix oscilloscopes, the front-panel Autoset button will automatically set optimum trigger levels and hysteresis adapted to the actual signal applied.

Easy PC Connectivity

Connect to your PC with the rear-panel GPIB or USB device ports. The GPIB interface operates in SCPI/GPIB for plug-and-play replacement in existing ATE systems or easy integration into larger test systems. If desired, an emulation mode for existing timer/counters is available.

Connect Your Bench for Intelligent Debug

Easily capture, save, and analyze measurement results from your FCA Series timer/counter/analyzer with the special Tektronix Edition of National Instruments LabVIEW SignalExpress™ software. Every FCA Series timer/counter/analyzer ships with a free copy of the Limited Edition version of SignalExpress for basic instrument control, data logging, and analysis. The optional Professional Edition offers over 200 built-in functions that provide additional signal processing, advanced analysis, sweeping, limit testing, and user-defined step capabilities.

SignalExpress supports the range of Tektronix bench instruments*1 enabling you to connect your entire test bench. You can then access the feature-rich tools packed into each instrument from one intuitive software interface. This allows you to automate complex measurements requiring multiple instruments, log data for an extended period of time, time-correlate data from multiple instruments, and easily capture and analyze your results, all from your PC. Only Tektronix offers a connected test bench of intelligent instruments to simplify and speed debug of your complex design.

Performance You Can Count On

In addition to industry-leading service and support, every FCA Series timer/counter/analyzer comes backed with a three-year standard warranty.

Select the Performance/Features to Meet Your Needs

Feature FCA3100 Series FCA3000 Series
Frequency Resolution 12 digit/s 12 digit/s
Time Resolution 50 ps 100 ps
Voltage Resolution 1 mV 3 mV
Meas. Speed to Internal Memory 250k measurement/s

3.5M results

250k measurement/s

750k results

Talker-only Output (GPIB/USB) 4k measurement/s No
Individually Triggered Measurements 650/s 500/s
Block Transfer Speed 15k measurement/s 5k measurement/s
Frequency/Period, Time, Phase, Volt, Duty Cycle, Pulse, Rise Time Yes Yes
Graphic Display of Trend, Histogram, Modulation Domain Yes Yes
Totalize, TIE Yes No
Programmable Pulse Output Yes No
Continuous Measurements Yes No

*1 For a complete listing of Tektronix instruments supported by NI LabVIEW Signal Express, visit www.tektronix.com/signalexpress.

Tektronix FCA3000 300 MHz Frequency Counter

Tektronix FCA3000 Datasheet

Tektronix FCA3000 300 MHz Frequency Counter


Model Description
FCA3000 Timer/Counter/Analyzer 300 MHz / 100 ps
FCA3003 Timer/Counter/Analyzer 3 GHz / 100 ps
FCA3020 Timer/Counter/Analyzer 20 GHz / 100 ps
FCA3100 Timer/Counter/Analyzer 300 MHz / 50 ps
FCA3103 Timer/Counter/Analyzer 3 GHz / 50 ps
FCA3120 Timer/Counter/Analyzer 20 GHz / 50 ps

FCA3000/3100 Series Include: Timer/Counter, line cord, calibration certificate, Quick Start User Manual, CD-ROM with user manual (English, French, German, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Russian, Japanese), Programmer’s Guide, Technical Specifications, Trial version of TimeView™ Software, and CD-ROM with National Instruments LabVIEW SignalExpress™ Tektronix Edition, Limited Edition Software.

Note: Please specify power plug when ordering.

Instrument Options

Option Description
MS Medium-stability Oven Time Base
HS High-stability Oven Time Base
RP Rear-panel Connectors

Recommended Accessories and Software




Rackmount Shelf Kit for 2 Units


Hard Carrying Case


Soft Carrying Case


USB Host to Device Cable, 3 ft.


GPIB Cable, Double Shielded


BNC Male to BNC Male, Cable Shielded, 9 ft., 50 Ω


BNC Male to BNC Male, Cable Shielded, 3 ft., 50 Ω


National Instruments SignalExpress™ Tektronix Edition Interactive Measurement Software – Professional Version


TimeView™ Modulation Domain Analysis Software

Additional information




Frequency Counters

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