Timer/Counter/Analyzer, 300MHz/20GHz, 100 ps, Std Timebase
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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





Measuring Functions

All measurements are displayed with a large main parameter value and smaller auxiliary parameter values (with less resolution). Some measurements are only available as auxiliary parameters.

Frequency A, B, C

Characteristic Description
Mode Normal, Back-to-Back (FCA3100 Series)
   Input A, B 0.001 Hz to 300 MHz

300-400 MHz in Manual Trigger mode

   Input C 100 MHz to 3 GHz or 300 MHz to 20 GHz
Resolution 12 digits in 1 s measuring time (normal)

11 digits in 1 s measuring time (back-to-back)

Aux Parameters Vmax, Vmin, Vp-p

Frequency Burst A, B, C(FCA3020 and FCA3120 – 20 GHz Only)

Characteristic Description
Frequency and PRF of repetitive burst signals can be measured without an external control signal and with selectable-start arming delay.
Functions Frequency in burst (in Hz) PRF (in Hz)
Range Input A, B, C: See Frequency spec.
Minimum Burst Duration Down to 40 ns
Minimum Pulses in Burst
   Input A, B 3 (6 above 160 MHz)
   Input C 3 × prescaler factor
PRF Range 0.5 Hz to 1 MHz
Start Delay 10 ns to 2 s, 10 ns resolution
Aux Parameters PRF

Period A, B, C

Characteristic Description
Mode Single, Average, Back-to-Back (FCA3100 Series)
   Input A, B 3.3 ns to 1000 s (single, average)

4.0 µs to 1000 s (back-to-back)

   Input C 10 ns down to 50 ps
Resolution 100 ps (single); 12 digit/s avg. (FCA3000 Series)

50 ps (single); 12 digit/s avg. (FCA3100 Series)

Aux Parameters Vmax, Vmin, Vp-p

Ratio A/B, B/A, C/A, C/B

Characteristic Description
Range (10–9) to 1011
Input Frequency
   Input A, B 0.1 Hz to 300 MHz

300-400 MHz in Manual Trigger mode

   Input C 3 or 20 GHz
Aux Parameters Freq 1, Freq 2

Time Interval A to B, B to A, A to A, B to B

Characteristic Description
Range Normal calculation: 0 ns to +106 s

Smart calculation: –106 s to +106 s

Resolution 100 ps single (FCA3000 Series)

50 ps single (FCA3100 Series)

Min Pulse Width 1.6 ns
Smart Calculation Smart Time Interval to determine sign (A before B or A after B)

Positive and Negative Pulse Width A, B

Characteristic Description
Range 2.3 ns to 106 s
Min Pulse Width 2.3 ns
Aux Parameters Vmax, Vmin, Vp-p

Rise and Fall Time A, B

Characteristic Description
Range 1.5 ns to 106 s
Trigger Levels 10% and 90% of signal amplitude
Min Pulse Width 1.6 ns
Aux Parameters Slew rate, Vmax, Vmin

Time Interval Error (TIE) A, B

Normalized period back-to-back measurements, calculated as TIE(k) = k * TREF – ∑TI, when TI = Individual Period Back-to-Back and TREF = Reference Period Value.

Positive and Negative Duty Factor A, B

Characteristic Description
Range 0.000001 to 0.999999
Frequency Range 0.1 Hz to 300 MHz
Aux Parameters Period, pulse width

Phase A Relative B, B Relative A

Characteristic Description
Range –180° to +360°
Resolution Single cycle: 0.001° to 10 kHz, decreasing to 1° >10 MHz. Resolution can be improved by averaging (statistics)
Frequency Range Up to 160 MHz
Aux Parameters Freq (A), Va/Vb (in dB)

Totalize A, B (FCA3100 Series)

Characteristic Description
Mode Tot A, Tot B, Tot A+B, Tot A–B, Tot A/B
Range 1 to 1010 counts
Frequency Range Up to 160 MHz
Start Control Manual, start arming
Stop Control Manual, stop arming, timed
Aux Parameters Other Totalize functions

Vmax, Vmin, Vp-p A, B

Characteristic Description
Range –50 V to +50 V, –5 V to +5 V

Range is limited by the specification for max input voltage without damage (see input A, B)

Frequency Range DC, 1 Hz to 300 MHz
Mode Vmax, Vmin, Vp-p
Resolution 3 mV (FCA3000 Series)

1 mV (FCA3100 Series)

Uncertainty (5 V range, typical)
   DC, 1 Hz to 1 kHz 1% + 15 mV
   1 kHz to 20 MHz 3% + 15 mV
   20 to 100 MHz 10% + 15 mV
   100 to 300 MHz 30% + 15 mV
Aux Parameters Vmin, Vmax, Vp-p

Time Stamping A, B, C

Characteristic Description
Raw time-stamp data together with pulse counts on inputs A, B, or C, accessible through GPIB or USB only.
Max Sample Speed See GPIB specifications
Max Frequency 160 MHz
Time-stamp Resolution 100 ps (FCA3000 Series)

50 ps (FCA3100 Series)

Input and Output Specifications

Inputs A and B

Characteristic Description
Frequency Range DC Coupled: DC to 300 MHz

AC Coupled: 10 Hz to 300 MHz

300-400 MHz in Manual Trigger mode for both AC and DC

Impedance 1 MΩ / 20 pF or 50 Ω (VSWR ≤ 2:1)
Trigger Slope Positive or negative
Max Channel Timing Difference 500 ps
Sensitivity 15 mVRMS (DC-200 MHz)

25 mVRMS (200-400 MHz)

Attenuation X1, X10
Dynamic Range (X1) 30 mVp-p to 10 Vp-p within ±5 V window
Trigger Level Readout on display
   Resolution FCA3000 Series: 3 mV

FCA3100 Series: 1 mV

   Uncertainty (X1) ±(15 mV + 1% of trigger level)
   AUTO trigger level Trigger level is automatically set to 50% point of input signal (10% and 90% for rise/fall time)
Auto Hysteresis
   Time Min hysteresis window (hysteresis compensation)
   Frequency One-third of input signal amplitude
   Frequency Range 1 Hz to 300 MHz
Analog LP Filter Nominal 100 kHz, RC type
Digital LP Filter 1 Hz to 50 MHz cutoff frequency
Max Voltage without Damage
   1 MΩ 350 V (DC + AC peak) to 440 Hz, falling to 12 VRMS (X1) at 1 MHz
   50 Ω 12 VRMS (Unprotected Input)
Connector BNC

Input C – 3 GHz (FCA3003 and FCA3103 Products)

Characteristic Description
Operating Input Voltage Range
   100 to 300 MHz 20 mVRMS to 12 VRMS
   0.3 to 2.5 GHz 10 mVRMS to 12 VRMS
   2.5 to 2.7 GHz 20 mVRMS to 12 VRMS
   2.7 to 3.0 GHz 40 mVRMS to 12 VRMS
Prescaler Factor 16
Impedance 50 Ω nominal, VSWR < 2.5:1
Max Voltage without Damage 12 VRMS, pin-diode protected
Connector Type-N Female

Input C – 20 GHz (FCA3020 and FCA3120 Products)

Characteristic Description
Frequency Range 0.25 to 20 GHz
Operating Input Voltage Range
   250 to 500 MHz –21 to +27 dBm
   0.5 to 14 GHz –27 to +27 dBm
   14 to 18 GHz –27 to +27 dBm
   18 to 20 GHz –21 to +27 dBm
Prescaler Factor 128
Impedance 50 Ω nominal, VSWR < 2.0:1
AM Tolerance >90% within sensitivity range
Max Voltage without Damage +27 dBm
Connector Type Precision-N Female

Rear Panel Inputs and Outputs

Characteristic Description
Reference Input 1, 5, or 10 MHz; 0.1 to 5 VRMS sine; impedance ≥1 kΩ
Reference Output 10 MHz; >1 VRMS sine into 50 Ω
Arming Input Arming of all measuring functions
   Impedance Approx. 1 kΩ
   Frequency range DC to 80 MHz
Pulse Output

(FCA3100 Series)

Programmable through front GPIB/USB
   Mode Pulse Out, Gate Open, Alarm Out
   Period 20 ns – 2 s, in 10 ns increments
   Pulse width 10 ns – 2 s, in 10 ns increments
   Output TTL levels in 50 Ω, rise time 2 ns
Rear-panel Measurement Inputs A, B, C (Option RP only)
   Impedance 1 MΩ / 50 pF or 50 Ω (VSWR ≤ 2:1)
   Connectors SMA female for rear input C

BNC for all other inputs/outputs

Auxiliary Functions

Trigger Holdoff

Characteristic Description
Time Delay Range 20 ns to 2 s, 10 ns resolution

External Start and Stop Arming

Characteristic Description
Modes Start, Stop, Start and Stop Arming
Input Channels A, B, or (rear panel) E
Max Rep. Rate for Arming Signal
   Channel A, B 160 MHz
   Channel E 80 MHz
Start-time Delay Range 20 ns to 2 s, 10 ns resolution


Characteristic Description
Functions Maximum, Minimum, Mean, ΔMax-Min, Standard Deviation, and Allan Deviation
Display Numeric, histograms, or trend plots
Sample Size 2 to 2 × 109 samples
Limit Qualifier Off, or capture values above, below, inside, or outside limits
Measurement Pacing Pacing Time Range: 4 µs to 500 s


Characteristic Description
Functions (K*X+L)/M and (K/X+L)/M. X is current reading and K, L, and M are constants; set using the keyboard or as frozen reference value (X0)

Other Functions

Characteristic Description
Measuring Time 20 ns to 1000 s for frequency, burst, and period average. Single cycle for other measuring functions
Time-base Reference Internal, external, or automatic
Display Hold Freezes the result, until a new measurement is initiated through a restart
Limit Alarm Graphical indication on front panel and/or SRQ through GPIB, plus pulse output connector (FCA3100 Series)
Limit Values Lower limit, upper limit
Settings Off, or alarm if value is above, below, inside, or outside limits
On Alarm Stop or Continue
Display Numeric + Graphic
Stored Instrument Setups 20. Instrument setups can be saved/recalled from internal nonvolatile memory. 10 can be user protected
Display Backlit LCD graphics screen for menu control, numerical readout, and status information
   Number of digits 14 digits in Numerical mode
   Resolution 320 × 97 pixels

GPIB Interface

Characteristic Description
Compatibility IEEE 488.2-1987, SCPI 199953131A Compatibility mode
Interface Functions SH1, AH1, T6, L4, SR1, RL1, DC1, DT1, E2
Max Measurement Rate
   GPIB 15k/5k readings/s (Block mode)

4k/- readings/s (Talker Only mode)

650/500 readings/s (individual GET triggered)

   To internal memory 250k readings/s
Internal Memory Size 750k readings (FCA3000 Series)

3.75M readings (FCA3100 Series)

USB Interface

Characteristic Description
USB Version 2.0 full speed (11 Mb/s)
Characteristic Description
Mode Closed case, menu controlled
Calibration Frequencies 0.1, 1, 5, 10, 1.544, and 2.048 MHz
General Specifications

Environmental Data

Characteristic Description
Class MIL-PRF-28800F, Class 3
Operating Temp 0 °C to +50 °C
Storage Temp –40 °C to +71 °C
Humidity 5-95% (10-30 °C)

5-75% (30-40 °C)

5-45% (40-50 °C)

Altitude Operating: 2,000 m

Storage: 12,000 m

Safety Directive 2006/95/EC, EN61010-1, UL61010-1, CAN/CSA C22.2 No. 61010-1
EMC EU Directive 2004/108/EC, EN61326-1, EN61326-2-1, Class A

Power Requirements

Characteristic Description
Basic Version 90 to 265 VRMS, 45 to 440 Hz, <40 W

Time-base Options

Characteristic Standard Medium Stability (MS) High Stability (HS)
Time-base Type TCXO OCXO OCXO
Uncertainty Due to –
      Per 24h NA <5×10–9*1 <5×10–10*1
      Per month <5×10–7 <6×10–8 <1×10–8
      Per year <5×10–6 <2×10–7 <5×10–8
   Temperature variation (typ. values)
      0-50 °C <1×10–5 <5×10–8 <5×10–9
      20-26 °C <3×10–6 <2×10–8 <1×10–9
Short-term Stability: t = 1 s Not specified <1×10–10 <1×10–11
Root Allan Variance: t = 10 s Not specified <1×10–10 <1×10–11
Power-on Stability NA <1×10–7 <1×10–8
   Deviation versus final value after 24h ON time, after a warm-up time of: 30 min 30 min 10 min
Total Uncertainty, for Operating Temperature 20 °C to 26 °C, at 2σ (95%) Confidence Interval
   1 year after calibration <7×10–6 <2.4×10–7 <0.6×10–7
   2 years after calibration <1.2×10–5 <4.6×10–7 <1.2×10–7

*1 After 1 month of continuous operation.


Dimension mm in.
Height 90 3.6
Width 210 8.25
Depth 395 15.6
Weight kg lb.
Net 2.7 5.8
Shipping 3.5 7.5


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