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Differential probes

Differential probes are optimized for acquiring differential signals. To maximize the common-mode rejection ratio (CMRR), differential probes must provide two signal paths that are as nearly identical as possible, matched in overall attenuation, frequency response, and time delay.

In the past, this was done by designing passive probes with two signal paths, requiring a differential amplifier stage at or near the oscilloscope. (A very few early probes fitted the differential amplifier into a rather-bulky probe head using vacuum tubes.) With advances in solid-state electronics, it has become practical to put the differential amplifier directly within the probe head, greatly easing the requirements on the rest of the signal path (since it now becomes single-ended rather than differential and the need to match parameters on the signal path is removed). A modern differential probe usually has two metal extensions which can be adjusted by the operator to simultaneously touch the appropriate two points on the DUT. Very high CMRRs are thereby made possible.


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Teledyne LeCroy is a leading provider of oscilloscopes, protocol analyzers and related test and measurement solutions that enable companies across a wide range of industries to design and test electronic devices of all types. Since our founding in 1964, we have focused on creating products that improve productivity by helping engineers resolve design issues faster and more effectively.

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