An oscilloscope is vital electronic device equipment that is generally used in the testing or laboratory arena of the electronic hardware industry. This device displays the voltage waveform during the testing of the device. However, without an oscilloscope probe, it’s just a fancy electronic device.

What is an oscilloscope probe?

Oscilloscope probe is a device whose one end is connected to the input of oscilloscope and the other one is tipped to the electronic device/signal source under testing. Manufacturers ensure that their oscilloscope probe has minimal signal source loading and have sound noise immunity for better measurement. Moreover, they also ratify that the signal which gets picked by the probe tips gets duplicated successfully at the oscilloscope.

There are various types of probes which depend on the measurement and the usage of the oscilloscope. Here below are some popular types of oscilloscope probe:
  • Active Voltage Probe

When an engineer needs to deal with higher bandwidth, they usually consider active voltage probe. They have a lower input voltage range as compared to the passive voltage probe. It generally relies on the transistors for the operation which are also called field-effect transistors (FET). Active voltage is generally more expensive than passive voltage probes.
  • Passive Voltage Probes

This type of probe is available in various attenuation factors-1X, 10X, and 10X, which varies according to the needs. At present, a 10X passive voltage probe is the most supplied probe with the oscilloscopes. It does not rely on any active component such as amplifiers of transistors for the operation. As compared to the active voltage probe, it has a higher voltage range They are used for browsing bugs and other qualitative measurements.
  • Differential Probes

A differential probe has two different inputs: positive and negative, which results in a differential signal for the measurement of the oscilloscope output channel. It is usually utilized for broader frequency range and where signals are referenced to each other; for example, power line noise. It uses a differential amplifier to convert the difference between two signals.
  • Current Probes

Current probes use the Hall effect sensor to convert the current flowing in the conductor into the voltage. This type of probe helps in exploring both DC and AC circuits without fracturing the network integrity. Generally, AC probes used transformer technology to sense the strength of the electromagnetic field. It can measure high current range without comprising on accuracy.

There are also other oscilloscope probes such as optical probes, isolated probes, and logic probes, among others, available in the market.

Oscilloscope Probes Future Market Outlook

As per the detailed report, the global oscilloscope probe market was valued at around 406 Million in 2019 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of at least 4.5% during the forecast period 2020-2026. The rising demand for oscilloscope in the automotive and consumer electronics segment as a diagnostic tool is expected to propel the demand for oscilloscope probes in the coming years.

The rising electrification in the automotive sector and the rising penetration of electronic hardware in the consumer’s life is positively influencing the growth of the market. For instance, the consumer electronics market is expected to expand at a CAGR of almost 7% while electric vehicles are expected to witness at least 20% CAGR in the forecast period. These industry verticals are heavily investing in the research and development of electronic components and the rising technological advancements are further boosting the electronic market. This, in turn, has fueled the demand for an oscilloscope probe in the market. Moreover, the increasing scientific research and growing demand for probes in military applications are spurring the market growth.

 Amongst the above-mentioned list of probes, passive probe-type accounted for more than 65% of the market share in 2019 and is expected to dominate in the coming years. Industry players are developing passive probes that have high bandwidth and lower input capacitance. Meanwhile, the active probe is speculated to exhibit high CAGR growth in the foreseeable future. Along with this, the integration of the latest technologies and innovation is expected to expand the market share.

Talking about the regional analysis, the market in the Asia Pacific is expected to offer lucrative opportunities during the forecast period. The emerging economies such as India and China are increasing their production capabilities owing to government supports and initiatives. Moreover, the increasing disposable income and increasing penetration of electronic devices are propelling the growth of the market. In 2019, Asia Pacific accounted for more than 50% of the market share and is expected to expand at a CAGR of at least 4.8% during the forecast period.

Latest Developments and Launches in the market

The major industry players of the oscilloscope probe market include Tektronix, Inc., Amprobe, Yokogawa, Pico Technology, Fluke Corporation, Keysight Technologies, Inc., Testec Elektronik GmbH, Teledyne LeCroy, Pintek Electronics Co., and Test Products International, Inc., among others.
  • In March 2020, Tektronix, a leading American player in the market, announced that it has developed IsoVu probes for the applications which have wide-bandgap designs. The probe tip is shielded to minimize parasitics and meets EMI and ESD testing requirements. The company also unveiled the TPP Passive Probe series which has low capacitance and has a high impedance (10MΩ input resistance). It also delivers 1GHz of bandwidth.
  • In October 2019, Teledyne LeCroy, United States manufacturer, announced the launch of differential probes that comes in the bandwidth range of 13GHz to 25GHz for debugging and validation solutions. Its new launch products are suited for DDR memory applications. They also have solder-in tips to easily get access to the densely-packed embedded systems.
  • Keysight Technologies, Inc., an American electronic testing equipment maker, introduced high voltage probing solutions which has a wider input range and high common-mode rejection ratio. It’s used for testing power devices and measuring motor devices and vehicle devices. Its Keysight N2804A differential probe offers 300MHz bandwidth which allows the testers to utilize for broader applications.

The prominent players in the market are also involved in the development of the oscilloscopes to create leverage in the market. For instance, Pico Technology recently launched the first 8-channel oscilloscope for the automotive market. Moreover, these players are focusing on product launches for automotive and data storage applications.