Oscilloscope vs Logic Analyzer-Difference between Oscilloscope and Logic Analyzer

This page compares Oscilloscope vs Logic Analyzer and mentions difference between Oscilloscope and Logic Analyzer.

Both Oscilloscope and Logic analyzer are both used to trouble shoot the electronic circuits. They have their own specific niche applications of use.



Oscilloscope taps the analog signals from the board and displays the voltage variation of the signal over time on the screen. There are two types of oscilloscopes based on their measurement and display methodology. Analog Oscilloscope directly plots the signal. Digital Oscilloscope first converts the analog signal to digital signal and then plots it.

Analog Oscilloscope does not store past samples. Digital Oscilloscope stores long duration waveform data for analysis. Refer Analog Oscilloscope Vs Digital Oscilloscope➤.

Logic Analyzer

logic analyzer block diagram

Unlike Oscilloscopes, logic analyzer is designed to analyze the data flow over multiple buses of the microprocessor or microcontroller systems. This will help in analyzing many aspects of embedded hardware and software.

In order to analyze multiple channels, logic analyzers are used along with multichannel probes. It analyzes digital signals. Following steps are performed by logic analyzer for test and measurement:
• Make connection using probe with SUT (System Under Test)
• Setup clock mode and triggering as required.
• Acquire the digital logic states (in 1's and 0's) from the multiple channels.
• Analyze the logic signals and displays the same for further study.

Following table summarizes difference between oscilloscope and logic analyzer.

Oscilloscope Logic Analyzer
It will have fewer input channels , maximum upto 4. It will have more input channels compare to oscilloscope, usually 34 and 136 channels are available.
Oscilloscope measures analog signals. It does not measure analog details. It detects logic threshold levels. It looks for just two logic levels when interfaced with digital circuit.
It does not troubleshoot software execution. It traces embedded software execution with specific hardware activities on the circuit.
It uses single channel probe at a time. It uses multi channel probe to acquire the large number of signals simultaneously.
Oscilloscope analyzes only hardware. Logic Analyzer analyzes both software and hardware.
Oscilloscope analyzes analog signal only. Logic Analyzer analyzes digital signal only.

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