16 bit digitiser cards offer four, 60 Msample/sec channels

March 10, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Spectrum GmbH has released two mid-speed 16 bit digitisers. M2i.4960 and M2i.4961 are available for PCI/PCI-X and PCI Express and offer two or four synchronous channels with 60 Msample/sec sampling speed and a bandwidth of 30 MHz.

Each channel can be individually switched between single-ended and true differential input mode. This allows to acquire single-ended and differential signals with just one digitizer at the same time. The units offer a cost effective solution to acquire fast signals with full 16 bit resolution. This targets embedded systems and OEM markets as well as cost sensitive projects where the existing M2i.49xx versions with more channels and sampling rate multiplexing are not needed.

Each input channel can be software programmed for proper termination, user offset and input range and also includes an on-board calibration. Different acquisition modes such as segmented acquisition (Multiple Recording), gated acquisition (Gated Sampling) or the streaming mode (FIFO) together with the versatile clock and trigger section allow the card to adopt to a wide variety of different applications. Multiple cards can be internally synchronised to get more synchronous channels or to directly synchronise to arbitrary and digital waveform generators or digital waveform capture cards.

A new design of digital input option enables up to 32 synchronous digital input channels to be acquired by multiplexing them into the analogue data in different ways. Each 16 digital inputs can either completely replace one analogue channel or each 2/4 digital inputs can be stored together with the A/D sample by reducing its resolution.

All features of the new card are fully supported by Spectrum's own software SBench 6. SBench 6 has been optimised to handle several GByte large signals and runs natively under Windows and Linux, both 32 bit and 64 bit. This makes SBench 6 the first out-of-the-box measurement software with full Linux support. Internal software structure with separation between streaming engine and user interface makes it possible to take advantage of the full hardware performance, easily allowing a constant transfer rate to hard disc RAID array of more than 200 MB/sec.

SBench 6 has been designed for the Spectrum PC instruments and supports all usage modes and