Modular PXIe digitizers for wideband capture

December 01, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Spectrum (Grosshansdorf, Germany) has expanded its line of PXIe-based (PXI Express) high-speed digitizers with nine new cards. The new M4x.22xx series includes modules that offer one, two or four fully synchronous channels, offering 5 Gsample/sec capture and analysis of electronic signals from DC to the GHz range

Each channel is equipped with its own analogue-to-digital converter (ADC), with real-time signal sampling at rates from 1.25 Gsample/sec to 5 Gsample/sec, and scope-like signal conditioning circuitry that allows programming of parameters such as input gain, signal offset and coupling. The digitizers also offer bandwidth up to 1.5 GHz for automated testing applications where wideband electronic signals from DC to the GHz range need to be acquired and analyzed.


Typical applications include semiconductor and component testing, radar, wireless and digital communications, laser and optical systems, automotive, power, physics, surveillance, medical science, aerospace and defence.


The flexible front-end circuitry of the M4x.22xx series digitizers is complemented by a powerful trigger system, on-board acquisition memory of 4 GSamples and a range of data acquisition and readout modes. The combination makes it simple for the cards to capture even the most complex signals as well work effortlessly with other modules in a test system.


All the M4x.22xx series digitizers are packaged in a dual width 3U module, which incorporates a four lane PCI-Express Generation 2 interface. The high-performance interface allows data transfer speeds in excess of 1.7 GB/sec for use in today’s high-performance PXIe mainframe systems.


For rapid waveform display and analysis, acquired data can be transferred to an embedded or external processor. In addition, data can be shared with other modules such as arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs) to create more sophisticated capture-replay or stimulus-response, testing scenarios.


M4x.22xx series digitizers have on-board calibration as standard and a high quality clocking system drives the 8-bit ADCs on each channel synchronously so that timing measurements are precise and inter-channel phase errors are minimized. Best in class dynamic parameters provide effective bit measurement (ENOB) as high as 7.5 bits, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) up to an impressive 46.9 dB and spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) of over 62 dB. The modules also incorporate FPGA-based firmware so that acquired data can be processed on-board prior to being transferred over the bus.

To allow easy integration into any test system, the units are shipped with a host of software tools so users can create their own control programs with almost any popular programming language. This includes C++, Visual Basic, VB.NET, C#, J#, Delphi, Java and Python code. Third party software support is also provided for LabVIEW, LabWindows and MATLAB. Spectrum also offers its powerful SBench6 Pro software.




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