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High-Speed 5 GS/s PCIe Digitizer Cards

Spectrum-M4i09 January 2015 - Spectrum added nine new models to its series of PCIe based M4i digitizers with real-time sampling rates up to 5 GS/s. The high bandwidth allows to measure signals, edges and pulses down into the sub nanosecond realm. Available with one, two or four channels, the new cards can replace conventional test instruments such as digital oscilloscopes and spectrum analyzers.

Based on the popular PCIe bus the products are designed to allow fast data transfer at rates up to 3.4 GB/s. All Spectrum digitizers support transient recording and data streaming modes. Streaming allows the capture of extremely long signals that are passed directly into the PC, where they can be stored or analyzed, without the loss of vital information.

With a fully calibrated front-end for gain adjustment and an array of flexible trigger modes the M4i series can capture the most complex and rare events. Acquisition modes include memory segmentation with very fast trigger time stamping. The rearm time between triggers can be as low as 80 samples (16 ns @ 5 GS/s) making it possible to capture and time stamp pulses and signal bursts even when the events are extremely close together.

For applications requiring more than four channels it’s possible to run up to eight M4i cards in one system. The cards can be connected together using Spectrum’s Star-Hub option that distributes the clock and trigger signals between each card. By using Star-Hub it’s possible to make systems that have from 8 to 32 fully synchronous channels.

Spectrum’s Technical Director Oliver Rovini believes the new M4i series cards have a feature set that makes them perfect for a wide range of research and industrial applications. “With up to 5 GS/s sampling rates and wide bandwidth Spectrum joins a select few companies who can digitize ultrafast signals and pulses such as those found in electronics, aerospace and defense, and science. Advanced triggering and acquisition modes are available to capture the most complex signals. For example, you can use the memory segmentation feature to store radar signals, fast triggering for lasers, or the streaming mode to store long and complex communication signals. You can also choose the product that best matches your requirements, like a single channel card for use in a spectrometer, or a multi-channel system for monitoring a large multi-sensor experiment.”

To control and operate an M4i series digitizer Spectrum’s powerful SBench 6 program can used. SBench 6 supports all the key functions of the digitizer as well as providing display, storage and analysis.

Drivers are available for Windows and Linux. A set of programming examples is provided to illustrate the cards main signal capture functions. Extensive support includes C/C++, LabVIEW, Visual Basic, VB.NET, C#, J# and Delphi code.

Prices start from 4,000€ (approximately $5,200). The digitizers come complete with software drivers and a two year manufacturer’s warranty. Technical support, including software and firmware updates, is available free of charge.

www.spectrum-instrumentation.com/



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