High-speed 14 and 16 bit PXIe digitizers

High-speed 14 and 16 bit PXIe digitizers

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Spectrum (Grosshansdorf, Germany) has added a high-speed digitizer product line based on the PXIe (PXI Express) modular instrumentation standard. The M4x.44xx series consists of six products, each packaged in a dual-width 3U module and incorporating a four lane PCI Express Generation 2 interface.
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

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The high-performance interface allows data transfer speeds in excess of 1.7 GB/sec, suiting the cards ideal for use in today’s fastest PXIe mainframe systems. The digitizers include versions with two and four fully synchronous channels and they come with resolutions of either 14 bits, for sampling at rates up to 500 Msample/sec, or 16 bits, for sampling at rates up to 130 or 250 Msample/sec. With analogue bandwidth up to 250 MHz, the digitizers are suited to use in ATE systems where electronic signals in the 1 to 200 MHz range need to be acquired and measured with the best possible speed and precision.

The M4x.44xx series cards feature an oscilloscope style front-end. Each channel has its own separate monolithic ADC and low noise signal conditioning circuitry. Fully programmable, the cards provide six gain input ranges (±200 mV up to ±10 V), selectable input impedance of 50 Ω or 1 MΩ and AC or DC coupling. An internal bandwidth filter can be activated in situations where high frequency noise, that may mask signals, needs to be suppressed.

The flexible front-end circuitry is complemented by a powerful trigger system and versatile clock. The trigger source can be any of the input channels, either of the two external trigger inputs, any of the eight PXI trigger lines or the PXI star trigger. Trigger modes include positive or negative edge, both edges (window), software and rearm. Logic triggering can be implemented based on the state of the channel and the external trigger inputs.

The clock can be internally or externally generated (including as source the 100 MHz PXIe differential clock and the 10 MHz PXI clock). It has a built-in 10 MHz reference and, if required, it can be synchronized with other reference sources. A fine-resolution mode is also available that allows clock rates to be selected with 1 Hz resolution. The feature makes it possible to program the sampling rate of the digitizers to match that of other devices or to setup acquisitions for specialized input signal conditions. All the digitizers come with a standard 4 GByte (2 Giga-Samples) of on-board acquisition memory.


Data acquisition and readout modes include single-shot capture (transient recording), streaming (FIFO), segmented (Multiple Recording), gated (Gated Sampling), or the combination of segmented acquisition of fast signals in parallel with slow continuous data recording (ABA mode). All trigger events can be time stamped, making it simple to know when they occurred and to determine the time between events.

Dynamic performance includes signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) typically over 70 dB, spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) better than 90 dB, and total harmonic distortion (THD) less than -70 dB.

To control and operate the digitizers, Spectrum provides its SBench 6 program. SBench 6 supports all the key functions of the digitizer as well as providing data display, storage, analysis and documentation. The program offers both oscilloscope and transient recording modes, including data streaming. A base version of SBench 6 is provided free of charge to enable out-of-the box operation of the digitizers. Users who want to develop their own programs can use the Spectrum drivers (available for Windows and Linux), which are included in the delivery. A set of standard programming examples is provided to illustrate the cards main signal capture functions. Support includes Visual C++, Borland C++, Gnu C++, LabVIEW, MATLAB, Visual Basic, VB.NET, C#, J# and Delphi code.

Spectrum Systementwicklung Microelectronic; www.spectrum-instrumentation.com

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