There are various ways in which designers might capture signals, including oscilloscopes and digital multimeters. But there are cases involving purely digital phenomena where digitizers are the most apt solution. One example might be the flyback voltage on an automotive electronic control unit. Such units might be driving a solenoid; there are demanding requirements in taking that sort of measurement.
Digitizers are also used in manufacturing environments and in design validation. Along with those use cases comes the need for finer resolution in time as well as higher sampling rates. Signals must be captured quickly, examined, and decided upon: Does this rise or fall time meet specifications?
To that end, Agilent Technologies has launched what it’s terming as the world’s first standalone high-resolution digitizers with LXI connectivity for R&D and manufacturing engineers. These LXI digitizers are suited for uses when digital multimeters cannot sample fast enough, or oscilloscopes cannot provide high enough resolution for the waveform analysis requirements.
The Agilent L4532A two-channel and L4534A four-channel digitizers are stand-alone LXI digitizers that offer simultaneous sampling at up to 20 Msamples/s, and with 16-bit resolution. They provide a robust input channel, high performance analog-to-digital (A/D) design, and on-board measurements. The isolated input channels can measure up to ±250 V and are designed to handle demanding applications requiring electromechanical device control for product test or characterization.
The high-resolution LXI digitizers were designed with input from engineers on waveform analysis in automotive, aerospace/defense, communications and medical applications. As a result of this input, the high-performance design, with a choice of noise filters, has reduced the need to add expensive signal conditioning prior to digitizing waveforms. The digitizers include on-board “scope-like” measurements such as Vmin/Vmax, Vp-p, frequency and rise/fall time that can be applied to a selected portion or the overall waveform. The on-board measurements save post-processing time and minimize the need to transfer and store large amounts of data.
Both digitizers are fully compliant with the LXI class C specification. They include USB 2.0, and Gigabit Ethernet (LAN) interfaces as standard features, enabling quick and simple connectivity to a PC or a network. In addition, they can be remotely operated from any browser by simply connecting to the built-in Web page (see the photo).
The Agilent L4532A 2 channel 20MS/s digitizer is priced at $6,500, and the L4534A 4 channel 20MS/s digitizer is $8,500. Extended memory is an additional $1,500. The digitizers are available for order now and will be shipped in December 2008.