Spectrum releases its first PXIe high-speed digitizer

Hackensack, NJ. Spectrum Instrumentation Corp. has released its first high-speed digitizer product line based on the PXIe (PXI Express) modular instrumentation standard. The M4x.44xx Series consists of six new products, each packaged in a dual-width 3U module and incorporating a four-lane PCI Express Generation 2 interface. The high-performance interface allows data transfer speeds in excess of 1.7 GB/s making the cards suitable for use in today’s fastest PXIe mainframe systems.

The new digitizers include versions with two and four fully synchronous channels in resolutions of either 14 bits for sampling at rates up to 500 MS/s, or 16 bits for sampling at rates up to 130 or 250 MS/s. With analog 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. Typical applications are semiconductor and component testing, radar, wireless communications, medical science, automotive, power, physics, surveillance, aerospace, and defense.

Designed so that they can be used with the widest range of signals, the M4x.44xx 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. Furthermore, an internal bandwidth filter can be activated in situations where high-frequency noise, which 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. In addition, logic triggering can be implemented based on the state of the channel and the external trigger inputs.

The clocking system of the digitizers is precise and advanced. The clock can be internally or externally generated. 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 GB (2 GS) of on-board acquisition memory. The large memory makes it easy to acquire long and complex signals. The capability is further expanded by a host of data acquisition and readout modes. These 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.

With their low noise front-ends, high-resolution ADCs and accurate clocks, these PXIe digitizers deliver 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.



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