Spectrum’s modular PXIe digitizers serve wideband applications

Nov. 30, 2016

Hackensack, NJ. Spectrum Instrumentation has expanded its line of PXIe-based high-speed digitizers with nine new cards. The new M4x.22xx series includes modules that offer one, two, or four fully synchronous channels (Table 1).

Each channel is equipped with its own analog-to-digital converter, with real-time signal sampling at rates from 1.25 GS/s to 5 GS/s, and scope-like signal-conditioning circuitry that allows programming of parameters such as input gain, signal offset, and coupling.

The ultra-fast digitizers also offer bandwidth up to 1.5 GHz, making them suitable 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, and laser and optical systems. They can also serve in automotive, power, physics, surveillance, medical-science, aerospace, and defense applications.

The flexible front-end circuitry of the M4x.22xx digitizers is complemented by a powerful trigger system, an onboard acquisition memory of 4 GS, and a host 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.

For example, the trigger source can be any of the digitizers 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), and software. In addition, logic triggering can be implemented based on the state of the channel and the external trigger inputs.

Acquisition and readout modes include single-shot capture (for transient recording), FIFO (for streaming data directly over the bus), segmented memory (multiple recording), gated acquisition (gated sampling) or the combination of segmented acquisition of fast signals in parallel with slow continuous data recording (ABA mode). Trigger events can also be time stamped so that you know exactly when they occurred.

All the M4x.22xx 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/s, making the cards suitable 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 like arbitrary waveform generators to create more sophisticated capture-replay or stimulus-response, testing scenarios.

To ensure measurement quality and repeatability, the M4x.22xx digitizers are all optimized for dynamic performance. On-board calibration is 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 ENOB as high as 7.5 bits, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) up to 46.9 dB, and spurious-free dynamic range (SFDR) of over 62 dB.

The modules also incorporate the latest in FPGA-based firmware so that acquired data can be processed on-board prior to being transferred over the bus. Block averaging and block statistics packages are available for high trigger rate applications that require hardware based processing functions. Block averaging can be used to reduce signal noise and improve measurement resolution, while block statistics perform a peak detection process that yields a waveform’s maximum, minimum and average values.

To allow easy integration into any test system, the units are shipped with 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.

For users not wanting to write software, Spectrum also offers its SBench6 Pro software. SBench6 lets you control all of the digitizer’s operating modes and hardware settings from one simple, easy-to-use graphical user interface. The software has built-in features for waveform display and data analysis (such as FFT, parameters, and mathematics). Waveforms can also be stored and exported to other devices and software programs using the most popular formats such as ASCII, binary, and wave.

The M4x.22xx digitizers are available with immediate delivery. All units are shipped factory tested and include a base version of Spectrum’s SBench 6 software, support drivers for most popular programming languages, and a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.


Sponsored Recommendations


To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Electronic Design, create an account today!