Microstar Laboratories is offering a network-ready data acquisition package that lets users sample up to 64 differential inputs simultaneously with 16-bit resolution and channel-to-channel isolation.
At the same time, the complete scalable modular system (SMS) products update up to 16 analogue outputs, also with 16-bit resolution and channel-to-channel isolation.
The company is a manufacturer of data acquisition processor (DAP) boards and network-ready DAPservers.
The SMS consists of a DAPserver with up to two DAP boards connected to eight input signal-interface (SI) modules and two output SI modules in a 3U card cage - all in the same enclosure.
The input SI modules (part number MSXB 080) provide isolated analogue inputs for DAP systems.
All inputs are differential and each analogue channel is isolated from all others and from any other system component.
The output SI modules (part number MSXB 076) provide isolated analogue outputs for DAP systems.
Again, each analogue channel is isolated from all others and from any other system component.
Channel-to-channel isolation eliminates ground currents - a potential source of noise in measurements and output signals.
Each MSXB 080 SI module has eight onboard analogue-to-digital converters synchronised to within a few nanoseconds of each other to eliminate timing skew.
Eight analogue signals become eight 16-bit data streams running at up to 250K samples per second for a total throughput of two million samples per second.
Eight of the MSXB 080 SI modules connected to a single DAP board provide a total of 64 simultaneously sampled analogue inputs.
SI modules connected to multiple DAP boards can be synchronised for more inputs or higher throughput.
Each MSXB 076 SI module also has eight onboard digital-to-analogue converters synchronised to within a few nanoseconds of each other to eliminate timing skew.
Two of the MSXB 076 SI modules connected to a single DAP board provide a total of 16 simultaneously updated analogue outputs.
In the packages on offer, a single DAP board has a throughput of two million samples per second.
Therefore, with two DAP boards included in one DAPserver package, users can sample all 64 channels simultaneously at an aggregate rate of up to four million samples per second.
DAPservers control the data acquisition application from any PC on the user's network.
A DAPserver combines a five-slot PCI backplane and a 10-slot Eurocard cage in an industrial-grade chassis.
A Pentium M processor runs server software on a board that occupies one of the PCI slots, leaving space for up to four DAP boards.
Microstar preloads the SATA hard drive in every DAPserver with all the software required to start development right away.
Users can develop and run their applications on a PC using DAPstudio, which is a data acquisition development software package from Microstar, or a third-party product such as Labview.
Software running on the DAPserver and the software running on DAP boards themselves protect applications from local or network-related delays.
An Ethernet cable can be used to connect a laptop to the DAPserver.
Alternatively, the DAPserver can be connected to an existing network and any PC on the network can be used.
Users can also work directly on the DAPserver by adding a screen and connecting a keyboard and a mouse to the front-panel USB ports.