Microstar Laboratories has released the XDAP 7400 semi-autonomous data acquisition system.
XDAP 7400 features an embedded 1.8GHz Intel processor and runs DAPL 3000, a real-time operating system that runs on every data acquisition processor (DAP) system.
It allows the user to run timing-critical processes in real time, even with PC-based data acquisition under Windows.
The local PC that controls XDAP 7400 can connect to it through the front-panel USB 2.0 connector.
That PC can also provide XDAP 7400 data acquisition services to other PCs via network connections.
After it has been programmed, XDAP 7400 can run independently from its host PC.
PC software communicates with, configures and controls the system, but XDAP 7400 can be set up to run for long periods - or even indefinitely - without any connection to a PC.
With an application using a software trigger, data can be selected for processing automatically and the host PC can be disconnected.
While operating independently, XDAP 7400 can extract and process only what the user requires from a sampled data stream.
It can improve signal quality by running the data stream through digital filters before storing it in local memory for transfer to the PC when the PC is connected and ready to accept the transfer.
The distributed intelligence of multiple XDAP 7400s allows capture, buffering and reduction of data for faster transfer of information through limited PC host capacity.
Each XDAP 7400 includes a 16-bit analogue-to-digital converter running at one million samples per second on each of the eight channels simultaneously, for a throughput of eight million samples per second.
One gigabyte of local memory provides space for data buffers that let XDAP 7400 sustain this throughput indefinitely, transferring samples to the PC as required, with no loss of data.
Recent tests have confirmed not only continuous transfer to a PC at the full eight million samples per second but also continuous disk logging of the data.
When more than one XDAP 7400 is connected to a single PC, pre-processing becomes mandatory.
However many channels the application has, distributed intelligence in XDAP 7400 systems allows the user to implement data reduction in real time.
A useful way to do this is with software triggers.
A software routine running under DAPL scans and discards sampled data until a predefined trigger event in the data - a level, a slope or a peak - sets a trigger.
The user specifies how much data to send to the PC, or predefines another trigger event that stops the transfer.
More than 100 commands optimised for data acquisition and reduction are built into DAPL 3000, the real-time operating system that runs on XDAP 7400.
The latest C++ development tools from Microsoft allow users to write their own software for DAPL if required.
These are supported by DAPtools Professional, a software product included at no charge with orders for XDAP 7400 placed before 31 October 2009.
A typical application uses no more than a handful of selected processing commands.
DAPstudio - data acquisition development software from Microstar Laboratories - can be used to send configuration scripts specifying the commands for the XDAP 7400 to run.
Scripts from software applications, or from third-party applications such as Labview, can also be sent.
Each copy of DAPtools Professional includes DAPstudio.
A full copy of DAPstudio can be downloaded for evaluation it at no charge.