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NI's new waveform generator built on SMC architecture

Posted: 24 Feb 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:national instruments? ni? waveform generator? pxi? pci?

National Instruments (NI) released a low-cost, 100MS/s, 14bit arbitrary waveform generator for PXI and PCI, expanding its line of signal generators that includes the 100MS/s, 16bit NI 5421 and the 200MS/s, 16bit PXI-5422 arbitrary waveform generator modules.

Designed as a general-purpose electrical stimulus, the new device can be used for a variety of measurement applications in consumer electronics, military, aerospace, semiconductor and medical device test.

The NI 5412 signal generator is built on the company's Synchronization and Memory Core (SMC) architecture for tight synchronization with other NI SMC-based products such as high-speed digitizers and digital waveform generator/analyzers. According to NI, this gives the device multiple instrument synchronization capability with module-to-module skew of less than 20ps; deep, flexible onboard memory; and data streaming up to 100MBps. The new module also offers up to 8x interpolation to ensure an effective sample rate up to 400MS/s, which improves the spectral quality of the output signal.

SMC architecture
An NI SMC-based signal generator has the capability to store multiple sequences and their associated waveforms in the generator's onboard memory. In automated test applications involving multiple tests, each requiring a different waveform sequence, engineers can download all of the sequences and waveforms once at the beginning of the test cycle to hold them in the generator's memory for the entire session. By downloading all required waveforms and sequences once, instead of repeatedly reloading them for each test, the SMC-based generators save test time and improve test throughput, said the company.

The NI 5412 device includes NI's Analog Waveform Editor, a graphical tool for creating and editing waveforms to generate with the device. Engineers can control the device using LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI and Measurement Studio for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET application development environments, as well as NI SignalExpress, a software tool for making interactive measurements. Programming interfaces for Microsoft Visual Basic, C++ .NET and C/C++ are also included.

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