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NI rolls 'first' Mac-compatible GPIB-USB controller

Posted: 15 Oct 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Mac USB controller? PCIe? interface bus?


National Instruments has launched what it claims to be the first Mac-compatible general-purpose interface bus (GPIB)-USB controller as well as a low-profile PCIe GPIB controller.

With the NI GPIB-USB-HS, Mac users now can control their stand-alone instruments from Mac laptops and desktops with the flexibility of a portable GPIB-USB interface. Additionally, the new NI PCIe-GPIB/ow-profile (LP) controller gives engineers and scientists a high-performance, RoHS-compliant controller that uses approximately 75 percent less power and is manufactured using 63 percent less PCB material than previous models.

The company began developing GPIB products in 1976 so engineers and scientists could control their instruments from desktop PCs regardless of vendor. Today, GPIB remains one of the industry's most popular instrument control buses, and now, with the GPIB-USB-HS, NI is the first manufacturer to help Mac users take advantage of their USB ports to control thousands of stand-alone GPIB instruments. The controller supports both PowerPC and Intel-based Macintosh laptops and desktops and is compatible with the Mac OS X operating system.

"As one who prefers the Apple Mac operating system, I am thrilled to have the option for the GPIB-USB-HS to communicate with our lab equipment," said Scott Hannahs, an instrumentation physicist who has used the NI LabVIEW graphical programming environment on the Mac for many years. "Previously, we could only use Mac workstations with PCI cards, and this release now makes available the GPIB-USB family of devices, giving us more portable, compatible and flexible solutions. The Mac-friendly NI GPIB-USB-HS helps us set up, debug and run experiments efficiently, so we can concentrate on our measurements and results instead of worrying about data communication and setup issues, which saves us time and manpower in the lab."

Additionally, NI introduced the new, smaller NI PCIe-GPIB/LP controller for Windows Vista/XP/2000, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris OS. The adoption of today's smaller PCs and gravitation toward PCIe slots necessitate the invention of smaller controllers. The RoHS-compliant NI PCIe-GPIB/LP offers the same high-performance specifications as its PCI Express predecessor but in a significantly smaller form factor. Using 75 percent less operating power and manufactured with 63 percent less PCB material, the NI PCIe-GPIB/LP maintains advanced transfer rates of >1.5MBps (IEEE 488.1) and >7.9MBps (HS488) for maximum performance.

Both the NI GPIB-USB-HS and the NI PCIe-GPIB/LP controllers can be programmed with the easy-to-use LabVIEW graphical system design platform, the NI LabWindows/CVI ANSI C integrated development environment and NI Measurement Studio software for Microsoft Visual Studio.

The NI GPIB-USB-HS controller and NI PCIe-GPIB/LP controller are priced at $549 each.

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