ExpressCard High-Speed Digitizer Captures Data in Two Modes

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A wideband signal acquisition card for commercial laptop computers combines a compact, low-power form-factor with a 150 MHz sampling rate on two channels, supporting 14-bit resolution and 512 Mbyte onboard RAM, yet consumes only 4.5W. Targeted for mobile data acquisition applications, the EC1450 from Signatec is a 54 mm-compliant ExpressCard board equipped with standard ‘Plug and Play’ features common in PCI systems. The entire 512 Mbyte memory may be used as an exceptionally large FIFO for acquiring data directly to the ExpressCard bus continuously—referred to as continuous record mode—or in data transfer mode, block acquisitions to RAM and transfers to PC modes.

In either continuous record mode or data transfer mode, the EC14150 is capable of sustaining 180 Mbit/s transfers over the ExpressCard PCI Express (PCIe) x1 data link bus interface. Significant test data show recordings with the EC14150’s large 512 Mbyte FIFO buffering the recording process can be sustained continuously at up to 90 MSPS, even when operating in traditional non-real-time environments such as the Windows operating system.

Both input channels implement a transformer coupled input for best possible signal performance.  The EC14150 bandwidth ranges from 200 KHz to 200 MHz, and can be set to trigger from the input data channels, the external trigger signal input or via software command and supports single shot, segmented, and pre-trigger triggering modes. A frequency synthesized clock allows the ADC sampling rate to be set to virtually any clock value up to 150 MHz, offering maximum flexibility for sampling rate selection.

Signatec’s EC14150 comes with Windows 2000/XP/Vista drivers, a C Function Library with source code, a turnkey signal recording software application and a software manual that describes how to use the available library of functions or API to create larger applications or systems. An SDK offering many multiple coding examples is also included.


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