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Ultra fast digital pattern capture and generation

Information on all the Spectrum PCI-Express digital cards, capable of capturing or generating digital patterns at very high speeds up to 32 bits wide.
The M4i.77xx digital capture cards have the enhanced capability to work with a wide range of logic signal levels.

M4i77xx series card PCIe-x8 lane
Spectrum M4i programmable digital input cards
Using a high bandwidth multi-lane PCI Express Gen 2.0 interface, real time data streaming with the PC is greatly enhanced at over 3 Gbytes per second. This makes the M4i.77xx card series of particular value when recording patterns of bus wide digital signals for long periods at ultra-high speed. The universal logic level compatibility of range -3V to +5V covers many standards including LVDS, LVPECL, PECL, (N)ECL, and comes in single-ended and differential input format. Utilising the very latest digital technology, this card series provides exceptionally fast signal digital sample speeds of up to 720 mega bits per second. Bit pattern capture can be single shot or in a loop.

Up to eight cards from M4i.77xx series can be perfectly synchronised to provide up to 256 digital channels. They also have many useful features to allow pattern and gated triggering, plus time stamping of these triggers.

Building on the success of the previous generation of the M2i digital capture cards, the M4i series shares the same well proven software driver set. This follows the practice of supporting both existing and new users. The versatile Windows® and Linux® drivers support all popular text programming languages, as well as packages such as LabVIEW® and MATLAB®. For easy capture and analysis SBench6 Professional software is available as an option. This has a logic analyser window for comparison of multiple bit pattern streams. Menu driven no programming is required.

We also provide multi-purpose digital I/O options which can be added to the Spectrum's exisiting range of M2p digitisers and AWG cards.

More information on the M4i.77xx series and the digital I/O options can be found by following the image links in the tables below.

Spectrum M4i.77xx series cards feature summary.

indexbar (1K) Signal data input ports up to 32 bits wide
indexbar (1K) Data width on the cards ports is software programmable
indexbar (1K) Synchronisation of multiple cards using the Star-Hub option extends the bit width even further
indexbar (1K) Large standard memory of 4 GBytes
indexbar (1K) Versatile trigger features, including fast auto re-arm
indexbar (1K) Multiple Recording, Gated control, pre-trigger & post-trigger data available
indexbar (1K) Programmable Sequence Replay Mode, dynamic change to new signal on event, or loop
indexbar (1K) Optimised clock section, internal or external clock reference
indexbar (1K) Multi-lane PCI-Express interface for over 3 GBytes per second sustained data streaming rate with the PC*
indexbar (1K) Versatile and wide ranging software support for programming the card in Windows® and Linux®
*Gen 2 multi-lane PCI-express currently provides the best streaming performance within the Spectrum range.
Find out more about PCI-Express. Click here for more information.
A dedicated fan for cooling the card bay of your PC, hence inserted cards, is recommended.
Essential for multiple card installations and any number of the M4i series.


This versatile 3/4 length digital capture card range fits into almost all desktop computers, but also some types of industrial computers too. A choice card models offer different maximum capture speeds and it is possible to program a wide range of input capture speeds up the maximum.

M4i (PCIe x8-lane)
Please click on the images for more information
(Mb/s = mega bits per second)
M4i.77xx card navigation image, click hereM4i.77xx Digital input logic levels
-3.0V to +5V
Single-ended or LVDS
720 Mb/s8, 16, 32 bits

The digital options in the table below add multi-purpose digital I/O lines to the M2p.59xx digitisers or the M2p.65xx AWG cards, producing a "mixed-mode" type of operation. Access to these extra lines is via SMB or FX2 connectors. The FX2 connector was also used on Spectrum's earlier digital I/O (e.g. M2i.70xx series), so providing an element of backward compatibility. On the M2p.59xx digitisers the digital I/O can be set synchronous to A/D sampling.

M2p (PCIe - x4 lane)
Please click on the images for more information
(Mb/s = mega bits per second)
M2p59 navigation image ,click hereM2p59.xxxx-Dig Digital multi-purpose lines for M2p.59xx digitiser cards
-0.5 to +4V (LVTTL)
125 Mb/s16 bits
M2p65 navigation image ,click hereM2p65.xxxx-Dig Digital multi-purpose lines for M2p.65xx AWG cards
-0.5 to +4V (LVTTL)
125 Mb/s16 bits

For existing users of the older PCI and PCI-Express M2i.70xx series cards, who simply wish for a drop-in replacement, we can still supply. For new applications requiring digital signal capture we now recommend the M4i.77xx series cards.