*** DataQuest News 2020 ***

New: Generate higher voltage waveforms with the new version of the generatorNETBOX!   February 2020
Spectrum Instrumentation recently released four new models to their generatorNETBOX family of arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs), with high output swings of up to +/-12 volts on up to 8 channels, Each channel features the latest 16-bit Digital to Analog Converters. The DN2.657 models output waveforms at rates up to 125 MS/s, while the DN2.654 units have a 40 MS/s capability. Both speed ranges are available with either 4 or 8 fully synchronous channels. Signals can be generated while new waveform data is being loaded to the deep on-board memory.

Small and compact, the generatorNETBOX products use Gbit Ethernet and weigh as little as 6.3 Kgs. It means they are portable and can work almost anywhere; freestanding on a test bench, rack-mounted with other equipment, or even mobile (when equipped with an optional 12 or 24 V DC power supply). A cost-effective solution, in one easy to integrate package, this is for anybody wanting to generate test signals in the DC to 60 MHz range and have the option to go to larger amplitudes.

With regards supporting software, the generatorNETBOX comes with Spectrum's SBench 6 Professional software as standard. SBench 6 enables the user to control all the modes and settings of the AWG via a simple easy-to-use interface, and produce waveforms easily from a menu driven interface. For those users wishing to use a text based progamming language drivers are provided, free of charge, to support the most popular programming languages (such as C++, VB.NET, C#, J#, Delphi, Java or Python code) as well as third party software tools like LabVIEW and MATLAB.

All Spectrum AWGs carry an industry-leading, five-year warranty. Furthermore, software and firmware updates are free of charge for the lifetime of the product.

Click here for more information

   Image of the portable generatorNETBOX AWG with its front panel multi-channel D/A, trigger, sample clock and digital I/O BNC connectors.   

New: Portable LXI / Ethernet digitisers now have additional digital I/O lines for mixed-mode testing   April 2020
The portable digitizerNETBOX with its Ethernet connectivity, now has extended capabilities by the addition of a versatile mixed-mode testing option, so that both analogue and digital signals can be captured simultaneously. This new option is available on four different models, all featuring 8 analog input channels, that synchronously sample signals at up to 5 MS/s, 20 MS/s, 40 MS/s or 125 MS/s with 16-bit resolution. It adds 8 digital lines to the 3 multi-purpose I/O lines that come as standard with each unit, increasing the number of digital input channels to 11 in total. The enhanced digitisers simultaneously acquire both 8 analog and 11 digital signals in a fully synchronous fashion, with easy access to all 19 channels via front panel BNC connectors. The units come complete with software and all the tools necessary to integrate them into virtually any test system, for a host of potential applications.

Controlling and accessing the data collected by the digitizerNETBOX is done by simply connecting it with GBit Ethernet directly to a host computer (e.g. laptop or workstation), or anywhere on the corporate network.

Software drivers allow customised setups that can perfectly work with the mixed-mode operation. The option is fully supported by the complete software development kit (SDK) which includes programming using C++, C#, VB.NET, Python, JAVA, LabVIEW or MATLAB. The SDK is included as standard with every unit. Spectrum's own software, SBench 6, also supports the major part of the option's functionality and is included with delivery. It is menu driven and requires no programming, so is a very rapid way to start monitoring, displaying and processing signals.

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   Image of the portable digitizerNETBOX front panel. The multi-channel A/D inputs and new digital I/O BNC connectors showing.   

New: Ultra-fast PCIe M4i A/D digitisers now have multiple digital inputs as an option   June 2020
DataQuest Solutions can now provide a new digital input option (M4i.44xx-DigSMA) for Spectrum Instrumentation's highest speed PCIe digitisers, which allows analog and digital signals to be captured simultaneously. The option consists of an additional module with separate PCIe connector faceplate that sits beside the existing digitiser card. This provides 8 additional digital input lines and is able to handle LVTTL signals with input voltage levels between -0.5 V and +4.0 V. The digital input module shares a common clock and trigger with the base card so that both the digital and analogue inputs are fully synchronous. An asynchronous (software polled) function is also possible e.g. for external equipment control. This makes the combination ideal for a wide variety of mixed signal testing applications. The option is available for all high speed digitiser models of the "44" series, which provide up to 500 mega sample per second sampling speed on two or four analog inputs. The acquired data can be stored in a deep 2 GSamples on-board memory, or streamed directly to the PC whilst samples are being captured by the card at rates up to 3.4 GB/s.

More analog and digital channels can also be acquired by linking up to eight digitisers together with Spectrum's unique Star-Hub clock and trigger distribution system.

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   Image of the M4i digitiser card, alongside being the new digital card module with its eight SMA connectors.   

New: Multi-function HybridNETBOX combines fast signal capture and generation   September 2020
The hybridNETBOX is an exciting new instrumentation platform for applications that require simultaneous signal generation and acquisition. Six models are available offering the choice of two, four or eight pairs of matched digitiser and waveform generator channels, with maximum sampling rates (depending on model chosen) of 40 or 125 mega samples per second. A wide range of sampling speed up to these limits can be set. All the channels are synchronised, sharing a common clock and trigger. The AWG channels can produce almost any waveform with signal amplitudes that go up to ±6 V into 50 ohm, or ±12 V into high impedance. The digitiser channels have variable input ranges that go from ±200 mV up to ±10 V, with fully programmable offset and selectable input impedance (50 ohm and 1 Mega ohm). Furthermore the front panel of each hybridNETBOX includes multiple digital I/O connectors, giving precise control of other devices or instruments, or for synchronisation purposes.

With their ability to create and acquire electronic signals at the same time, these robust products are perfect for automated closed-loop or stimulus-response type testing, quickly ascertaining the functionality and tolerance of DUTs and UUTs (devices or units under test) by exercising them with numerous, easily adjusted, complex signals and recording the results. Just connect the unit to a local PC or more remotely in a company network via the rear panel Gbit Ethernet port. The hybridNETBOX comes with all the tools needed to start generating waveforms and acquiring signals.

Fully programmable, the hybridNETBOX comes with drivers for Windows and Linux operating systems, as well as programming examples for C++, LabVIEW, MATLAB, Visual Basic .NET, Python and other popular programming languages.

The hybridNETBOX comes with the manufacturer's outstanding 5 year warranty.

Click here for more information

   Image of the hybridNETBOX. BNC connectors allow easy access to the digitiser, AWG and digital I/O.   

Update: Spectrum's Sbench 6 software gets special enhancements!   December 2020
A number of new features have been added to SBench 6-Professional, the software that is used for controlling Spectrum Instrumentation's 130 different high-performance digitizers, 55 different Arbitrary Waveform Generators and 5 Digital I/O products. SBench 6 provides an easy-to-use graphical interface for instrumentation control as well as data acquisition, generation, display, analysis and documentation. The new features, most of them free of charge, expand versatility: Here is a summary of each:

Scripting allows easy automation
For users who want a simple way to utilize SBench6 in an automated sequence of operations, a scripting tool is now available. Scripting allows basic commands to be arranged via a plain ASCII file that is called by the SBench 6 program. For example, SBench 6 can be instructed to load specific configurations, start and stop acquisitions, wait or loop, export data and even call external programs (see script image below).
A small ASCII script file image that asks SBench 6 to make ten acquisitions each minute and export the data produced directly to MATLAB

Improve accuracy of measurements with data interpolation
Dramatically improve parameter measurements in situations where the sampling rate of a digitizer is limiting measurement precision. Based on the SinX/x (or sometimes called SinX) algorithm, the SBench 6 interpolation function inserts samples in a predictive manner between the actual acquired data points. When done correctly, this produces a waveform with a higher effective sampling rate and a closer approximation to the analogue waveform that is being analysed. Interpolation can be also be used to improve other parameter measurements (such as rise and fall times, as well as cyclic measurements like frequency and period).

Perform Customised Calculations
SBench 6-Professional has an extensive array of data processing tools that can now be complimented by a new plug-in option which enables users to create their own customized calculations. The plug-in option includes a software development kit (SDK) as well as a number of examples based on the C++ programming language. It allows programmers to develop their own plug-ins by combining advanced calculations on the acquired signals.

With the exception of the Plug-in tool for customized calculations, which is an option, customers already using SBench 6-Professional can access the new capabilities (Scripting, Single Value Formula, Input Chanel Preview and Interpolation) for free.

Click here for more information


Click here for previous releases in 2019:-
  • Direct signal data transfer to a GPU allows signal averaging over longer periods
  • Half-length PCIe 16 bit multi-channel AWG cards with up to 125MS/s output
  • High-speed PCIe M2p AWG card now come with cost effective 8 channel versions
  • Portable DN2.65xx multi-channel AWG unit with easy Ethernet/LXI connection
  • Mixed-Mode option adds addtional digital I/O lines to M2p A/D and D/A cards
  • DN6 waveform generator units now have more channels to reduce big system cost
  • M2p waveform genertors now have a boosted output voltage range
Click here for previous releases in 2018:-
  • Obtain the latest product information in DataQuest's 2018 newsletter!
  • The Spectrum M2p.59xx series of 16 bit PCIe digitisers are now 50% faster!
  • DN2.59x series offers Ethernet connectivity, 16 bit A/D's, 16 channels & up to 125 MS/s
  • Memory saving 8 bit ADC mode for Spectrum 14 and 16 bit digitisers
  • DN6.59x series of 16 bit digitizers have Ethernet connectivilty and up to 48 channels
  • Spectrum's signal capture cards are shortlisted for a Elektra reliability award!
Click here for previous releases in 2017:-
  • Spectrum's 2017 instrumentation catalogue released
  • New PXI-Express digitsers with 1.5 GHz bandwidth and data processing FPGA
  • Ethernet based digitiser system now offers GS/s Acquisition on up to 24 Channels
  • Digitisers sampling at GHz now have a high gain range option
  • Boxcar Averaging feature lowers signal noise level and increases resolution
  • More signal generator channels for the Ethernet based generatorNETBOX
  • Warranty on Spectrum Instrumentation products is now 5 years!
  • The next generation of compact fast 16 bit digitisers are here. M2p!
  • Powerful GPU based signal processing using the new SCAPP option
Click here for previous releases in 2016:-
  • Spectrum's 2016 instrumentation catalogue released
  • New 720 mega sample/sec PCIe Gen2 digital pattern capture card
  • DigitizerNETBOX acquires a stand alone operation capability
  • Free academic tool kit illustrates the creation, capture and analysis of waveforms
  • PXIe modular digitizer cards range released. 14/16 bit and up to 500MS/sec
  • Programmable waveform generation up to 1.25GS/sec with Ethernet data connectivity
  • The digitizerNETBOX series now provides up to 48 A/D channels in one enclosure
  • New MHz to GHz, high resolution PXIe AWG cards
Click here for previous releases in 2015:-
  • DC option now available for the digitizerNETBOX
  • A/D card bandwidth up to 1.5GHz and new cables for high frequencies
  • Portable Docking Station with three PCIe slots and Notebook PC connectivity
  • The digitizerNETBOX data logger now captures signals at GHz speeds
  • Signal Pre-amplifier modules with GHz bandwidth
  • 625 Mega sample/sec AWG with 16 bit resolution and PCIe GByte/sec interface
  • 16 bit AWG M4i card series now with 1.25 giga sample/sec D/A converter
  • Server utility allows Spectrum card setup and monitoring across LAN Network
Click here for previous releases in 2014:-
  • Cost effective 16-bit digitzer card with multiple 60 MS/sec channels
  • 14 & 16 bit digitizerNETBOX Ethernet/LXI instruments with up to 0.5GHz sampling speed!
  • Clock and trigger signal distribution card is now available in PCI-Express format
  • Synchronise Spectrum M2i instrumentation cards across multiple computer installations
  • Card based FPGA signal average module for enhanced measurement resolution and SNR
  • Signal peak detection and statistics functions added to digitiser hardware
  • Ultra high-speed M4i series PCIe digitizer cards with up to 5GS/sec sampling
Click here for previous releases in 2013:-
  • Enhancement options now included with all Spectrum instrumentation cards!
  • PXI format multi-channel 16 bit 50 Mega Sample/sec A/D converter card
  • New DigitizerNetbox provides a portable Ethernet enclosure for Spectrum cards
  • M4i 14 Bit 500 MS/s digitiser with PCIe x8 lane
  • Faster digitzerNETBOX with up to 200MHz sampling
Click here for previous releases in 2012:-
  • DataQuest Solutions extends its ACME portable computer range.
  • Extended range of tough waterproof rugged tablet PC's now available.
  • Ultra high speed multi-channel 16 bit signal capture card.
  • PCI Express docking station range now includes 4 and 7 slot options
  • DataQuest Solutions are moving to a new location in Lincolnshire
Click here for previous releases in 2011:-
  • Spectrum releases fully updated instrumentation catalogue
  • Dual time base sampling available for all digitiser cards
  • SPA series of high bandwidth and gain external amplifiers
  • Sequence Replay Mode enhances pattern generation programming.
Click here for previous releases in 2010:-
  • Logic analyzer display for SBench6
  • Lighter, faster MRC2300 presents the latest in PC tablet technology
  • M3i series cards now with SMA connector option
  • M3i.4800 series card uses the latest generation 16 bit 180Msample converter
Click here for previous releases in 2009:-
  • Spectrum drivers now support .NET users
  • Slim portable PC now features hot-swap battery option
  • SBench Version 6 signal visualisation software release
  • M3i.32xx and M3i.41xx series provides exceptional resolution and speed
  • New Spectrum M3i.21xx series extends signal capture up to 1GHz!
Click here for previous releases in 2008:-
  • 12 bit digitisers now have software selectable differential inputs
  • All M2i cards now come with 256Mbytes of memory as standard!
  • Radar signal and antenna position capture card
  • Slim ultra portable PC with PCI and PCI-Express
  • 400MS/sec high resolution digitiser heralds M3i release
Click here for previous releases in 2007:-
  • 64 bit Windows and Linux drivers arrive for M2i
  • Full LABVIEW™ support for all M2i boards
  • Docking Station for PCI-Express Cards
  • Spectrum expands range to incorporate PCI-Express card connectivity
  • Clock and trigger distribution board adds flexibility to system connectivity
  • 125MS/sec Arbitrary Waveform Generators with PCI-Express connectivity
Click here for previous releases in 2006:-
  • Orders now being taken for the new M2i A/D digitisers.
  • New DEWEtron range of rugged portable PC's
  • M2i range extends to digital I/O boards
  • M2i.46xx range gives fast 16 bit resolution and true differential inputs
  • M2i.47xx range provides 16 bit resolution on 16 inputs
Click here for previous releases in 2005:-
  • Tough additions to our range of go anywhere portable PC's. (New rugged Notebooks and a Tablet PC).
  • Easy virtual control panel for waveform generation. (SPeasyGenerator software release )
  • Two slot PCI Docking Station with drive space.
  • Amplifier option adds ±10 V output level to existing Spectrum arbitrary waveform generators.
  • Rugged Notebook Pro PC now with higher specification.
  • Spectrum announces pending release of the second series of digitisers.
Click here for previous releases in 2004:-
  • Spectrum Mega sample CompactPCI and PXI release.
  • Digital pattern generator board Mi72xx with output -2 and +10 volts.
  • Memory efficient Mi7005 dig I/O with 1, 2, 4 bit settings.
  • Disk streaming software SPviewIT.
  • New Spectrum MI/Mc/Mx3027 2 channel 100Ms/s board

© DataQuest Solutions 03.01.07.
(last revised 04.12.20)
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Text may be based upon marketing material produced by Spectrum Instrumentation GmbH and hence copyrighted by them.
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