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16 bit multi-purpose digitizer

  • Up to 500 kS/s on 4 channels
  • Simultaneously sampling on all channels
  • Software selectable single-ended or differential inputs
  • Separate ADC and amplifier per channel
  • Programmable input offset of +/-5 V
  • Up to 1 GSample on-board memory
  • 256 MSample standard memory installed
  • 8 input ranges: +/-50 mV up to +/-10 V
  • Window, pulse width, re-arm, spike, OR/AND trigger
  • Synchronization of up to 16 cards
  • 2,5 GBit x1 PCIe Interface
  • Works with x1/x4/x8/x16* PCIe slots
  • Software compatible to PCI
  • Sustained streaming mode up to 160 MB/s

Application Examples

  • High precision audio measurements
  • Vibration analysis
  • Life cycle tests of plastic components

General Information

The M2i.46xx Express series allows recording of one, two, four or eight channels with sampling rates of 200 kS/s up to 3 MS/s. These cards offer outstanding A/D features both in resolution and speed for PCI/PCI-X and PCI Express. The powerful A/D amplifier section offers 8 different input ranges, programmable offset and a software switching from single-ended to differential inputs without decreasing the number of channels. The enhanced FIFO engine is capable of streaming even 8 channels at a sustained 3 MS/s to memory or hard disk.

In contrast to the parallel PCI buses PCI Express slots contain serial point to point connections. Each connection pair (lane) is able to reach a burst connection speed of 250 MBytes/s. The Spectrum PCI Express cards base on the most commonly used x1 lane slot type. One advantage of the PCI Express technology is the direct connection of each slot allowing a full transfer bandwidth for each single card. On the software side there is no difference between PCI/PCI-X or PCI Express. PCI Express is the bus standard for PC based systems for the next couple of years. Today's State-of-the-art motherboards normally have a couple of PCI Express slots but only one or two PCI-X slots. Spectrum's PCI Express x1 cards can be used in any standard PCI Express slot be it x1, x4, x8 or x16. Only some dedicated PCI Express graphics slots may not work.

BaseXIO (Optional)

The BaseXIO option offers 8 asynchronous digital I/O lines on the base card. The direction can be selected by software in groups of four. Two of these lines can also be used as additional external trigger sources. This allows the building of complex trigger conjunctions with external gated triggers as well as AND/OR conjunction of multiple external trigger sources like, for example, the picture and row synchronisation of video signals. In addition one of the I/O lines can be used as reference clock for the Timestamp counter.

FIFO mode

The FIFO mode is designed for continuous data transfer between measurement board and PC memory (up to 245 MB/s on a PCI-X slot, up to 125 MB/s on a PCI slot and up to 160 MB/s on a PCIe slot) or hard disk. The control of the data stream is done automatically by the driver on interrupt request. The complete installed on-board memory is used for buffer data, making the continuous streaming extremely reliable.

Ring buffer mode

The ring buffer mode is the standard mode of all oscilloscope boards. Data is written in a ring memory of the board until a trigger event is detected. After the event the posttrigger values are recorded. Because of this continuously recording into a ring buffer there are also samples prior to the trigger event visible: Pretrigger = Memsize - Posttrigger.

Star-Hub (Optional)

The star-hub is an additional module allowing the phase stable synchronization of up to 16 boards in one system. Independent of the number of boards there is no phase delay between all channels. The star-hub distributes trigger and clock information between all boards. As a result all connected boards are running with the same clock and the same trigger. All trigger sources can be combined with OR/AND allowing all channels of all cards to be trigger source at the same time. The star-hub is available as 5 card and 16 card version. The 5 card version doesn't need an extra slot.

Channel Trigger

The data acquisition boards offer a wide variety of trigger modes. Besides the standard signal checking for level and edge as known from oscilloscopes it's also possible to define a window trigger. All trigger modes can be combined with the pulsewidth trigger. This makes it possible to trigger on signal errors like too long or too short pulses.

External Trigger

All boards can be triggered using an external TTL signal. It's possible to use positive or negative edge also in combination with a programmable pulse width. An internally recognized trigger event can - when activated by software - be routed to the trigger connector to start external instruments.

Gated Sampling

The Gated Sampling option allows data recording controlled by an external gate signal. Data is only recorded if the gate signal has a programmed level. In addition a pre-area before start of the gate signal as well as a post area after end of the gate signal can be acquired. The number of gate segments is only limited by the used memory and is unlimited when using FIFO mode.

Multiple Recording

The Multiple Recording option allows the recording of several trigger events with an extremely short re-arming time. The hardware doesn't need to be restarted in between. The on-board memory is divided in several segments of the same size. Each of them is filled with data if a trigger event occurs. Pre- and posttrigger of the segments can be programmed. The number of acquired segments is only limited by the used memory and is unlimited when using FIFO mode.

Pulsewidth Trigger

Defines the minimum or maximum width that a trigger pulse must have to generate a trigger event. Pulse width can be combined with channel trigger, pattern trigger and external trigger.

Spike Trigger

The trigger event is a slope inside the signal that is larger (or even smaller) than a programmed slope. Internally the difference of two adjacent samples is calculated and then compared to the programmed trigger level. This trigger mode allows the detection of signal distortions as needed for power line monitoring.


The timestamp option writes the time positions of the trigger events in an extra memory. The timestamps are relative to the start of recording, a defined zero time, externally synchronized to a radio clock, or a GPS receiver. With this option acquisitions of systems on different locations can be set in a precise time relation.

External Clock

Using a dedicated connector a sampling clock can be fed in from an external system. It's also possible to output the internally used sampling clock to synchronize external equipment to this clock.

High Precision PLL

The internal sampling clock of the card is generated using a high precision PLL. This powerful device allows to select the sampling rate with a fine step size making it possible to perfectly adopt to different measurement tasks. Most other cards on the market only allow the setup of fixed sampling rates like 100 MS/s, 50 MS/s, 25 MS/s, 10 MS/s, ... without any possibility to set the sampling rate to any value in between.

Reference Clock

The option to use a precise external reference clock (normally 10 MHz) is necessary to synchronize the board for high-quality measurements with external equipment (like a signal source). It's also possible to enhance the quality of the sampling clock in this way. The driver automatically generates the requested sampling clock from the fed in reference clock.

On-board Calibration

The on-board calibration can be run on user request and calibrates the amplifier against a dedicated internal high precision calibration source. After this calibration data is stored permanently in an on-board EEPROM and is automatically used for further acquisitions.

Differential Inputs

With a simple software command the inputs can individually be switched from single-ended (in relation to ground) to differential, without loosing any inputs. When the inputs are used in differential mode the A/D converter measures the difference between two lines with relation to system ground.

Programmable Input Amplifiers

The analog inputs can be adapted to real world signals using individual settings for each channel. A large number of different input ranges and a programmable input offset allow to adopt perfectly to the real world signals.

Programmable Input Offset

Most of the Spectrum A/D cards offer a user programmable signal offset opening the Spectrum boards to a wide variety of setups. The signal offset at least covers a range of +/-100 % of the currently selected input range making unipolar measurements with the card possible. Besides this the input range offset can be programmed individually allowing a perfect match of the A/D card section to the real world signal.

3rd Party Drivers

A lot of third-party products are supported by the Spectrum driver. Choose between LabVIEW, MATLAB, LabWindows/CVI and IVI. All drivers come with examples and detailed documentation.

Programming Examples

Programming examples for Microsoft Visual C++, Borland C++ Builder, Gnu C++ (CygWin), Borland Delphi, Microsoft Visual Basic, C#, J#, VB.Net, Python and LabWindows/CVI are delivered with the driver. Due to the simple interface of the driver, the integration in other programming languages or special measurement software is an easy task.


All cards are delivered with full Linux support. Pre compiled kernel modules are included for the most common distributions like RedHat, Fedora, Suse, Ubuntu or Debian. The Linux support includes SMP systems, 32 bit and 64 bit systems, versatile programming examples for Gnu C++ as well as the possibility to get the driver sources for own compilation.


SBench 6 is a powerful and intuitive interactive measurement software. Besides the possibility to commence the measuring task immediately, without programming, SBench 6 combines the setup of hardware, data display, oscilloscope, transient recorder, waveform generator, analyzing functions, import and export functions under one easy-to-use interface.


This standard driver is included in the card delivery and it is possible to get the newest driver version free of charge from our homepage at any time. There are no additional SDK fees for the classical text-based programming. All boards are delivered with drivers for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, all 32 bit and 64 bit.

File NameInfoLast modifiedFile Size
m2i46_datasheet_english.pdfDatasheet of the M2i.46xx family19.04.14360 kBytes
m2i46_manual_english.pdfManual of M2i.46xx family19.04.145 MBytes
dock_datasheet_english.pdfDatasheet of Docking Station19.04.14169 kBytes
m2iclktrg_datasheet_english.pdfM2i Clock / Trigger distribution card19.04.14139 kBytes
m2istarhub_datasheet_english.pdfM2i StarHub module datasheet19.04.14172 kBytes
spcm_ivi_english.pdfShort Manual for IVI Driver19.04.14525 kBytes
sbench6_datasheet_english.pdfData sheet of SBench 619.04.14276 kBytes
m2ixxxx_labview_english.pdfManual for LabVIEW drivers for M2i/DN228.05.131 MBytes
sbench6_manual_english.pdfManual for SBench 619.04.146 MBytes
spcm_matlab_manual_english.pdfManual for MATLAB driver M2i/M3i/M4i/DN219.04.14555 kBytes
WINDOWS Drivers + Software
File NameInfoLast modifiedFile Size
spcm_drv_win32_v305b8879.zipM2i / M3i / M4i / DN2 driver for Windows 32 bit (XP, Vista, 7, 8)19.04.141 MBytes
spcm_drv_win64_v305b8879.zipM2i / M3i / M4i / DN2 driver for Windows 64 bit (XP, Vista, 7, 8)19.04.142 MBytes
spcmcontrol_install.exeSpectrum Control Center19.04.148 MBytes
specdigitizer.msiIVI Driver for IVI Digitizer class19.04.143 MBytes
specscope.msiIVI Driver for IVI Scope class19.04.142 MBytes
sbench5_install.exeSBench 5 Installer19.04.144 MBytes
sbench6_v6.2.3b8880.exeSBench 6 Installer19.04.1420 MBytes
spcm_drv_labview_install.exeM2i / M3i / M4i LabView driver installer19.04.148 MBytes
spcm_drv_matlab_install.exeM2i / M3i / M4i Matlab driver installer19.04.141 MBytes
examples_install.exeExamples (C/C++, VB, Delphi, .NET, CVI, Python ...)19.04.14752 kBytes
LINUX Drivers + Software
File NameInfoLast modifiedFile Size
spcm_linux_drv_v305b8879.tgzM2i / M3i / M4i drivers (Kernel + Library) for Linux 32 bit and 64 bit19.04.143 MBytes
spcm_linux_libs_v305b8879.tgzDriver libraries (no Kernel) for Linux 32 bit and 64 bit19.04.141 MBytes
spcm_control_center_v150b8882.tgzSpectrum Control Center19.04.1423 MBytes
sbench6_6.2.03b8880-2_i386.debSBench 6 Linux 32 (.deb)19.04.1417 MBytes
sbench6-6.2.03b8880-1.32bit_stdc++6.rpmSBench 6 Linux 32 (.rpm)19.04.1417 MBytes
sbench6_6.2.03b8880-2_amd64.debSBench 6 Linux 64 (.deb)19.04.1417 MBytes
sbench6-6.2.03b8880-1.64bit_stdc++6.rpmSBench 6 Linux 64 (.rpm)19.04.1417 MBytes
spcm-matlab-driver_amd64.debDrivers for MATLAB for Linux (DEB)19.04.1466 kBytes
spcm_matlab_driver_x86_64.rpmDrivers for MATLAB for Linux (RPM)19.04.1457 kBytes
File NameInfoLast modifiedFile Size
spcm_firmware_2014-04-17.tgzM2i / M3i firmware update (Linux)19.04.143 MBytes
firmware_update_install.exeM2i / M3i / M4i firmware update (Windows)19.04.143 MBytes

Contact Information

+49 (0)4102 6956-0