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14 bit Arbitrary Waveform Generator

  • Up to 20 MS/s on 4 channels
  • Simultaneous generation on all channels
  • Output up to +/-3 V in 50 Ohm
  • Offset and amplitude programmable
  • Amplifier option available for +/-10 V
  • Up to 1 GSample on-board memory
  • 256 MSample standard memory installed
  • 3 software selectable filters
  • FIFO mode continuous streaming output
  • Synchronization of up to 16 cards
  • 66 MHz 32 bit PCI-X interface
  • 5V / 3.3V PCI compatible
  • 100% compatible to conventional PCI >= V2.1
  • Sustained streaming mode up to 245 MB/s

Application Examples

  • IQ Base signal generation
  • Production tests
  • Replay of acquired test data
  • Radar signal simulation

General Information

The Arbitrary Waveform Generators of the M2i.60xx series are available as 14 bit versions ranging from 20 MS/s up to 125 MS/s output rate. With these boards it is possible to generate free definable waveforms on several channels synchronously. With one of the synchronization options the setup of synchronous multi channel systems is possible. It is also possible to combine the arbitrary waveform generator with other boards of the M2i product family like analog acquisition or digital I/O boards.

The PCI bus in the form that is used today was first introduced in 1995. The last years it has been the most common platform for PC based instrumentation boards. Nowadays PCI based systems are more and more superseded by PCI Express based systems. Its world-wide range of installations, especially in the consumer market, still makes it a platform with good value. Based on the PCI bus the PCI-X bus was specified for applications needing a higher data throughput. On the PCI-X bus there are bus frequencies up to 133 MHz and data bus widths up to 64 bit available. The M2i and M3i cards use the PCI-X bus with 66 MHz to gain a high data throughput. All PCI and PCI-X cards from Spectrum are compatible to PCI as well as to PCI-X with 33 MHz up to 133 MHz bus frequency.

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.

Repeated Output

When repeated output is used the data of the on-board memory is replayed continuously until a stop command is executed or N times. As trigger source one can use the external TTL trigger or the software trigger.

Single Restart

When this mode is activated the data of the on-board memory will be replayed once after each trigger event. Trigger source one can use the external TTL or software trigger.

Singleshot Output

When singleshot output is activated the data of the on-board memory is replayed exactly one time. As trigger source one can use the external TTL trigger or the software trigger.

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.

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 Replay

The Gated Sampling option allows data replay controlled by an external gate signal. Data is only replayed if the gate signal has a programmed level.

Multiple Replay

The Multiple Replay option allows the fast repetition output on several trigger events without restarting the hardware. With this option very fast repetition rates can be achieved. The on-board memory is divided in several segments of same size. Each of them is generated if a trigger event occurs.

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.

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.

10 V Amplifier Card (Optional)

The amplifier board allows the output of +/-10 V on up to four channels without software modification. The standard outputs of the card are amplified by factor 3.33. The amplifier which has 30 MHz bandwidth has an output impedance of 50 Ohm. This allows +/-10 V with high impedance termination or +/-5 V with 50 ohm termination.

Digital Outputs (Optional)

This option outputs additional synchronous digital channels phase-stable with the analog data. When this option is installed there are 2 additional digital outputs for every analog D/A channel.

Programmable Offset + Amplitude

The Spectrum Arbitrary Waveform Generators are equipped with a very wide programmable output offset and amplitude. This allows to adapt the output signal level to the needs of the stimulated device while also having the maximum output resolution available for the 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
m2i60_datasheet_english.pdfDatasheet of the M2i.60xx family19.04.14348 kBytes
m2i60_manual_english.pdfManual of M2i.60xx family19.04.144 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
mi6xxxamp_datasheet_english.pdfMI / M2i.6xxx +/-10 V amplifier datasheet04.02.1389 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
speasygenerator_install.zipSPEasyGenerator installer19.04.145 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