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M3i.2120-Exp

8 bit multi-purpose digitizer

  • Up to 500 MS/s on 1 channel
  • Simultaneously sampling on all channels
  • Separate monolithic ADC and amplifier per channel
  • Programmable input offset +/-100%
  • Up to 2 GSample on-board memory
  • 512 MSample standard memory installed
  • 8 input ranges: +/-50 mV up to +/-10 V
  • Edge, window, re-arm, OR/AND trigger
  • Synchronization of up to 8 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

  • Ultrasound
  • Spectroscopy
  • RADAR
  • Laser Applications

General Information

The M3i.21xx Express series offers 4 different versions ranging from 250 MS/s up to 1 GS/s with one or two channels. The powerful analog section has been designed for highest bandwidth together with best signal quality and a versatile highly configurable amplifier section. An extremely low dead time between segments in Multiple Recording mode specifies this card for fast repeating signals like LDA/PDA, RADAR or Ultrasound applications. This card series replaces the PCI.248/PCI.258 card series and offers 256 MByte of memory as the standard version.

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 8 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 4 card and 8 card version. The 4 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 a separate external trigger signal with a two level programmable window comparator. It's possible to use positive or negative edge. An internally recognized trigger event can - when activated by software - be routed to a multi purpose i/o connector to start external instruments.

Multi Purpose I/O

The card offers universal multi purpose I/O lines, which can be separately programmed as either input or output. These lines can be used as additional TTL trigger inputs for more complex trigger conditions.

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.

Timestamp

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.

Selectable AC/DC Coupling

Each analog channel contains a software selectable AC/DC coupling. When using the DC coupling all frequency parts of the signal including the DC offset are acquired. Selecting the AC coupling will only acquire frequency parts of the signal that are above a defined minimum bandwidth.

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.

Programmable Input Amplifiers

The analog inputs can be adapted to real world signals using a wide variety of settings that are individual for each channel. By using software commands the input termination can be changed between 50 Ohm and 1 MOhm and one can select an input range matching the real world signal.

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.

Selectable Input Path

For each of the analog channels the user has the choice between two analog input paths, both offering the highest flexibility when it comes to input ranges. The "Buffered" path has a fixed 1 MOhm termination, that allows to connect standard oscilloscope probes to the card. The "50 Ohm" path on the other hand provides the highest bandwidth and the best signal integrity having a fixed 50 Ohm termination.

Selectable Low Pass Filter

Each analog channel contains a software selectable low-pass filter to limit the input bandwidth. Reducing the analog input bandwidth results in a lower total noise and can be usefull especially with low voltage input signals.

Multi Purpose I/O

All M3i cards offer two universal multi purpose I/O lines, which can be separately programmed as either input or output. When used as outputs, these lines can be used to output card status signals like trigger-armed or to output the trigger to synchronize external equipment.

SMA Connectors (Optional)

As an alternative to the standard SMB and MMCX connections the card can also be equipped with SMA connectors. The SMA connections are available for the analog input signals as well as for two of the additonal connections. These connections must be defined on the purchase order and can be a selection of: Trig-In, Trig-Out, Multi-Purpose X0, Clk-In, Clk-Out.

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.

Linux

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.

SBench6

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.

Windows

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.

Documents
File NameInfoLast modifiedFile Size
m3i21_datasheet_english.pdfDatasheet of the M3i.21xx family19.04.14376 kBytes
m3i21_manual_english.pdfManual of M3i.21xx family19.04.144 MBytes
dock_datasheet_english.pdfDatasheet of Docking Station19.04.14169 kBytes
m3istarhub_datasheet_english.pdfM3i StarHub module datasheet19.04.1466 kBytes
spa_amplifier_datasheet_english.pdfDatasheet of SPA pre-amplifier19.04.14203 kBytes
spcm_ivi_english.pdfShort Manual for IVI Driver19.04.14525 kBytes
sbench6_datasheet_english.pdfData sheet of SBench 619.04.14276 kBytes
m3ixxxx_labview_english.pdfManual for LabVIEW drivers for M3i28.05.131 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
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
Firmware
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