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M5i.3357-x16 12 bit high speed digitizer - SPECTRUM Instrumentation
12 bit high speed digitizer
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12 bit high speed digitizer


The high-performance M5i.33xx series gives outstanding performance with the combination of high resolution, high samplingrate, high bandwidth and the world fastest streaming speed for Digitizers.
On selected systems the card can stream continuously one channel with 6.4 GS/s and 12 bit resolution to CPU or GPU. The M5i series is based on the common API from Spectrum and uses the same software interface like all Spectrum products released since 2005

Facts & Features:

  • 10.0 GS/s on one channel
  • 5.0 GS/s on two channels
  • 3 GHz Bandwidth
  • Simultaneously sampling on all channels
  • Separate ADC and amplifier per channel
  • 4 synchronous digital channels with multi-purpose I/O
  • 2 GSample on-board memory as standard
  • 8 GSample on-board memory as option
  • PCI Express x16 Gen3 Interface
  • Works with x16 PCIe Gen1 to Gen4 slots
  • Sustained streaming speed card to PC up to 12.8 GB/s
  • Direct data transfer to / from CUDA GPU using SCAPP


Technical Drawing:

Application examples:

  • Fiber Optics
  • Mass Spectroscopy
  • RF Recording

Block Average (Optional)

The Block Average Module improves the fidelity of noisy repetitive signals. Multiple repetitive acquisitions with very small dead-time are accumulated and averaged. Random noise is reduced by the averaging process improving the visibility of the repetitive signal.

Ring buffer mode

The ring buffer mode is the standard mode of all acquisition 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.

FIFO mode

The FIFO mode is designed for continuous data transfer between measurement board and PC memory or hard disk. The read (acquisition) transfer rate reached depends on the motherboard and can be up to 12.8 GByte/s on a PCI Express x16 Gen3 slot with a TPD of 512. 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.

8 Bit Mode

The digitizer allow to optionally reduce the resolution of the A/D samples from their native resolution down to 8 bit resolution, such that each sample will only occupy one byte in memory instead of the standard two bytes required. This does not only allow to store douple the amount of samples in the on-board memory, but also reduces the required bandwidth over the PCIe bus by half and also to the storage
devices, such as SSD or HDD. Using this mode much higer streaing speeds are reachable.

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 allowing all channels of all cards to be trigger source at the same time. The star-hub is available as either piggy-back version (extending the width of the card) or as extension version (extending the length of the card to full length).

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. Trigger conditions can be combined with logical conjunctions like OR to adopt to different application scenarios.

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.


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 Trigger

All boards can be triggered using a separate external trigger signal with  programmable comparator. In addition all multi-purpose I/O lines can be used as additional digital trigger sources. 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.

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.

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.

Synchronous Sampling

All acquisition cards from Spectrum are built with a completely synchronous design. Every channel has its own independent input amplifier as well as an independent ADC allowing to program all input channel related settings individually for each channel.

Multi Purpose I/O

All M5i cards offer four universal multi-purpose I/O lines, which can be separately programmed as either input or output. The termination can be programm individually to 50 ohm or kOhm. The I/O lines can be used as additional synchronous digital inputs, as asynchronous digital I/O or to output card status signals like trigger-armed or to output the trigger to synchronize external equipment.

M5i.3321 Time Domain Optimization (Optional)

The option M5i.3321-inptd optimizes the input stage of the 2 x 3.2 GS/s 12 bit digitizer for time domain measurement with a modified filter characteristic to minimize overshoot, undershoot and ringing on step response.

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 C++, Delphi, Visual Basic, C#, VB.Net, Java, Python, Julia 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.

Remote Server (Optional)

Using the Spectrum Remote Server it is possible to access the M2p/M2i/M3i/M4i/M4x card(s) installed in one PC (server) from another PC (client) via local area network (LAN), similar to using a digitizerNETBOX. To operate it the remote server option has to be activated by a software license for any of the Spectrum cards in the remote system.


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.

SCAPP - CUDA Interface (Optional)

The SDK option allows to directly transfer data between the Spectrum card and a NVIDA CUDA GPU card. The GPU card is optimized for parallel data processing. The package comes with a number of detailed examples like FFT or block average.


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 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 and Windows 11, all 32 bit and 64 bit.

Related products
Product Channels Max. Samplerate Max. Bandwidth
M5i.3330-x16 1 6.40 GS/s 2 GHz
M5i.3337-x16 2 6.40 GS/s 2 GHz
M5i.3321-x16 2 3.20 GS/s 1 GHz
M5i.3350-x16 1 10 GS/s 3 GHz
M5i.3360-x16 1 10 GS/s 4.70 GHz
M5i.3367-x16 2 10 GS/s 4.70 GHz

A/D External Amplifiers (Optional)

Independent external pre-amplifiers allow to acquire extremely small signals with a reasonable quality. The external amplifiers are optimized for low noise inputs. The amplifiers of the SPA series are available with different bandwidth and input impedance options. No programming is needed to operate the amplifiers.

Streaming Systems (Optional)

Combining a number of Spectrum M2p/M2i/M3i/M4i/M5i PCIe digitizers with a Tera-Store Data Streaming solution allows the capture and storage of long complex signals for extended periods of time. With systems available offering from 1 to 32 TB of storage and streaming rates up to 3 GB/s signals can be digitized and stored seamlessly for hours on end.


Signal Processing

Signal Processing fro Digitizers

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M5i.33xx Datasheet

Data sheet of the M5i.33xx series

24.06.20242 M
M5i.33xx Manual

Manual of M5i.33xx family

03.06.202412 M


Driver Win7/8/10/11

M2p/M4i/M4x/M5i/M2i/M3i/DN2/DN6 driver for Windows 7, 8, 10, 11 (32/64 bit)

7.0227.05.20245 M

C/C++ driver header and library files

7.0227.05.202443 K
Control Center (32-bit)

Spectrum Control Center (32-bit) / Windows 7, 8, 10

2.3627.05.202422 M
Control Center (64-bit)

Spectrum Control Center (64-bit) / Windows 7, 8, 10, 11

2.3627.05.202425 M
Remote Server Windows

Windows Installer for Remote Server Option

22.04.202413 M
IVI Digitizer

IVI Driver for IVI Digitizer class (32 bit)

27.05.20243 M
IVI Scope

IVI Driver for IVI Scope class (32 bit)

27.05.20243 M
LabView driver

M2i/M2p/M3i/M4i/M4x/M5i/DN2/DN6 LabView driver installer

27.05.202419 M
Matlab driver

M2p/M4i/M4x/M5i/M2i/M3i/DN2/DN6 Matlab driver + examples installer

27.05.202415 M
Examples for Windows

Windows Examples (C/C++, .NET, Delphi, Java, Python, Julia ...)

7.0227.05.20242 M


Linux Driver Complete

M2p/M4i/M4x/M5i/M2i/M3i drivers (Kernel + Library) for Linux 32 bit and 64 bit

7.0227.05.202412 M
Linux Driver Library

Driver libraries (no Kernel) for Linux 32 bit and 64 bit

7.0227.05.20249 M
Remote Server Linux

Spectrum Remote Server Linux Installer Package

22.04.202412 K
Control Center

Spectrum Control Center

2.3622.04.202457 M
Examples for Linux

Linux Examples (C/C++, Python, Julia ...)

7.0227.05.2024564 K


Firmware Update (Windows)

M2i/M2p/M3i/M4i/M4x/M5i firmware update (Windows)

03.06.202422 M
Firmware Update (Linux)

M2i/M2p/M3i/M4i/M4x/M5i firmware update (Linux)

03.06.202430 M

Case Studies

OCT Skin Cancer Scanner

OCT application for skin cancer diagnosis

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CS Mass Spectroscopy

Case Study: Digitizer in Mass Spectroscopy

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CS Digitizer at Cern

Case Study: Digitizers and AWGs at Cerns LHC Beam Dumping System

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CS Spectrum Digitizers at DESY

Case Study: Spectrum Digitizers playing vital role at DESY

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CS DIAL - Differential Absorption LIDAR

Case Study DIAL - Differential Absorption LIDAR

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CS Smithonian Spectrometer

Case Study: Groundbreaking microwave spectrometer for research of interstellar materials

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CS MPI measuring Star Diameter

Max Planck Institute uses Spectrum's digitizer cards to measure diameters of distant stars

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CS Atomic Force Microscope

Case Study: Atomic Force Microscope scanning surfaces

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Product Notes

General Digitizer Introduction

General Introduction to Waveform Digitizers

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High-Res High BW Digitizers

Advantages of High Resolution in High Bandwidth Digitizers

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Digitizer Acquisition Modes

Using modular Digitizer Acquisition Modes

21.02.20223 M
Digitizer Front-End

Proper Use of Digitizer Front-End Signal Conditioning

21.02.20223 M
Trigger and Sync

Trigger, Clock and Synchronization Details at high-speed Digitizers

21.02.20221 M
Digitizer Software Integration

Software Support for Modular Digitizers

21.02.2022724 K

Application Notes

Ultrasonic Applications

Using Digitizers in Ultrasonic Applications

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RF Measurements

RF Measurements using a modular Digitizer

21.02.2022838 K
Signal Processing Tools

Using Signal Processing Tools to enhance Digitizer Data

21.02.20221 M
Digitizers as Oscilloscope

Using a Digitizer as Oscilloscope

21.02.2022845 K
Solving Data Transfer Bottlenecks on Digitizers

Solving Data Transfer Bottlenecks on Digitizers

21.02.20222 M
Teaming AWG with Digitizer

Teaming an Arbitrary Waveform Generator with a Modular Digitizer

21.02.2022919 K
Common Digitizer Setup Problems

Application Note: Common Digitizer Setup Problems to avoid

21.02.20221 M
Mass Spectroscopy

Application Note Mass Spectroscopy

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AN LIDAR Light Detection and Ranging

Application Note LIDAR - Light Detection and Ranging

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AN Amplitude Resolution

Application Note: The Amplitude Resolution of Digitizers and how it affects Measurements

21.02.2022555 K
AN Radar Signal Acquisition

Application Note: Radar Signal Acquisition with Modular Digitizer

21.02.2022771 K
AN Dynamic Parameters and Digitizers

Application Note: Dynamic Parameters and Waveform Digitizers

21.02.2022711 K
AN Application examples for the ultrafast digitizers of the M5i.33xx series

Application examples for the ultrafast digitizers of the M5i.33xx series

06.07.20231 M
AN M5i.33xx - New Features for Modular High-Speed Digitizer

M5i.33xx - New Features for Modular High-Speed Digitizer

14.02.2024823 K
AN M5i.33xx - Pulse Burst RF Measurements for NMR

AN M5i.33xx - Pulse Burst RF Measurements for NMR

14.02.2024668 K

White Papers

Software block averaging

Using software based fast block averaging

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On location for you. Choose your region.

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Contact Europe
Phone +49 (0)4102 6956-0
Fax +49 (0)4102 6956-66
E-Mail info@spec.de
Contact USA
Phone +1 (201) 562-1999
Fax +1 (201) 820-2691
E-Mail sales@spectrum-instrumentation.com
Contact Asia
Phone +61 402 130 414
E-Mail greg.tate@spectrum-instrumentation.com

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