18-bits on the bus

National Instruments has introduced its highest-resolution multifunction data acquisition (DAQ) devices for the PCI bus with four new 18-bit M Series DAQ devices.

The new NI PCI-628x devices deliver four times the resolution of 16-bit devices and sample up to 32 channels at rates up to 625 kS/s. The devices also measure DC voltages with accuracy equivalent to 5½-digit voltmeters, improving measurement accuracy of sensors such as thermocouples.

The 628x devices offer channel counts ranging from 16 analog input channels and 24 digital I/O lines to 32 analog input channels, four analog output channels and 48 digital I/O lines. All devices contain two 80 MHz, 32-bit counter/timers and support hardware-timed digital I/O at rates up to 10 MHz on 32 lines.

Engineers can use these devices in test applications to provide instrument capabilities equivalent to a 5½ -digit voltmeter, 2.8 MS/s arbitrary waveform generator and 32-bit logic analyzer. The devices also are compatible with NI signal conditioners and IEEE 1451.4 smart sensors, making them ideal for sensor measurement and data-logging applications.

The four new devices bring the total of M Series multifunction devices to 24 and feature the technologies introduced with the new M Series product line, including NI-MCal technology and the NI-STC 2 system controller chip.

NI-MCal technology improves measurement accuracy across the entire measurement range by performing a self-calibration at each input range and compensating for nonlinearity error.

The NI-STC 2 chip delivers digital I/O and timing capabilities previously unavailable with plug-in DAQ devices, such as timed and correlated digital I/O, 32-bit counter/timers with quadrature encoder inputs and debouncing filters, as well as six DMA channels for dedicated data paths to the PC processor for all I/O operations.