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Measurement Computing has released two data acquisition (DAQ) products featuring an O/S-independent protocol that allows DAQ devices to be programmed with simple text-based messages.

The 7000 series product line, which includes the USB-7202 and USB-7204 boards, combines small form-factor, bus-powered USB hardware and a light and agile software framework that can be ported to multiple operating systems.

The software framework, a core technology to the series, is called Message-Based DAQ (MBD).

The MBD protocol permits the programming of DAQ devices using simple text-based messages.

MBD simplifies driver and application development as DAQ operations are programmed through a common command interface, which is composed of a consistent, extensible firmware interface and an open-source, cross-platform API.

The firmware parses text-based messages transmitted through a device driver and converts these messages into DAQ-specific commands that control the device.

This concise and well-documented interface allows driver development for multiple operating systems and supports O/S-independent embedded systems that need to communicate only over a USB root port.

The USB-7202 and USB-7204 boards are multifunction measurement and control devices intended specifically for the MBD protocol.

Intended primarily for original-equipment-manufacturer (OEM) applications, both are shipped as open stackable PC/104-sized boards without enclosures.

The USB-7202 features: eight analogue input channels; 16-bit resolution; 100kS/s maximum total throughput; simultaneous sampling (one A/D converter per input); one 32-bit event counter; an external digital trigger input; an external pacer; eight digital input/output (I/O) lines; and detachable screw terminals.

The USB-7204 features: eight single-ended or four differential analogue inputs; two 12-bit analogue outputs; 12 bit (differential) or 11 bit (single ended); up to 50kS/s sample rate; 16 digital I/O lines; and detachable screw terminals.

Both the USB-7202 and the USB-7204 offer two USB connection options: the high-retention B-type and the OEM header.

Each product comes with a 2m-long USB cable, four nylon standoffs with screws and a CD containing a Windows installer file (msi), along with the MC7000 help file and an archive file containing installation files for a Linux operating system.

Jim Stevens, Measurement Computing’s vice-president of research and development, said: ‘We developed the new architecture specifically for OEMs.

‘The Message-Based DAQ architecture is ideal for developers who value a small driver footprint, an easy-to-learn API and the ability to port their application to virtually any operating system.

‘The MBD software API is open source, so OEM developers can strip it down, enhance it and otherwise modify it depending on their specific needs.

‘The USB-7202 and 7204 are just the first two in a series of MBD products under development,’ he added.

Measurement Computing

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