Multifunction DAQ devices offer high accuracy over USB

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Multifunction DAQ devices offer high accuracy over USBNational Instruments is launching a new line of M Series USB data acquisition (DAQ) devices with 18-bit analogue input accuracy at sampling rates up to 625kS/s. The NI USB-6281 and USB-6289 feature an 18-bit ADC that is said to provide a four-fold increase in resolution over traditional 16-bit devices, equivalent to more than five-and-a-half digits of resolution for DC measurements. These units also offer enhanced analogue output channels with programmable range and offset settings. In addition to standard screw terminal or mass-termination connectivity options, board-only OEM versions are also available for integration with embedded systems and include 34- and 50-pin insulation-displacement connectors (IDC) for easy board mating.

To ensure accuracy at all available sampling rates, these devices incorporate the NI-PGIA 2 custom amplifier and NI-MCal self-calibration to minimise settling time and guarantee maximum accuracy. An onboard low-pass filter can be programmatically enabled to further improve measurement accuracy by eliminating high-frequency noise. With the NI USB-628x devices, engineers can deliver an absolute accuracy of 980uV at a range of +/-10V and 28uV at a range of +/-100mV at a sampling rate of up to 625kS/s.

The USB-6281 features 16 single-ended (SE) and eight differential input (DI) analogue input channels, two analogue output channels and 24 digital I/O (DIO) channels, while the USB-6289 features 32 SE and 16 DI analogue input channels, four analogue output channels and 48 DIO channels. Both offer 18-bit analogue inputs at up to 625kS/s (500kS/s when scanning) and 16-bit analogue output at 833kS/s. High-accuracy USB-628x devices also provide enhanced waveform generation. Engineers can now define custom offset and range settings for analogue output and maximise the 16 bits of output resolution around a fixed DC offset to generate a more accurate representation of small signals and increase the accuracy of analogue waveforms.


High-accuracy NI M Series multifunction DAQ devices are suitable for applications including device test and characterisation and for sensor and signal measurements requiring instrument-class accuracy. Applications that can now benefit from the higher accuracy include scientific instrumentation such as geological monitoring, materials analysis, environmental sensing, calorimetry, optics, spectroscopy, structural sensing and gas detection, as well as medical device instrumentation such as heart rate monitoring. USB-628x devices are also suitable for electronics characterisation and research.

Unlike typical multifunction USB data acquisition devices, the NI M Series USB DAQ devices incorporate NI signal streaming, a patent-pending technology that provides multiple bidirectional high-speed data streams over USB. NI signal streaming, combined with the error correction, noise rejection, power management and power distribution inherent to the USB protocol, yields a flexible, secure and reliable bus. Without NI signal streaming, a multifunction data acquisition device can sustain only a single high-speed data stream, effectively making it a single-function device.

The new USB-628x devices are shipped with NI-DAQmx driver software and NI LabVIEW SignalExpress LE, an interactive measurement workbench for quickly acquiring, analysing and presenting data without additional programming. The NI-DAQmx driver also provides time-saving features such as code generation for both the LabVIEW graphical development environment and text-based languages such as ANSI C/C++, C#, Visual Basic .NET and Visual Basic 6.0, plus more than 3000 measurement examples, device simulation, and connection diagrams.

Prices start from £1249 (EUR1749) for the NI USB-6281 and £1599 (EUR2249) for the NI USB-6289.

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19 March 2008

National Instruments Corporation (UK) Ltdvisit website
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