NI launches first Mac-friendly USB-GPIB controller

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NI launches first Mac-friendly USB-GPIB controllerNational Instruments is introducing a Mac-compatible USB-GPIB controller as well as a low-profile PCI Express GPIB controller. With the NI USB-GPIB-HS, Mac users can now control standalone instruments from Mac laptops and desktop computers with the flexibility of a portable USB-GPIB interface. Additionally, the new NI PCIe-GPIB/Low-Profile (LP) controller gives engineers and scientists a high-performance, RoHS-compliant controller that uses approximately 75 per cent less power and is manufactured using 63 per cent less printed circuit board (PCB) material than previous models.

National Instruments began developing GPIB products in 1976 so that engineers and scientists could control their instruments from desktop PCs regardless of vendor. Today GPIB remains a popular instrument control bus and now, with the USB-GPIB-HS, NI believes it is the first manufacturer to help Mac users take advantage of their USB ports to control thousands of standalone GPIB instruments. The controller supports both PowerPC and Intel-based Macintosh laptops and desktops and is compatible with the Mac OS X operating system.

Dr Scott Hannahs, an Instrumentation Physicist who has used the NI LabVIEW graphical programming environment on the Mac for many years, says: "As one who prefers the Apple Mac operating system, I am thrilled to have the option for the USB-GPIB-HS to communicate with our lab equipment. Previously, we could only use Mac workstations with PCI cards, and this release now makes available the USB-GPIB family of devices, giving us more portable, compatible and flexible solutions. The Mac-friendly NI USB-GPIB-HS helps us set up, debug and run experiments efficiently, so we can concentrate on our measurements and results instead of worrying about data communication and setup issues, which saves us time and manpower in the lab."

Smaller multi-platform GPIB

Additionally, NI is introducing the new, smaller NI PCIe-GPIB/LP controller for Windows Vista/XP/2000, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris operating systems. The adoption of today's smaller PCs and gravitation toward PCI Express slots necessitate smaller controllers. The RoHS-compliant NI PCIe-GPIB/LP offers the same high-performance specifications as its PCI Express predecessor but in a significantly smaller form factor. Using 75 per cent less operating power and manufactured with 63 per cent less PCB material, the NI PCIe-GPIB/LP maintains advanced transfer rates of >1.5MB/s (IEEE 488.1) and >7.9MB/s (HS488) for excellent performance.

Both the NI USB-GPIB-HS and the NI PCIe-GPIB/LP controllers can be programmed with the easy-to-use LabVIEW graphical system design platform, the NI LabWindows/CVI ANSI C integrated development environment and NI Measurement Studio software for Microsoft Visual Studio.

For more information about the new GPIB controllers, go to or use the form on this page to request a callback or more information.

10 October 2008

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