Users of programmable analogue and digital pattern generators frequently require much versatility in order to switch over to different signal patterns with minimal latency, even during run-time. This is particularly common to meet the demands of stimulus-response set-ups. Actually finding a code driven PC based generator card to do this well is not easy, however DataQuest Solutions as the U.K. distributor for Spectrum PC instrumentation are able to provide a range high-speed signal generator cards that can provide the additional programming flexibility required using the new Sequence Replay Mode.
This mode allows the splitting of card memory into segments, in essence producing a sequence step memory, each segment can then be filled with data for a signal pattern. In this sequence memory the number of loops (repeats of data) for each segment can be programmed and it is possible to switch between different replay patterns by simple pre-set software command, or by a trigger, internal or external. This neatly defines the conditions to proceed from step to step and hence the pattern produced. Up to 512 steps can be defined and by simple command it is possible to choose which step is next (hence any step in the sequence, or a repeat of the current one). It is even possible to simultaneously redefine waveform data for segments whilst other segments are being replayed.
To enhance versatility programming is done via straight forward text and number commands, with drivers provided for many code languages including C++, Visual Basic and Delphi, as well as third party package options; LabVIEW, LabWindows, MATLAB and Agilent VEE. Windows and Linux platforms 32 and 64 bit are supported.
The Sequence Replay Mode is available from DataQuest Solutions as an option on all Spectrum M2i 8 and 14 bit arbitrary waveform generator and digital I/O cards, the latter providing signal channels up to 64 bits in width, all on a single card. Ranges of sample speeds are attainable on many models up to 125 MHz, with a special 40 MHz pattern generator also available with digital outputs programmable from –2 to 10V, so capable of driving devices of almost any logic family. All cards are available in PCI, PCI-X and PCI Express formats and different M2i cards can be combined, producing systems that are extremely fast and flexible in function when compared to external instrumentation.