DAP Board features 16-bit resolution on all I/O.

Press Release Summary:

Powered by 233 MHz Intel Pentium CPU for real-time processing under Windows, scalable Model DAP 5016a/527 includes 16 analog inputs, 2 analog outputs, 16 digital inputs, and 16 digital outputs. Board can acquire 16-bit data at up to 500k samples/sec, and can convert 833k values/sec with 16-bit resolution on each of 2 onboard analog outputs. Maximum digital input and output rates are both 1.67 M samples/sec on all 16 channels.

Original Press Release:

Scalable 16-Bit Data Acquisition Onboard Processing in Real Time

Bellevue, WA, September 12, 2006 - If you need 16-bit resolution, a scalable data acquisition system, or some real-time processing under Windows, then read on for details on a new board that meets those requirements.

Microstar Laboratories makes Data Acquisition Processor (DAP) boards and systems for data acquisition and control, and today announced its latest mid-range DAP board, model number DAP 5016a/527, powered by an Intel Pentium 233MHz CPU.

DAP 5016a/527 - a mid-range DAP board
The DAP 5016a/527 includes 16 analog inputs, 2 analog outputs, 16 digital inputs, and 16 digital outputs. External rack-mounted hardware can extend these channel counts to 512, 66, 128, and 1024 respectively, with 16-bit resolution on all analog inputs and outputs. (Signal conditioning may affect the maximum number of sensors supported by a single board. Some products may use multiple channels for each sensor: to read excitation voltages, for example. See Channel Architecture below.) The board can acquire 16-bit data at up to 500k samples per second, and can convert 833k values per second with 16-bit resolution on each of the two onboard analog outputs. The maximum digital input and output rates are both 1.67M samples per second on all sixteen channels. The onboard Pentium processor allows real-time processing. Low latency - 0.1 ms task time quantum - delivers fast response.

Onboard Processing
Each DAP board gives your system an additional processor running a real-time operating system - DAPL - that you control from a Windows application. This extra resource gives you room to make your application even better, and sets it free from system delays. It lets you apply computing power when and where needed. It means you can sample data and control a process anywhere, anytime. You can analyze spectra in real time. Your application responds reliably: in time, every time.

Synchronizing DAPs
All DAP boards include built-in synchronization hardware and support software that work together to let you create a PC-based building block for a synchronized data acquisition system with any number of DAPs. Additional DAPs in a single PC can take their timing from a designated master DAP in that PC. With optional PC software - DAPcell - and additional hardware, two or more PCs each containing one or more DAPs can support a synchronized network of DAPs free from conventional network or PC delays. In other words, when you base your data acquisition on DAP boards, your application is inherently scalable. Add more channels whenever you need them, and address each additional channel in software simply by channel number.

Channel Architecture
A single DAP board or a synchronized network of DAPs forms a platform for a potentially large number of channels. Microstar Laboratories bases all hardware and software design on a consistent channel architecture to handle the signal all the way from an analog waveform at the sensor to a stream of digital values on the PC - from signal connectors on various rack-mounted 3U Eurocard B external boards, through circuits on the DAP, through conceptual pipes in software running on the onboard processor, and on to the PC. Some of the rack-mounted external boards reduce the maximum number of sensors supported by a single DAP. For instance, fifteen MSXB 067 boards can connect to a single DAP for resistive sensor inputs from up to 120 strain gauges.

The MSXB 067 board uses differential channels for signal quality, and additional channels to sample simultaneously and to read excitation voltages - more than four channels per sensor. For more than 120 strain gauges, just add another DAP.

Configuring and Running DAPs
DAP boards acquire data, converting analog signals into digital values.
These digital values stream through conceptual pipes on the board that you set up ahead of time using DAPstudio, a Windows application. The onboard processor performs any required operations as it transfers data from pipe to pipe. DAPstudio lets you specify these onboard operations by clicking on the appropriate tools as you design the system, and it then lets you save the working configuration as a complete DAP application. At the end of the DAPstudio session you have automatically produced documentation that completely defines your application. You then can use DAPstudio to run your application - from any PC on a network - with no custom programming and no other vendor software. Although DAPstudio lets you configure and control any DAP without any other Windows software, you also can do this from LabVIEW, MATLAB, and other third-party software. And from C++, VB, and other applications that allow DLL calls.

Conclusion and Next Step
When you need 16-bit resolution, a scalable data acquisition system, or some real-time processing under Windows, check out the DAP 5016a/527, with its onboard Intel Pentium 233MHz CPU. You can configure the board using DAPstudio, a Windows application. You also can run your entire application with DAPstudio. You can order the board now for immediate delivery. It costs $3195. DAPstudio costs $199. The company provides hardware and software for evaluation at no charge. You can download a full version of DAPstudio and try it out right now.

Microstar Laboratories, Inc. claims Microstar Laboratories, Data Acquisition Processor, DAP, DAP 5016a, DAPL, DAPcell, and DAPstudio as trademarks.
National Instruments Corporation has registered LabVIEW as a trademark.
Mathworks, Inc. claims MATLAB as a trademark. Other organizations may claim
- or may have registered - as trademarks any trade names, logos, and service marks that appear in this document but not in the list above.

Microstar Laboratories makes it a practice to use an appropriate symbol at the first occurrence of a trademark or registered trademark name in a document, or to include trademark statements like this with the document.

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