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Affordable test-systems with up to 80 AWG-channels in a single PC now possible | Spectrum

8 AWG-channels on a single PCIe-card with only 168mm in length
Spectrum Instrumentation has used its modular design philosophy to create a unique solution for customers wanting multi-channel AWGs. Having 8 AWG channels on a single PCIe-card only 168 mm in length offers great new opportunities for very compact and affordable test systems. The addition of the two new 8-channel-cards to Spectrum's latest "65" series of PCIe Arbitrary waveform generators means that, using Spectrum’s Star-Hub, up to 80 channels can be fully synchronized in a single PC. Using the PCIe-x4 platform, these AWGs provide a data transfer speed which is 5 to 10 times higher than in other solutions, offering 700 MByte/s of FIFO streaming speed. This is ideal for automated testing when customers need to replay lots of different test signals over many channels to accurately recreate real world test conditions. Applications include component testing, automotive, robotics, aerospace, medical and industrial ultrasound, LIDAR, radar and sonar.

Offering up to 8 channels per card, the cost per channel is cut dramatically. The system cost of Spectrum card-based AWG solutions are also significantly less expensive than dedicated, self-contained AWG solutions that can be several times more expensive; even when allowing for the cost of a PC to house the Spectrum cards. This makes Spectrum’s high-performance test solutions really affordable and opens up new application areas that were restricted due to the high costs of multi-point, dedicated AWG solutions.

“This family of AWG cards has the lowest noise of any AWGs that we have so far designed, being more than 20% lower when compared to our predecessor AWG families” said Oliver Rovini, Spectrum’s CTO. “In addition, these cards now have 16-bit resolution and a clock being twenty times more accurate at only ±1 ppm. We already have a university research department using an AWG to control the placement of individual atoms.”

To even better simulate and stimulate real-world conditions for testing, the cards have more memory on board than other AWG cards. The 512 MSamples of memory enables the cards to store and replay many more, high quality, precision waveforms for faster automated testing applications that use signals in the frequency range from DC to 60 MHz.

The two new additions to the "65" family are the M2p.6533-x4 with eight 40 MS/s channels and the M2p.6568-x4 that can be configured with eight channels of 80 MS/s or four of 125 MS/s. Unlike the six previously released models that offer up to four channels, the new eight channel versions are equipped with an additional cooling system making them 2 slots wide. All eight models of the M2p.65xx series are half-length PCIe cards and only 168 mm in length. The maximum output swing, even with the 8 channel versions, is ±6 V into 1 MOhm or ±3 V into 50 Ohms. The cards are shipped with Spectrum’s SBench 6 control software that allows out of the box operation for card control and signal generation.

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