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M4i.4450-x8 | Spectrum

14 bit high speed digitizer

  • 500 MS/s on 2 channels
  • Simultaneously sampling on all channels
  • Separate ADC and amplifier per channel
  • Up to 3 synchronous digital channels with multi-purpose I/O
  • 2 GSample on-board memory as standard
  • 6 input ranges: +/-200 mV up to +/-10 V
  • Window, re-arm, OR/AND trigger
  • Synchronization of up to 8 cards
  • PCI Express x8 Gen2 Interface
  • Works with x8/x16 PCIe Gen1 to Gen3 slots
  • Sustained streaming speed card to PC up to 3.4 GB/s
  • Sustained streaming speed PC to card up to 2.8 GB/s
  • Direct data transfer to CUDA GPU using SCAPP option

Application Examples

  • High Energy Physics
  • Research and Development
  • Radar
  • Spectroscopy
  • Laser Applications

General Information

The 6 models of the M4i.44xx-x8 Express series are designed for the fast and high quality data acquisition. Each of the input channels has its own A/D converter and its own programmable input amplifier. This allows the recording of signals simultaneously on all channels with 14 bit or 16 bit resolution without any phase delay between them. The card uses only one A/D converter even when running with 500 MS/s, guaranteeing best signal quality without any interleaving technology. The extremely large on-board memory allows long time recording even with the highest sampling rates.

In contrast to the parallel PCI buses PCI Express slots contain serial point to point connections. Each connection pair (lane) is able to reach a burst connection speed of 250 MB/s (Gen 1) or 500 MB/s (Gen2). The fast streaming cards from Spectrum with PCI Express x8 Gen 2 interface need a physical connector of x8 or x16. The card interface can adopt to any electrical PCI Express interface, be it x1, x4, x8 or x16 with any PCI Express generation. One advantage of the PCI Express technology is the direct connection of each slot allowing a full transfer bandwidth for each single card. PCI Express is the bus standard for PC based systems for the next couple of years. Today's State-of-the-art motherboards normally have a couple of PCI Express slots but only one or two PCI-X slots. Server and industrial motherboards as well as high performance cosumer motherboards offer normally PCI Express x8 slots.

ABA Mode

The optional ABA mode combines slow continuous data recording with fast acquisition on trigger events. The ABA mode works like a slow data logger combined with a fast digitizer. The exact position of the trigger events is stored as timestamps in an extra memory.

FIFO mode

The FIFO mode is designed for continuous data transfer between measurement board and PC memory or hard disk. The read (acquisition) transfer rate reached depends on the motherboard and can be up to 3.4 GByte/s on a PCI Express x8 Gen2 slot. The control of the data stream is done automatically by the driver on interrupt request. The complete installed on-board memory is used for buffer data, making the continuous streaming extremely reliable.

Block Average (Optional)

The Block Average Module improves the fidelity of noisy repetitive signals. Multiple repetitive acquisitions with very small dead-time are accumulated and averaged. Random noise is reduced by the averaging process improving the visibility of the repetitive signal.

Block Statistics (Optional)

The Block Statistics and Peak Detect Module implements a widely used data analysis and reduction technology in hardware. Each block is scanned for minimum and maximum peak and a summary including minimum, maximum, average, timestamps and position information is stored in memory.

Boxcar Average

The Boxcar averaging function smooths out high frequency noise to give a clear signal. It is most useful in situations where signals have been oversampled and it can be used to increase vertical resolution, lower noise and improve dynamic characteristics such as signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and spurious free dynamic range (SFDR). It uses a mathematical signal processing function to effectively recalculate the vertical value of each acquired data point by averaging it with adjacent sample points.

Ring buffer mode

The ring buffer mode is the standard mode of all acquisition boards. Data is written in a ring memory of the board until a trigger event is detected. After the event the posttrigger values are recorded. Because of this continuously recording into a ring buffer there are also samples prior to the trigger event visible: Pretrigger = Memsize - Posttrigger.

Star-Hub (Optional)

The star-hub is an additional module allowing the phase stable synchronization of up to 8 boards in one system. Independent of the number of boards there is no phase delay between all channels. The star-hub distributes trigger and clock information between all boards. As a result all connected boards are running with the same clock and the same trigger. All trigger sources can be combined with OR allowing all channels of all cards to be trigger source at the same time. The star-hub is available as either piggy-back version (extending the width of the card) or as extension version (extending the length of the card to full length).

Channel Trigger

The data acquisition boards offer a wide variety of trigger modes. Besides the standard signal checking for level and edge as known from oscilloscopes it's also possible to define a window trigger. Trigger conditions can be combined with logical conjunctions like OR to adopt to different application scenarios.

External Trigger

All boards can be triggered using a separate external trigger signal with a two level programmable window comparator and a second separate external trigger with a single programmable level comparator. It's possible to use positive or negative edge. An internally recognized trigger event can - when activated by software - be routed to a multi purpose i/o connector to start external instruments.

Gated Sampling

The Gated Sampling option allows data recording controlled by an external gate signal. Data is only recorded if the gate signal has a programmed level. In addition a pre-area before start of the gate signal as well as a post area after end of the gate signal can be acquired. The number of gate segments is only limited by the used memory and is unlimited when using FIFO mode.

Multiple Recording

The Multiple Recording option allows the recording of several trigger events with an extremely short re-arming time. The hardware doesn't need to be restarted in between. The on-board memory is divided in several segments of the same size. Each of them is filled with data if a trigger event occurs. Pre- and posttrigger of the segments can be programmed. The number of acquired segments is only limited by the used memory and is unlimited when using FIFO mode.

Timestamp

The timestamp option writes the time positions of the trigger events in an extra memory. The timestamps are relative to the start of recording, a defined zero time, externally synchronized to a radio clock, or a GPS receiver. With this option acquisitions of systems on different locations can be set in a precise time relation.

External Clock

Using a dedicated connector a sampling clock can be fed in from an external system. It's also possible to output the internally used sampling clock to synchronize external equipment to this clock.

High Precision PLL

The internal sampling clock of the card is generated using a high precision PLL. This powerful device allows to select the sampling rate with a fine step size making it possible to perfectly adopt to different measurement tasks. Most other cards on the market only allow the setup of fixed sampling rates like 100 MS/s, 50 MS/s, 25 MS/s, 10 MS/s, ... without any possibility to set the sampling rate to any value in between.

Reference Clock

The option to use a precise external reference clock (normally 10 MHz) is necessary to synchronize the board for high-quality measurements with external equipment (like a signal source). It's also possible to enhance the quality of the sampling clock in this way. The driver automatically generates the requested sampling clock from the fed in reference clock.

Selectable AC/DC Coupling

Each analog channel contains a software selectable AC/DC coupling. When using the DC coupling all frequency parts of the signal including the DC offset are acquired. Selecting the AC coupling will only acquire frequency parts of the signal that are above a defined minimum bandwidth.

On-board Calibration

The on-board calibration can be run on user request and calibrates the amplifier against a dedicated internal high precision calibration source. After this calibration data is stored permanently in an on-board EEPROM and is automatically used for further acquisitions.

Programmable Input Amplifiers

The analog inputs can be adapted to real world signals using a wide variety of settings that are individual for each channel. By using software commands the input termination can be changed between 50 Ohm and 1 MOhm and one can select an input range matching the real world signal.

Selectable Input Path

For each of the analog channels the user has the choice between two analog input paths, both offering the highest flexibility when it comes to input ranges. The "Buffered" path has 1 MOhm termination that allows to connect standard oscilloscope probes to the card. The "HF" path on the other hand provides the highest bandwidth and the best signal integrity having a fixed 50 Ohm termination.

Synchronous Sampling

All acquisition cards from Spectrum are built with a completely synchronous design. Every channel has its own independent input amplifier as well as an independent ADC allowing to program all input channel related settings individually for each channel.

Selectable Low Pass Filter

Each analog channel contains a software selectable low-pass filter to limit the input bandwidth. Reducing the analog input bandwidth results in a lower total noise and can be usefull especially with low voltage input signals.

Multi Purpose I/O

All M4i cards offer three universal multi purpose I/O lines, which can be separately programmed as either input or output. When used as outputs, these lines can be used to output card status signals like trigger-armed or to output the trigger to synchronize external equipment.

3rd Party Drivers

A lot of third-party products are supported by the Spectrum driver. Choose between LabVIEW, MATLAB, LabWindows/CVI and IVI. All drivers come with examples and detailed documentation.

Programming Examples

Programming examples for Microsoft Visual C++, Borland C++ Builder, Gnu C++ (CygWin), Borland Delphi, Microsoft Visual Basic, C#, J#, VB.Net, Python and LabWindows/CVI are delivered with the driver. Due to the simple interface of the driver, the integration in other programming languages or special measurement software is an easy task.

Linux

All cards are delivered with full Linux support. Pre compiled kernel modules are included for the most common distributions like RedHat, Fedora, Suse, Ubuntu or Debian. The Linux support includes SMP systems, 32 bit and 64 bit systems, versatile programming examples for Gnu C++ as well as the possibility to get the driver sources for own compilation.

Remote Server (Optional)

Using the Spectrum Remote Server it is possible to access the M2i/M3i/M4i card(s) installed in one PC (server) from another PC (client) via local area network (LAN), similar to using a digitizerNETBOX. To operate it the remote server option has to be activated by a software license for any of the Spectrum cards in the remote system.

SBench6

SBench 6 is a powerful and intuitive interactive measurement software. Besides the possibility to commence the measuring task immediately, without programming, SBench 6 combines the setup of hardware, data display, oscilloscope, transient recorder, waveform generator, analyzing functions, import and export functions under one easy-to-use interface.

SCAPP - CUDA Interface (Optional)

The SDK option allows to directly transfer data between the Spectrum card and a NVIDA CUDA GPU card. The GPU card is optimized for parallel data processing. The package comes with a number of detailed examples like FFT or block average.

Windows

This standard driver is included in the card delivery and it is possible to get the newest driver version free of charge from our homepage at any time. There are no additional SDK fees for the classical text-based programming. All boards are delivered with drivers for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10, all 32 bit and 64 bit.

Documents
File NameInfoLast modifiedFile Size
AN008_Legacy_Windows_Driver_Installation.pdfWindows driver installation of driver versions < 4.017.11.171 MBytes
m4i44_datasheet_english.pdfData sheet of the M4i.44xx series14.03.181 MBytes
m4i_m4x_44xx_manual_english.pdfManual of M4i.44xx / M4x.44xx family28.12.1711 MBytes
m4ifirmware_blockstatistics_english.pdfM4 Series Firmware Option Data sheet: Block Statistics (Peak Detect)29.08.17286 kBytes
m4ifirmware_blockaverage_english.pdfM4 Series Firmware Option Datasheet: Block Average29.08.17338 kBytes
spa_amplifier_datasheet_english.pdfData sheet of SPA pre-amplifier29.08.17352 kBytes
spc_streaming_datasheet_english.pdfDatasheet of Spectrum Terastore Streaming System29.08.17977 kBytes
spcm_ivi_english.pdfShort Manual for IVI Driver17.11.17525 kBytes
sbench6_datasheet_english.pdfData sheet of SBench 629.08.17737 kBytes
sbench6_manual_english.pdfManual for SBench 629.08.176 MBytes
spcm_matlab_manual_english.pdfManual for MATLAB driver M2i/M3i/M4i/DN229.08.17916 kBytes
WINDOWS Drivers + Software
File NameInfoLast modifiedFile Size
spcm_drv_xp_vista_win32_v330b13487.zipM2i/M3i/M4i/M4x driver - last Version for Windows 32 XP / Vista15.11.171 MBytes
spcm_drv_xp_vista_win64_v320b11931.zipM2i/M3i/M4i/M4x driver - last Version for Windows 64 XP / Vista15.11.172 MBytes
spcm_drv_install_5.0.14661.exeM2i/M3i/M4i/M4x/DN2/DN6 driver for Windows 7, 8, 10 (32/64 bit)24.04.184 MBytes
spcmcontrol_install32bit.exeSpectrum Control Center (32-bit) / Windows 7, 8, 1024.04.1820 MBytes
spcmcontrol_install64bit.exeSpectrum Control Center (64-bit) / Windows 7, 8, 1024.04.1822 MBytes
spcmcontrol_install-1.74b13503_winxp.exeSpectrum Control Center - last Version for Windows XP22.12.177 MBytes
specdigitizer.msiIVI Driver for IVI Digitizer class24.04.183 MBytes
specscope.msiIVI Driver for IVI Scope class24.04.182 MBytes
spcm_remote_install.exeWindows Installer for Remote Server Option24.04.182 MBytes
sbench6_v6.4.3b14658.exeSBench 6 (32-bit) Installer / Windows 7, 8, 1024.04.1832 MBytes
sbench6_64bit_v6.4.3b14658.exeSBench 6 (64-bit) Installer / Windows 7, 8, 1024.04.1835 MBytes
sbench6_v6.3.5b13450_winxp.exeSBench6 - last Version for Windows XP22.12.1738 MBytes
spcm_drv_labview_install.exeM2i/M3i/M4i/M4x/DN2/DN6 LabView driver installer24.04.187 MBytes
spcm_drv_matlab_install.exeM2i/M3i/M4i/M4x/DN2/DN6 Matlab driver + examples installer24.04.181 MBytes
examples_install.exeWindows Examples (C/C++, VB, Delphi, .NET, CVI, Python ...)24.04.181 MBytes
LINUX Drivers + Software
File NameInfoLast modifiedFile Size
spcm_linux_drv_v500b14661.tgzM2i/M3i/M4i/M4x drivers (Kernel + Library) for Linux 32 bit and 64 bit24.04.184 MBytes
spcm_linux_libs_v500b14661.tgzDriver libraries (no Kernel) for Linux 32 bit and 64 bit24.04.182 MBytes
spcm_control_center.tgzSpectrum Control Center24.04.1835 MBytes
spcm_remote_server.tgzSpectrum Remote Server Linux Installer Package24.04.185 kBytes
sbench6_6.4.03b14658-2_i386.debSBench 6 Linux 32 (.deb)24.04.1825 MBytes
sbench6-6.4.03b14658-1.32bit.rpmSBench 6 Linux 32 (.rpm)24.04.1823 MBytes
sbench6_6.4.03b14658-2_amd64.debSBench 6 Linux 64 (.deb)24.04.1824 MBytes
sbench6-6.4.03b14658-1.64bit.rpmSBench 6 Linux 64 (.rpm)24.04.1823 MBytes
spcm_matlab_driver.tgzDrivers + examples for MATLAB for Linux (DEB + RPM)24.04.18162 kBytes
spcm_examples.tgzLinux Examples (C/C++)24.04.181 MBytes
Firmware
File NameInfoLast modifiedFile Size
spcm_firmware.tgzM2i/M3i/M4i/M4x firmware update (Linux)24.04.1824 MBytes
firmware_update_install.exeM2i/M3i/M4i/M4x firmware update (Windows)24.04.189 MBytes
Case Study
NameInfoLast modifiedFile Size
CS Mass SpectroscopyCase Study: Digitizer in Mass Spectroscopy18.01.17520 kBytes
OCT Skin Cancer ScannerOCT application for skin cancer diagnosis20.02.15342 kBytes
Product Note
NameInfoLast modifiedFile Size
Digitizer Acquisition ModesUsing modular Digitizer Acquisition Modes19.02.152 MBytes
Digitizer Front-EndProper Use of Digitizer Front-End Signal Conditioning19.02.152 MBytes
High-Res High BW DigitizersAdvantages of High Resolution in High Bandwidth Digitizers19.02.152 MBytes
General Digitizer IntroductionGeneral Introduction to Waveform Digitizers19.02.15572 kBytes
Digitizer Software IntegrationSoftware Support for Modular Digitizers19.02.15707 kBytes
Trigger and SyncTrigger, Clock and Synchronization Details at high-speed Digitizers19.02.151 MBytes
SBench 6 IntroductionSBench 6 - Data Acquisition and Analysis of Digitizer Data19.02.151 MBytes
Application Note
NameInfoLast modifiedFile Size
Common Digitizer Setup ProblemsApplication Note: Common Digitizer Setup Problems to avoid18.03.161 MBytes
Mass SpectroscopyApplication Note Mass Spectroscopy08.06.17858 kBytes
Mechanical MeasurementsMechanical Measurements Using Digitizers05.03.151 MBytes
Using Probes & SensorsUsing Probes and Sensors with Modular Digitizers09.04.15838 kBytes
RF MeasurementsRF Measurements using a modular Digitizer19.02.15818 kBytes
Signal Processing ToolsUsing Signal Processing Tools to enhance Digitizer Data19.02.151 MBytes
Solving Data Transfer Bottlenecks on DigitizersSolving Data Transfer Bottlenecks on Digitizers10.11.151 MBytes
Teaming AWG with DigitizerTeaming an Arbitrary Waveform Generator with a Modular Digitizer11.01.16897 kBytes
Ultrasonic ApplicationsUsing Digitizers in Ultrasonic Applications06.02.15602 kBytes
Digitizers as OscilloscopeUsing a Digitizer as Oscilloscope17.04.15825 kBytes
White Paper
NameInfoLast modifiedFile Size
Software block averagingUsing software based fast block averaging07.01.16530 kBytes
Boxcar Average FunctionWhite Paper 44xx Series Boxcar Average Function07.06.17778 kBytes

Contact Information