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Low-cost arbitrary waveform generator

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NATIONAL Instruments has released a new low-cost, 100MS/s, 14-bit arbitrary waveform generator for PXI and PCI, expanding its line of signal generators that includes the 100MS/s, 16-bit NI 5421 and the 200MS/s, 16-bit PXI-5422 arbitrary waveform generator modules.

Designed as a general-purpose electrical stimulus, the new device is ideal for a variety of measurement applications in consumer electronics, military, aerospace, semiconductor, and medical device test.

The new NI 5412 signal generator is built on the NI Synchronisation and Memory Core (SMC) architecture for tight synchronisation with other NI SMC-based products such as high-speed digitizers and digital waveform generator/analysers.

This gives the device multiple instrument synchronisation capability with module-to-module skew of less than 20ps; deep, flexible onboard memory; and data streaming up to 100MB/s.

The device also offers up to 8x interpolation to ensure an effective sample rate up to 400MS/s, which improves the spectral quality of the output signal.

An NI SMC-based signal generator has the unique capability to store multiple sequences and their associated waveforms in the generator's onboard memory.

In automated test applications involving multiple tests, each requiring a different waveform sequence, engineers can download all of the sequences and waveforms once at the beginning of the test cycle to hold them in the generator's memory for the entire session.

By downloading all required waveforms and sequences once, instead of repeatedly reloading them for each test, the SMC-based generators save test time and improve test throughput.

The NI 5412 device includes the NI Analogue Waveform Editor, a graphical tool for easily creating and editing waveforms to generate with the device.

Engineers can control the device using NI LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI and Measurement Studio for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET application development environments as well as NI SignalExpress, a software tool for making interactive measurements.

Programming interfaces for Microsoft Visual Basic, C++ .NET and C/C++ are also included.

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