Data Acquisition (DAQ) and Control from Microstar Laboratories

Simultaneous Sampling at 2M Samples per Second per Channel

DAP 5400a/627

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Bellevue, WA, November 8, 2002 -- Microstar Laboratories, Inc., maker of Data Acquisition Processor boards, today announced a new 14-bit resolution DAP board optimized for simultaneous sampling at 2 million samples per second on every channel. The new DAP 5400a/627 supersedes the DAP 5400/626 board announced July 5 at the same price. The new board can sample 60% faster on each channel. The company has offered a free upgrade to all customers with the earlier board. A software switch allows the DAP 5400a/627 to work as a drop-in replacement for the DAP 5400a/626 in existing systems, should customers require that. In this mode, the new board can sample eight channels simultaneously at 1.25 million samples per second on each channel -- just like the DAP 5400a/626 -- for an overall throughput of 10 million samples per second.

Like the DAP 5400a/626, the DAP 5400a/627 has sixteen possible signal inputs, has 128MB of onboard memory for data buffers, and uses DMA bus-mastering to transfer data to the PC. To achieve the maximum per-channel acquisition rate of 2 million samples per second requires that an application use up to four channels on each DAP 5400a/627 board. Applications with more than four simultaneously sampled channels can take advantage of the synchronization feature common to all DAP boards. If an application requires sixteen simultaneous inputs, each acquiring data at 2M samples per second, then four synchronized DAP 5400a/627 boards, installed in a single PC, can deliver the aggregate throughput of 32M samples per second shared by these sixteen simultaneous inputs. A system that contains ten synchronized DAP 5400a/627 boards provides 40 simultaneous channels, a throughput of 80M samples per second, and onboard memory of 1.28GB.

The new DAP 5400a model runs DAPL 2000: the multitasking real-time operating system for PC-based data acquisition and control, the onboard intelligence that comes with every DAP. A user normally controls DAPL through Windows (XP, 2000, NT, ME, 95, 98) -- either locally or over a network -- using DAPcell client software and a Windows application like LabVIEW or Visual Basic. Every standard DAP model in current production also will run under Linux. DAPL itself runs on the onboard processor that every DAP uses to perform data acquisition and control tasks in real time, free from any delays imposed by the operating system or by other software running on the local server hardware.

Onboard intelligence not only protects against local delays, it allows synchronization between hardware in different PCs on a network over a parallel DAP-to-DAP network independent of other network delays. Microstar Laboratories has shipped systems like this on third-party server hardware with many hundreds of channels.

The DAPtools Basic CD, shipped by default with every DAP board, contains all software and hardware manuals for all Microstar Laboratories products -- including the DAP 5400a/627 -- and full documentation for DAPcell software. You can download the DAPtools CD. Or, in North America, call toll-free: 888 MSTARLABS (888 678-2752).

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Editorial Overview:

Microstar Laboratories, Inc., maker of Data Acquisition Processor boards, today announced a new DAP board optimized for high-speed simultaneous sampling in systems with multiple boards. Each DAP 5400a/627 has a 128MB data buffer and acquires 2M 14-bit resolution samples per second simultaneously on each of four of its sixteen channels. A four-board system can acquire an aggregate 32M samples per second simultaneously across sixteen channels. An onboard operating system allows real-time work under Windows (XP, 2000, NT, ME, 95, 98) and a user interface in Visual Basic, LabVIEW, or other software, free from PC-related delays. Real-time functions include software triggering, data reduction, filtering, FFT, and order analysis. Available hardware and software synchronizes two or more boards within the same PC or over a network for applications with a large number of simultaneous channels.

Note to the Editor:

Microstar Laboratories, Inc. claims Microstar Laboratories, Data Acquisition Processor, DAP, DAP 5400a, DAPcell, and DAPL as trademarks.

Microsoft Corporation has registered Microsoft, Visual Basic, Windows, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows ME, Windows XP, and Windows NT as trademarks. Linus Torvalds, the original author of the Linux kernel has registered Linux as a trademark. National Instruments Corporation has registered LabVIEW as a trademark. These and other individuals or 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.