Data Acquisition and Networking
DAP Systems in a Network
The Case of the Disappearing Device Drivers
The DAP networking advantages...
We have seen another data acquisition equipment supplier boasting of a library with over 5000 device drivers, all on one CD for your convenience! Should we laugh or cry? By that standard, a DAP-based system is deficient by... roughly 4999 device drivers.
How Did They End Up With So Many?
There are many reasons. But when the design approach is to wrap a hardware product around the latest new converter device, for better or worse, every design is different so every product is different. In order to operate it — well, ring up another device driver for the CD.
But in DAP systems the devices are wrapped around the system architecture.
Devices are driven by DAP embedded controllers, configured by the DAP onboard processor, and operated completely independent of the host. Host driver functions reduce to device-independent smart buffering and message passing, covering all DAP models.
You Can't Operate Device Drivers From Networks
Device drivers in the host system must be limited to operating one device. If they tried to operate communications networks or disk drives or file systems as well, it would be such a mess that the host system would never recover.
Server processes are not subject to the same restrictions, however. They can use a variety of file systems, networking protocols, API's, and of course devices (through device drivers). The DAPcell services are provided at the process level, not the device level. And that is how they can control multiple, different DAP devices, even log data directly to a remote disk server without application intervention.
Advantages of Networked Data Acquisition Processors