Spectrum Instrumentation option allows up to 10Gsample per second rates

GHz-speed digitiser systems with up to 16 channels can be created using the Star-Hub option from Spectrum Instrumentation. Sampling speeds can be up to 10Gsamples per second.

The option allows up to eight Spectrume Instrumentation PCIe digitisers (M5i.33xx series) to be connected together. Individual cards share common clock and trigger signals, which ensures there is minimal phase delay and timing skew between all the channels. The Star-Hub option is installed by mounting a single piggyback module onto any of the M5i series cards in the multi-channel system. Using accurately matched and shielded coax cabling, the board then distributes the clock to each module and precisely synchronises the trigger event with the system clock.

Star-Hub can be used with any of the cards from the M5i.33xx digitiser family. Seven different models are available offering one or two channels, sampling rates from 3.2 to 10Gsamples per second, 12-bit vertical resolution and bandwidths from 1.0 to 4.7GHz. The cards can handle a wide range of signals and feature programmable input voltage ranges, offset control, large on-board memories, advanced trigger functions and a number of different acquisition modes. Using Star-Hub data acquisition systems with two to 16 channels and sampling at rates of up to 5Gsamples per second can be created. Systems of up to eight channels have the maximum sampling rate of 10Gsamples per second.

Users can also choose to run the Star-Hub system with the digitiser cards internal clock, which offers better than ±1 ppm accuracy, or an external clock, via a front panel SMA input connector. To minimise any channel-to-channel timing skew, a programmable skew adjustment is available for each connected card. This feature allows time shifts up to 200ps (10Gsamples per second) or 312ps (3.2 and 6.4Gsamples per second) of the clock of each individual card. It thus creates an easy way for users to correct any timing mismatches present in a specific setup.

The ability to create customised multi-channel data acquisition systems, that can synchronously acquire signals in the GHz range can be used for measurement in communications, automated testing, aerospace and scientific experimentation, where banks of receivers, detectors, sensors or antennas are deployed.

The Star-Hub system allows each card to retain its own 16 lane, Gen3, PCIe bus, that is capable of transferring data at rates up to 12.8Gbytes per second. This transfer speed allows continuous transfer at 6.4Gsamples per second in 12-bit mode, or even 10Gsamples per second in data-saving eight-bit mode. The bus allows the cards to shift acquired data to PC resources like memory, SSDs and GPUs quickly despite being controlled by a single host processor.


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