National Instruments releases USB data acquisition devices

January 092007
National Instruments releases USB data acquisition devices
New M Series Devices and NI Signal Streaming Technology Deliver Portable, Hi-Speed USB Performance

Jan. 9, 2007 – National Instruments today announced two new high-performance M Series multifunction data acquisition (DAQ) devices for USB. With the new NI USB-6221 and USB-6229 DAQ devices, which provide up to 32 analog inputs with a 250 kS/s single-channel sampling rate, NI has extended its USB DAQ offering to 40 devices. The complete NI USB offering now includes low-cost devices starting at $99 USD, high-speed devices featuring 1 MS/s sampling speeds and modular USB data acquisition systems for low-, mid- and high-channel-count applications.

The USB-6221 and USB-6229 – as well as bus-powered and other high-performance USB DAQ devices – feature NI signal streaming technology, which utilizes the bandwidth and performance of Hi-Speed USB technology to allow bidirectional high-speed transfer of data between the USB device and a computer.

NI signal streaming technology makes it possible to acquire and generate multiple analog and digital I/O signals simultaneously. Because the technology relies on message-based rather than register-based configuration, much of the configuration takes place on the device, avoiding unnecessary USB transfers. Engineers can stream more synchronous analog and digital data for data-intensive applications than is possible using USB DAQ devices alone. Additionally, with the plug-and-play connectivity of USB, engineers and scientists have an easy-to-use, portable solution for their measurement, monitoring and control applications.

The USB-6221 and USB-6229 DAQ devices offer many features equivalent to their PCI M Series counterparts. The new devices include up to 32 16-bit, 250 kS/s analog input channels; four 16-bit, 833 kS/s analog output channels; 48 digital I/O channels with up to 32 clocked at 1 MHz; and two 32-bit counter/timers, all backed by M Series technology including a low-noise NI-PGIA 2 amplifier and NI-MCal, a third-order calibration methodology correcting for gain, offset and nonlinearity errors at all input ranges.

Additionally, National Instruments USB DAQ devices have software support for both programmers and non-programmers. Each device is shipped with free data-logging software to help users take full advantage of the ease of use and plug-and-play capabilities offered by USB by shortening time to measurement. For programmers, NI-DAQmx driver software and measurement services – a powerful suite of data-logging tools, configuration management and wizard-like development interfaces – can dramatically decrease the hidden costs of software development, system setup, configuration and calibration time.

The driver software features multidevice synchronization, automatic code generation and a high-level, open API that offers the same programming environment across devices and programming languages. NI-DAQmx can control every aspect of a data acquisition system, from configuration to application development. The software driver works with National Instruments LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI, Measurement Studio and SignalExpress, as well as C/C++/C# and Microsoft Visual Basic and Visual Studio .NET languages.

About National Instruments
For more than 30 years, National Instruments has been a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation – a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists in industry, government and academia approach measurement and automation. Leveraging PCs and commercial technologies, virtual instrumentation increases productivity and lowers costs for test, control and design applications through easy-to-integrate software, such as NI LabVIEW, and modular measurement and control hardware for PXI, PXI Express, PCI, PCI Express, USB and Ethernet. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 4,000 employees and direct operations in nearly 40 countries. For the past seven years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.