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USB-enabled data acquisition board beats oscilloscope speeds

16 Dec 2013

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Measurement Computing launched a two channel USB alternate to its PCI-4020 card to address the demand for a more affordable high-speed data acquisition board. Priced at $999, the new USB 2020 is suitable for OEM and embedded applications.

The USB-2020 data-acquisition board has two 12bit ADCs that simultaneously sample at up to 20Gsamples/s per channel. That's in oscilloscope range, but this board is a data-acquisition system, not an oscilloscope. What's the difference? It's 1.5MΩ input impedance. "Oscilloscope users expect to have a 50Ω input impedance and oscilloscope probes," said Measurement Computing general manager Pete Anderson when asked about the USB-2020. "The USB-2020 is a data-acquisition product."

The USB-2020 has 64Msamples of memory. Because it runs over USB 2.0, streaming data rates to a host computer are limited to 8Msamples/s. The 20Msample/s per channel sample rates were requested by a PCI-4020 customer who uses it in a radar application.

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