User application images for PC instrumentation cards - signal capture, 
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Signal capture cards

Often referred to as PC oscilloscope, transient recorder or digitiser (digitizer) cards, all of these are used to record analogue signals at high speed and with a very high level of instrumentation accuracy

m2i digitizer cards PCI and PCIe formats m3i digitizer card PCI format, PCIe available m4i digitizer card PCIe-x8 lane
Spectrum M2p & M2i digitiser cards:

The M2p and M2i card series has our greatest selection of channel and resolution combinations
to provide exceptional performance for applications such as radar, telecommunications, ultrasonics and name but a few. In fact just about any application that requires ultra high-speed signal capture in the MHz range. A/D converter speeds range from 200K to 200 mega samples per second. Each channels of the M2p / M2i signal capture card is equipped with its own A/D converter, ensuring perfect synchronisation hence zero phase difference between input channels. High channel count, wide gain ranges and in many cases software selectable single ended or differential inputs, adds to the exceptional versatility of the M2p and M2i ranges.

For the majority of new application applications requiring sampling rates 3 to 125 mega samples/sec, we recommend the new M2p series. These cards are physically more compact and have a faster x4-lane PCIe interface than their M2i counterparts.
Spectrum M3i digitiser cards:

Utilizing highly advanced analogue to digital converters, we here provide digitisers with 8 bit resolution, high gain range and sample rates up to 1 giga sample per second.
This M3i series of instrumentation cards provide a cost effective method to sample at high speeds. Features include a software enabled 20MHz anti-aliasing filter.

Additional connectors provide two bi-directional digital inputs, which can be set as synchronous or asynchronous to the analogue channels through software. Ideal for positional, status monitoring and control.

As well as PCI-Express, the M3i series is available in the PCI/PCI-X format for older legacy computer systems.
Spectrum M4i / M4x digitiser cards:

Using a high bandwidth multi-lane PCI Express Gen 2.0 interface (physically PXI Express in the case of M4x series), data streaming to the host computer is greatly enhanced with giga byte transfer capability.
This makes the M4i / M4x card series of particular value to users acquiring ultra fast signals over longer periods at mega and even giga sample rates. Fitted with high resolution 8 to 16 bit A/D converters and sampling speeds up to 5 giga samples per second, these cards build on the success of the M2i and M3i ranges. The M4i / M4x series also shares the same well proven software driver set, which includes support for all common programming languages and packages such as LabVIEW and MATLAB.

Up to eight M4i PCIe cards can be perfectly synchronised to provide up to 32 channels for signal capture. The number of M4x PXIe cards is only limited by the number of available PXIe or PXI hybrid slots in the chassis as all synchronisation performed via the back-plane.


Spectrum M2p / M2i / M3i / M4i / M4x series card feature summary

indexbar (1K) Up to 16 fully synchronous channels on one card.
indexbar (1K) Synchronisation of multiple cards possible, both for sampling and trigger
indexbar (1K) Versatile trigger features with fast auto re-arm
indexbar (1K) Large standard memory, 4 Gbytes on M4i & M4x, 512Mbytes on M3i & M2i, 1 Gbyte on M2p.
indexbar (1K) Multiple Recording / Gated Sampling † with pre-trigger, post-trigger, fast rearm & time stamp
indexbar (1K) ABA mode available. Go from slow continuous to rapid acquisition on trigger events.
indexbar (1K) Optimised clock section, internal or external clock reference
indexbar (1K) M2i & M3i available in slot formats PCI-Express and PCI/PCI-X
indexbar (1K) M2p, M4i & M4x have a multi-lane PCI-Express interface for GByte streaming with the PC*
indexbar (1K) Versatile and wide ranging software support, all cards use a universal driver set for Windows® and Linux®
*Gen 2 x8-lane PCI-express currently provides the best streaming performance within the Spectrum digitiser range
†Gated sampling not available on M3i
Find out more about PCI-Express. Click here for more information
Find out more about PCI-X. Click here for more information
A dedicated fan for cooling the card bay of your PC, hence inserted cards, is recommended.
Essential for multiple card installations and any number of the more powerful M3i and M4i series.

digitizerNETBOX 16 channel A/D model - link to info page

Spectrum's digitizerNETBOX places the ultra fast instrumentation card technology described on this page into a robust enclosure that can be attached to the Gbit Ethernet port of a computer. Combine with a notebook PC and DC option for portability, or within an extended Ethernet network which may include more digitizerNETBOX units. This unit includes its own Web server which gives the facility to remotely view and configure the setup. It also has its own IP address so that captured data can be streamed back over the network to a client PC. The digitizerNETBOX is very portable and can be taken with the operator, (e.g within a vehicle) using a notebook PC and DC option. For complete independence from a host computer, an embedded server option, with installed CPU, RAM and SSD is also available as an upgrade option.

The digitizerNETBOX docking station package includes SBench6 Professional for easy set up, log, view and signal processing. whilst Windows/Linux drivers provide programming in MATLAB™, LabVIEW™, or one of the popular programming languages such as Visual Basic or C. Interested? Click here for more details and a complete list of models!


M2p (PCIe - x4 lane)
Please click on the images for more information
(GS/s = Giga samples per second)
(MS/s = Mega samples per second)
M2p59 navigation image ,click hereM2p.59xx 16 bit125 MS/s1 , 2 , 4 , 8

M2i (PCIe - x1 lane or PCI/PCI-X)
M2i20 navigation image ,click hereM2i.20xx 8 bit200 MS/s1 , 2 , 4
M2i46 navigation image ,click hereM2i.46xx 16 bit3 MS/s1 , 2 , 4 , 8
M2i47 navigation image ,click hereM2i.47xx 16 bit1.33 MS/s1 , 2 , 4 , 8 , 16

For existing users of the M2i.30xx, 31xx, 40xx and 49xx series cards, who simply wish for a drop-in replacement, we can still supply. Please contact us for further information. For new applications we now recommend the M2p series cards.

M3i (PCIe - x1 lane or PCI/PCI-X)
M3i.21xx card navigation imageM3i.21xx 8 bit1GS/s1 , 2

For existing users of the M3i.32xx, 41xx and 48xx series cards, who simply wish for a drop-in replacement, we can still supply. Please contact us for further information. For new applications we now recommend the M4i.44xx series cards.

M4i (PCIe - x8 lane)
M4i.22xx card navigation imageM4i.22xx 8 bit5GS/s1 , 2 , 4
M4i.445x card navigation imageM4i.44xx 14 to 16 bit500MS/s1 , 2 , 4


This card range provides a particularly modular and robust format, most popular in the industrial environment. All are notable by the fact that synchronisation and triggering is neatly connected across a back plane of the mating enclosure. The latest generation of fast data streaming 3U PXI-Express signal capture cards is offered by the M4x range. We also have 3U cards in legacy PXI format, with a wide range of A/D sample speeds and resolution.

M4x (PXIe - x4 lane)
Please click on the images for more information
(GS/s = Giga samples per second)
(MS/s = Mega samples per second)
M4x.22x PXIe card navigation imageM4x.22xx 8 bit5GS/s1 , 2 , 4
M4x,44x PXIe card navigation imageM4x.44xx 14 to 16 bit500MS/s1 , 2 , 4
Mx (3U PXI)
PXI card navigation imageMx 8 to 16 bit0.2 to 200MS/s1 , 2 , 4 , 8