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Ultra fast digital I/O and pattern generators

Information on all the Spectrum digital cards, capable of generating and capturing digital patterns at very high speeds up to 64 bits wide.
The M2i.72xx pattern generator and M4i.77xx digital capture cards have the enhanced capability to work with a wide range of logic signal levels.
Card formats are available to suit both the PC and industrial chassis.

M2i.70xx series card PCI and PCIe formats M4i77xx series card PCIe-x8 lane
Spectrum M2i programmable digital I/0 cards:

The Spectrum M2i cards provide exceptional performance for applications such as telecommunications, optics and semiconductor circuit testing... in fact just about any application that requires high and ultra high speed digital logic in the MHz range. All of the Spectrum 70xx series Digital I/O boards listed below may be used for digital signal generation or capture, with versions capable attaining up to 125M Samples/second. The 70xx series has the ability to generate port wide patterns, however should the requirement be to produce data streams from 1, 2 or 4 channels (for example serial data applications) then special model M2i.7005 is a good choice, as it has a mode that avoids unused bit channels taking up memory space and allows better use of the available bandwidth on he PC bus interface.

For pattern generation with the latest logic levels, Spectrum design engineers have brought about the evolution of the 72xx series. Each 4 bit nibble is fully programmable in the range -2 to 10V, so when combined with a differential output options, many of the newer logic standards including LVDS, LVCMOS and ECL can be well catered for.

The M2i.70xx and 72xx models also have the special feature of a programmable sequence replay mode, which allows dynamic changes of output signal pattern upon a trigger event. This makes makes them an excellent component for a test system.

All Spectrum M2i boards (A/D, D/A and Digital I/O) can be synchronised, together, plus they have many useful features to allow pattern and gated triggering, timestamp of triggers and asynchronous I/O for instrument control. M2i are available in two formats; PCI-Express (x1 lane) and PCI-PCI-X.

More information on all features can be found by following the links in the table below.
Spectrum M4i programmable digital input cards:

Using a high bandwidth multi-lane PCI Express Gen 2.0 interface, real time data streaming with the PC is greatly enhanced at over 3 Gbytes per second.
This makes the M4i.77xx card series of particular value when recording patterns of bus wide digital signals for long periods at ultra-high speed. The universal logic level compatibility of range -3V to +5V covers many standards including LVDS, LVPECL, PECL, (N)ECL, and comes in single-ended and differential input format. Utilising the very latest digital technology, this card series provides exceptionally fast signal digital sample speeds of up to 720 mega bits per second. Bit pattern capture can be single shot or in a loop.

Building on the success of the M2i waveform generators, the M4i series shares the same well proven software driver set. This follows the practice of supporting both existing and new users. The versatile Windows® and Linux® drivers support all popular text programming languages, as well as packages such as LabVIEW® and MATLAB®.

Up to eight cards from M4i.77xx series can be perfectly synchronised to provide up to 256 digital channels. They also have many useful features to allow pattern and gated triggering, plus timestamping of these triggers.

More information on all features can be found by following the image link in the M4i table below.

Spectrum M2i / M4i series card feature summary.

indexbar (1K) Up to 64 bit wide data I/O ports (M2i), 32 bits input (M4i)
indexbar (1K) Data width on the cards ports is software programmable
indexbar (1K) Synchronisation of multiple cards using the Star-Hub option extends the bit width even further
indexbar (1K) Large standard memory, 4 GBytes on M4i, 512MBytes on M2i (plus upgrade options)
indexbar (1K) Versatile trigger features, including fast auto re-arm
indexbar (1K) Multiple Recording / Replay, Gated control, pre-trigger & post-trigger data available
indexbar (1K) Programmable Sequence Replay Mode, dynamic change to new signal on event, or loop
indexbar (1K) Optimised clock section, internal or external clock reference
indexbar (1K) M2i available in slot formats PCI-Express and PCI/PCI-X
indexbar (1K) M4i has multi-lane PCI-Express interface for over GByte per second sustained data rate with the PC*
indexbar (1K) Versatile and wide ranging software support, all cards use a universal driver set for Windows® and Linux®
*Gen 2 multi-lane PCI-express currently provides the best streaming performance within the Spectrum range
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 M4i series.


M2i (PCIe - x1 lane or PCI/PCI-X)
Please click on the images for more information
(MS/s = mega samples per second)
M2i70xx navigation image, click hereM2i.70xx *8, 16, 32, 64 bit125 MS/sDigital I/O logic levels
3.3V and 5V TTL
M2i72xx navigation image ,click hereM2i.72xx 8, 16, 32 bit40 MS/sProgrammable output
bit patterns -2 to 10V
*1, 2 & 4 bit option with M2i.7005

M4i (PCIe x8-lane)
M4i.77xx card navigation image, click hereM4i.77xx 8, 16, 32 bit720 MS/sDigital input logic levels
-3.0V to 5V + LVDS


A range is available in PXI and CompactPCI formats using well proven circuitry architecture. This list of cPCI and PXI cards provides industrial users with all the performance and resolution, but in a particularly modular and robust format.
PXI is also notable by the fact that synchronisation and triggering wiring is neatly wired across a back plane of a chassis.

PXI card navigation imageMx70xx *8, 16, 32 bit125MS/sDigital I/O logic levels
3.3V and 5V TTL
PXI card navigation imageMx72xx 8, 16 bit125MS/sProgrammable output
bit patterns -2 to 10V
PXI card navigation imageMc70xx *8, 16, 32, 64 bit40MS/sDigital I/O logic levels
3.3V and 5V TTL
PXI card navigation imageMc72xx 8, 16, 32 bit40MS/sProgrammable output
bit patterns -2 to 10V
*1, 2 & 4 bit option with Mx and Mc.7005 models