Test-and-measurement and data-acquisition house Data Translation (Marlboro, Mass.) announces an embedded DSP realtime measurement technique that can stream data to a host computer in realtime controlled by a high level PC application.
Dubbed DT Measure Foundry/RT-Streaming, it provides you with access to the company's richly endowed DT9841 Fulcrum II Series DSP data acquisition board as a data source.
Using the DT9841, you can stream realtime data, and control its data acquisition capabilities. These capabilities include a 24-bit A/D and DAC, high-speed digital IO, three 32-bit counter-timers, and triggers.
The package runs on Windows 2000 and Windows XP boxes that run Pentium II/333 or higher processors. You'll also need a CD-ROM drive, at least 128 Mbytes of DRAM (although 256 Mbytes is better), and at least 80 megs of free hard disk space. You'll also need appropriate hardware device driver(s) and a Universal Serial Bus v2.0 port (recommended) or an Ethernet connection on the PC.
An Application Builder
DT Measure Foundry is what Data Translation calls a test-and-measurement application builder. It is a patent-pending design that lets you create complex test applications that access and control data-acq functions without being an expert software developer. Here's what a finished screen looks like in operation:
Click for large typical screen image
DT Measure Foundry/RT-Streaming is designed to eliminate time-consuming coding and compiling. By placing the DT9841 board as a DSP realtime data source in a DT Measure Foundry application, you can configure its property pages through a step-by-step wizard and rapidly download a compiled and linked COFF file to a Texas Instruments (TI) floating-point TMS3206711 digital signal processor (DSP) that resides on the DT9841 board.
This block diagram reveals some of the hardware functions of the DT9841:
Click to view block diagram
Once the DT9841 streams the data into DT Measure Foundry, you can perform any type of analysis or processing on it, including the ability to send the data to The MathWorks's popular MATLAB post-processing package, or into an Excel spreadsheet. Compatible software includes Excel 2000 or higher, or MATLAB v6.5 Release 13, or higher.
If you use MATLAB, you can access its script functions for numerical computation, scientific graphics, and signal processing, and you can define and execute MATLAB programs from within DT Measure Foundry for visualization and analysis of collected data. Automatic data conversion support also permits you to send and receive A/D or DAC data directly to and from MATLAB. If you work in Excel, you can control it from within DT Measure Foundry.
Data Translation claims that DT Measure Foundry/RT-Streaming will eliminate the need to become an expert programmer in TI's Code Composer Studio, nor will you have to write separate host communications programs, drivers, or DSP software.
The company also points out that there's no need to use Microsoft VisualBASIC, Visual C++, or other programming languages to create a graphical user interface (GUI). You can create a GUI in DT Measure Foundry/RT-Streaming to display realtime data. An example would be an oscilloscope with a spectrum analyzer panel for a realtime FFT to analyze the data, and a stop/start button to control the acquisition of data.
Slick And Sleek
DT Measure Foundry/RT-Streaming also supports Data Translation's Sleek Box.
The USB-equipped Sleek Box, priced just under $5000, comprises a shielded development platform and environment for realtime embedded DSP data acquisition. The Sleek Box encloses a DT9841 module in a shielded metal box equipped with BNC and D-subminiature connectors for access to board functions.
Price and Availability
Data translations says that its DT Measure Foundry/RT-Streaming is available for immediate order with delivery within 30 days and is priced at less than about $2000.
The DT Measure Foundry product also includes an extensive library of application examples, and on-line help. Support is also available 24x7 from Data Translation's Web site.
For additional details, contact Data Translation, 100 Locke Dr., Marlboro, Mass. 01752. Phone: (508) 481-3700.