Getting down to business, National Instruments’ general-purpose digitizer/oscilloscope offers a 1 giga-sample per second (GS/s) real-time sampling rate on two simultaneous channels and 20 GS/s Equivalent Time-Sampling (ETS). NI chose National Semiconductor’s dual-channel ADC08D1500 1.5 GS/s analog-to-digital converter (ADC) for the module because of its performance and features. When using only one channel, the NI unit uses the ADC’s built-in interleaving mode with autocalibration to double the real-time sample rate. Key specs for the ADC include 7.25 effective number of bits (ENOBs) at an input frequency of 748 MHz and a bit error rate (BER) of 10-18.
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For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.