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Understanding the Unique Requirements of Portable Data Acquisition Systems

Portable data acquisition applications have to meet a number of stringent requirements not present in traditional laboratory systems. Environmental conditions such as extremes in temperature, humidity, shock and vibration, are all factors that must be considered when selecting portable data acquisition equipment. Other concerns include whether the data acquisition equipment is capable of supporting the mix of particular sensors that will be used, as well as if there is adequate memory/storage to support the test.

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DSP Development Kit

VMETRO™ (Houston, TX) and Impulse Accelerated Technologies, Inc. (Houston, TX) have announced the V5+C, an advanced platform for rapid prototyping and algorithm development. The DSP development kit, which includes the latest generation Impulse C-to- VHDL compiler tools and a VMETRO PMC module based on the Xilinx® Virtex™-5 FPGA, allows military and industrial system developers to hardware- accelerate DSP algorithms and quickly prototype on FPGA within an ANSI C environment.

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Thin Film Thermoelectric Cooler

Nextreme (Research Triangle Park, NC) has developed the eTEC™, an advanced thin film embedded thermoelectric cooler designed to address thermal management needs of the electronics, photonics, bio-tech, defense, and aerospace industries. The eTEC functions as a miniature, solid-state heat pump and is ideal for cooling hot spots that result from localized areas of high heat flux on an IC. The device pumps a maximum heat flux of 150 W/cm2 with some designs delivering as much as 400 W/cm2. Nextreme’s eTECs can operate in a high COP (Coefficient of Performance) regime and still pump a heat flux of 50-100 W/cm2.

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Broadband Surface Mount TO-5 Relays

The SGRF100 and SGRF300 are two ultraminiature broadband TO-5 relays from Teledyne Relays (Hawthorne, CA). The hermetically sealed RF relays feature a surface-mount solution and unique ground shield. They cover frequencies from DC to 4 GHz and perform over a wide temperature range of - 65°C to +125°C. The SGRF100 and SGRF300 are suited for many high-speed switching applications, including test and measurement equipment and high-volume semiconductor manufacturing test environments.

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6U CompactPCI Express CPU Board

One Stop Systems (Escondido, CA) has announced the release of its 6U CompactPCI Express (CPCIe) Core™ Duo 1.66GHz CPU Board. The two-slot wide CPCIe CPU board features front panel I/O with standard interfaces including two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two Serial ATA ports, four USB 2.0 ports, one RS-232 port, and activity LEDs. It also includes a SXGA-compatible display interface and onboard CompactFlash interface, and supports up to 4GB of DRAM.

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Digital I/O Board

The new MSXB 078 digital I/O expansion hardware from Microstar Laboratories, Inc. (Bellevue, WA) combines simultaneous operation on all channels with an isolated ground to protect applications from sources of error. The expansion board provides 16 digital inputs and 16 digital outputs on an HD 62 connector with headers for alternate connectors. Eight rackmounted MSXB 078 boards connected to a single DAP board controlled by a PC give it 128 digital outputs and 128 digital inputs. More digital outputs, up to a total of 1008, can be driven by a single DAP board simply by adding more MSXB 078 boards.

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Power Supply for PC/104, PC/104-PLUS

The MESA 4P20 is an 11W POE power supply for PC/104 and PC/104-PLUS systems from MESA Electronics (Richmond, CA). The 4P20 allows a remote PC/104 system to get power from a single CAT5 cable up to 100 meters long. The 4P20 supplies 5V at up to 2A, +12V at up to 200 mA, and -12 at up to 100 mA via the bus connectors to the PC/104 stack.

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