The National Instruments Digitizers/Oscilloscopes are available for several buses: PCI, PXI, PXIe, and USB. NI-SCOPE driver software can be used with National Instruments Digitizers. NI-SCOPE allows for easy integration with Visual C++, Visual Basic, NI LabVIEW, and NI Measurement Studio and is compliant with the IVI-Scope driver class specification. NI-SCOPE does not entail programming when it is utilized with the Scope Soft Front Panel. This driver software can accomplish numerous board synchronization and ongoing acquisition and comes with over 50 built-in measurement and assessment functions.
National Instruments Oscilloscopes should be used with certain types of probes. Selecting the correct probe is an important part of an analog measurement system. There are active, current, and passive oscilloscope probes. Active probes are suitable when low capacitance is necessary when a measurement requires isolation from a ground reference or for high-frequency measurements. Current probes are best for applications that involve viewing a current signal in relation to a voltage line. Lastly, passive probes have the largest range of use in measurement applications; they contain solely passive circuit elements. An important fact to note is that National Instruments Oscilloscope Probes have BNC connections, but some PXI Oscilloscopes have SMB or SMA front panel connectors, which will need adapters for use with these probes.
One type of Digitizer manufactured by National Instruments is the PXI IF Digitizer. These models assess intermediate frequency or IF information for utilization in superheterodyne receiver architectures or communications applications. The National Instruments PXI Digitizers have features such as onboard signal processing, also referred to as OSP, which allows quadrature digital downconversion, anti-alias filtering, and real digital downconversion. The PXIe-5622 is a PXI IF Digitizer with 1 channel, 64 or 256 MB onboard memory, 16 bits resolution, and 250 MHz maximum bandwidth.
There are also PXI Oscilloscopes, which assess and obtain time- and frequency-domain analog signals as part of a PXI system. For example, the NI PXI-5105 has three variations available with an onboard memory size of either 16 MB, 128 MB, or 512 MB. The largest onboard memory size available is 2 GB with the PXIe-5160 and PXIe-5162. The PXI-5922 has the highest resolution size at 24 bits and is considered one of the most sensitive analog signal measurement devices available. The maximum bandwidth for the NI PXI Oscilloscopes ranges from 60 MHz to 5 GHz. These Oscilloscopes have as many as eight channels and the capability to synchronize several oscilloscopes with other devices at extremely precise levels for mixed-signal and high-channel-count applications.
Other types of Digitizers/Oscilloscopes by NI include C Series Digitizer Modules, PXI FlexRIO Digitizers, and Digitizer Adapter Modules for FlexRIO. NI Oscilloscopes have a self-calibration feature, which adjusts for all DC gain and offset changes in the device with an exact, high-stability internal voltage. Many of the National Instruments Oscilloscopes have a two-year external calibration cycle. However, the PXIe-5185 and PXIe-5186 have a one-year calibration interval.