Data Acquisition (DAQ) and Control from Microstar Laboratories

DAPserver PC-Based Test Products Use Eurocard Channel Architecture

Response Times Free of Local or Network-Related Delays

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Bellevue, WA, March 26, 2003 -- Microstar Laboratories, Inc., maker of Data Acquisition Processor (DAP) boards, today announced the first members of a family of DAPserver test, measurement, and control products. The new DAPserver products combine a 5-slot PCI backplane and a 10-slot Eurocard cage in an industrial-grade chassis. Server software runs on a processor that occupies one of the PCI slots. Microstar Laboratories preloads every DAPserver with Windows or Linux software.

The first two products available, the DAPserver 200 and DAPserver 200R models, each include a hard drive - shock-rated to 800g - and a floppy disk drive. Both models have front-panel handles suitable for equipment installed in 19-inch industry-standard racks. To create a heavy-duty model, the DAPserver 200R, Microstar Laboratories built the same components used in the DAPserver 200 into specially engineered packaging for use in rugged environments.

What follows applies equally to both models.

After simply unpacking the DAPserver and applying power, customers can load their favorite software and start development right away. The DAPserver has either Linux or Windows and DAPcell Network Server software, preloaded on the hard drive, running on a 1.2GHz processor in one of the PCI slots. The remaining four PCI slots can contain any current DAP boards, and Microstar Laboratories provides hardware and software that combines these DAP boards into a single synchronized system.

DAPserver products conform to the channel architecture used by Microstar Laboratories: signal connectors on 3U (100mm high) Eurocard B (220mm deep) boards - Eurocards - that often pre-process a signal. The DAPserver can contain up to ten of these Eurocards, and it can connect to many more in other rack-mounted industrial enclosures. Most Microstar Laboratories Eurocards multiplex inputs or outputs to or from DAP boards. Many perform additional functions. The Web site gives the full range, arranged in these seven main function groups:

  • simple termination
  • simple multiplexing
  • anti-alias filtering
  • simultaneous sampling
  • isolation
  • counter/timer
  • quadrature-decoder

To find out more about Microstar Laboratories Eurocards, go to Channel Architecture.

Response Times Free of Local or Network-Related Delays

A processor on every DAP board in a DAPserver runs DAPL 2000: the 32-bit multitasking real-time operating system for PC-based data acquisition and control, the onboard intelligence that comes with every DAP. A user normally controls DAPL1 through Windows, either locally or over a network using DAPcell client software and a Windows application like LabVIEW or Visual Basic. Every standard DAP model in current production also will run under Linux. And DAPL runs on the onboard processor that every DAP uses to perform data acquisition and control tasks in real time, free from any delays imposed by the operating system or by other software running on the local server hardware.

Onboard intelligence not only protects against local delays, it allows synchronization between hardware in different DAPservers on a network over a separate DAP-to-DAP network independent of other network delays. Microstar Laboratories has shipped systems like this on third-party server hardware with many hundreds of channels. A scalable benchmark server has shown that such a distributed system could acquire data at over 50 million samples per second.

Microstar Laboratories will accept orders for the DAPserver 200 and DAPserver 200R today for immediate shipment. The company offers a CD that contains all software and hardware manuals for all products, including full documentation for the DAPcell Network Server software and the new DAPserver hardware. You can download the DAPtools CD. Or contact Microstar Laboratories or one of their international distributors.

1 For brevity, here and elsewhere this document uses DAPL to mean DAPL 2000.

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Editorial Overview:

Microstar Laboratories, Inc., maker of Data Acquisition Processor (DAP) boards, today announced the first members of a family of DAPserver test, measurement, and control products -- preloaded with Linux or Windows and DAPcell network server software, ready for application development. A DAPserver mounts in an industry-standard 19-inch rack, and includes a hard drive -- shock-rated to 800g -- as well as a floppy disk drive. DAPcell client software on any PC on the network can request data acquisition or control services from any of up to four DAP boards on any DAPserver. Input and output design conforms to the channel architecture that Microstar Laboratories has implemented in 3U Eurocards. These Eurocards provide multiplexing, isolation, filtering, simultaneous sampling and other functions. Each DAPserver can contain up to ten Eurocards, and can connect to many more in additional industrial enclosures. The company offers two DAPserver models with immediate delivery. To find out more, click on New in the sidebar. Or talk to the people at Microstar Laboratories.

Note to the Editor:

Microstar Laboratories, Inc. claims Microstar Laboratories, Data Acquisition Processor, DAP, DAPL, DAPL 2000, DAPcell, and DAPserver as trademarks.

Microsoft Corporation has registered Microsoft, Windows, and Windows 2000 as trademarks. Linus Torvalds, the original author of the Linux kernel has registered Linux as a trademark. These and other individuals or organizations may claim - or may have registered - as trademarks any trade names, logos, and service marks that appear in this document but not in the list above.

Microstar Laboratories makes it a practice to use an appropriate symbol at the first occurrence of a trademark or registered trademark name in a document, or to include trademark statements like this with the document.