National Instruments Gives Engineers 5000 Channels of Sound

3/19/2003 - Sound and vibration engineers now can use National Instruments products to create systems that acquire, analyze and present up to 5,000 simultaneously sampled channels of acoustic, vibration, noise and dynamic pressure measurement data. By combining NI LabVIEW graphical development software with new PXI timing and synchronization technologies, engineers can synchronize up to 51 PXI chassis with near perfect precision across all channels.

Using NI sound and vibration tools, engineers developing applications for machine monitoring; noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) testing; and structural dynamics can acquire, analyze and present data from more accelerometers and microphones with greater accuracy than with proprietary systems. The additional data enhances the representation of the devices they monitor and test, resulting in safer, higher quality products.

"Increases in performance with coincident decreases in the price of computing and instrumentation tools create continuous demand for more complex system solutions that are simultaneously easier to use," said Gene Smiley, market manager for MTS Systems, a leading supplier of mechanical testing and simulation equipment. "We are excited to see NI stepping up to this challenge with new, cost-effective products that offer capabilities such as 5,000 channel synchronization. The NI tools offer a high-performance, high-capacity solution for our sound and vibration system needs."

Previously, engineers used a single PXI chassis to synchronize up to 14 modules for simultaneous dynamic signal acquisition of 112 channels. The new NI sound and vibration products deliver multichassis synchronization to give engineers more accurate data and better results at one-quarter of the per-channel cost of many proprietary systems.

The unique combination of high accuracy, high channel count and low cost is built on the advanced synchronization technologies of the industry-standard PXI measurement platform. By combining the 24-bit, 8-channel NI PXI-4472 dynamic signal acquisition module with the NI PXI-6653 timing and synchronization module in multiple PXI chassis, NI successfully synchronizes all channels to less than 0.1 degree of phase mismatch at 1 kHz.

"The NI sound and vibration system helped us easily meet the needs of a high-end client," said Håvard Vold, PhD, president and CEO, Vold Solutions and global expert in sound and vibration engineering. "We built several 64-channel NVH acquisition modules for order tracking purposes and connected them to create a 700-channel system with complete synchronization between channels for true phase matching at acoustic sample rates."

Engineers measure sound and vibration in a variety of industries and applications -- from testing audio products and characterizing how parts of an airplane react under specific conditions to verifying the integrity of bridges and identifying faults in heavy machinery before they fail. For more information on National Instruments sound and vibration products, visit

About National Instruments
For more than 26 years, National Instruments ( has revolutionized the way engineers and scientists work by delivering virtual instrumentation solutions built on rapidly advancing commercial technologies, including industry-standard computers and the Internet. NI increases productivity for customers worldwide by delivering easy-to-integrate software, such as the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, and modular hardware, such as PXI modules for data acquisition and instrumentation. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 3,000 employees and direct operations in 40 countries. In 2002, the company sold products to more than 25,000 different companies in more than 80 countries around the world. For the past four consecutive years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

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