Data Translation Turns PC into Control-Loop Platform with New Board

6/25/2004 - Data Translation®, Inc. announced a new high-speed data acquisition board that transforms a PC into a closed-loop platform for test and control applications. The DT9842 is the latest offering in the DSP Fulcrum® II Series of data acquisition boards.

Deterministic response is the hallmark of control-loop systems. Until now, the latency issue of Windows® prohibited the PC from industrial control systems. The DT9842 solves this barrier-to-entry with a dedicated DSP from Texas Instruments (TI) that processes data in real-time. High-performance is another requirement for control systems. The DT9842 board’s successive approximation A/D and D/A converters simultaneously acquire and control 8 analog input and 8 analog output channels at 10 us. With sampling rates up to 100 kHz, 16-bit accuracy, and uninterrupted data transfer, the DT9842 board is an ideal closed-loop system for real-time operations such as industrial inspection and environmental control, to name a few.

According to Fred Molinari, president, founder and CEO of Data Translation, “Today’s announcement extends the reach of the DSP Fulcrum II Series family into the closed-loop control market. The DT9842’s deterministic response, high-performance and easy-to-use software leverages the strengths of the PC without compromising reliability - a prerequisite in industrial test and control systems.”

The DT9842 board leverages the portability of the PC. Control-loop testing can involve machinery of immense size such as generators and vibration systems. Until now, test stands were static, requiring the test stand to be delivered to the equipment under test. Users can now simply wheel the PC to the equipment and take measurements.

Scalable Form Factor
The DT9842 is a single 6U board with standard connections for analog input, analog output, trigger and clock. Up to eight boards can be added via a LVDS communication port to expand channel count up to 64 simultaneous A/D input signals plus 64 D/A output signals. The board is also available in a Sleek BoxTM version that includes the board in a CE-compliant box with standard connectors, a USB 2.0 cable, power supply and fan.

Complete Software Control over DSP
The DT9842 board employs TI’s floating-point TMS3206711 DSP chip. A software programmable DSP, users have the choice of code-based programming using TI Code ComposerTM and Microsoft® Studio which provide the highest control and flexibility of the on-board and host-side processing. A JTAG emulator or RS-232 serial device allows for easy debugging. The other option is ‘point and click’ programming using Data Translation’s DT Measure Foundry®/RT Streaming which enables the most rapid application development cycle.

To learn more about TI’s real-time eXpressDSPTM Software and Development Tools and receive free evaluation tools, visit DSP Village.

Designed for Test and Control
The architecture for the DT9842 includes all the circuitry needed for a closed loop control system. Included on the board are:

Availability, Pricing and System Requirements
The DT9842 is sold in two models: DT9842/2 and DT9842/8. The former includes two analog output channels and the latter includes eight. The starting price for the DT9842 is $4535. Both are available for immediate order. Each board comes in two memory configurations: a SRAM version (128MB) or 2MB of Flash with 64MB of SRAM for autonomous operation. The DT9842 board runs on Windows 2000 and XP.

Data Translation provides complete technical support for all its products. Support is also available 24x7 via Data Translation’s website at

About Data Translation
Data Translation is a supplier to the data acquisition, imaging, and machine vision markets with expertise in the design and manufacture of high-accuracy, high-quality, and reliable analog I/O products. Data Translation has a worldwide presence, with distribution in more than 40 countries and subsidiaries in Germany and the UK. For more information visit

Data Translation, DT Measure Foundry and Fulcrum are registered trademarks and Sleek Box is a trademark of Data Translation. Windows and Microsoft are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation and eXpressDSP and Code Composer Studio are trademarks of Texas Instruments.

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