T&D World Magazine

Adapter Converts Any GPIB Instrument to a LAN Instrument

Test & Measurement Systems Inc. (TAMS) has announced a miniature adapter that converts any GPIB instrument to a LAN instrument. The TAMS L488 is a new, compact adapter that connects directly to a test instrument's GPIB port and allows it to be controlled over LAN. A single, Ethernet cable connects the instrument to the local area network eliminating the need for GPIB cables or a LAN to GPIB gateway. The L488 is the simplest and least expensive way to share instruments in a LAN test environment.

"While LAN offers higher transfer rates than GPIB, it also has higher latency. Most LAN/GPIB Gateways have suffered from high latency, making them unsuitable for most test applications, which consist of many short transactions." said Charles Heller, design engineer for Test & Measurement Systems. "TAMS solved the latency problem and testing confirms the TAMS L488 to have typical sustained data throughput of more than 1 MBps, but with half the latency of LAN/GPIB gateways."

The L488 is supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Windows and HP-UX. Industry standard VXI-11 compatibility allows for platform independence, code portability and investment protection. The new IEEE Power over Ethernet standard 802.3af implemented in the L488 uses a single CAT5 cable to provide both data and power to the device.

"As instrument manufacturers move to LXI and use LAN for connectivity and control, it is important to have a way of allowing existing GPIB instruments to be part of modern systems without losing performance." said Alistair MacDonald, marketing manager for Test & Measurement Systems. "The TAMS L488 delivers the speed that test engineers need without the latency overhead for half the cost."

The L488 provides a simple, high performance, low cost solution for connecting existing GPIB instruments to the LXI environment and this simple adapter allows users to extend the life of their existing instruments as they move to new connectivity models.


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