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PicoScope 5204 Promises Unmatched Speed

Instrument maker Pico Technology recently launched the PicoScope 5204, a dual-channel PC-connected digital sampling oscilloscope with a 250-MHz bandwidth. The 5204 features a memory depth of 128 million samples and a real-time sampling rate of more than one billion samples per second.

Other functions include a built-in 250-MHz spectrum analyzer and a 12-bit 125-megasample-per-second arbitrary waveform generator that can generate standard waveforms from a library of stored waveforms, including sine, square, triangle, ramp-up, ramp-down, sin(x)/x, Gaussian, half-sine, white noise, and DC level. Users can also define their own custom waveforms.

Pico suggests using a 2-GHz Pentium 4 with 256 Mbytes of RAM, but a less-powerful Pentium with 64 Mbytes of RAM will also serve. The PicoScope 5204 can run on Microsoft Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000, or Windows XP-based machines.

Complete product details, including a downloadable data sheet, are available at

National Instruments Debuts Low-Cost Chassis Kit

National Instruments has announced the PXI-1033 Series, a kit that consists of a low-cost chassis designed with an integrated controller for remote control applications—either a host PCI Express board for desktops or a host ExpressCard for laptops—and a dedicated connection cable.

With an integrated MXI-Express controller in the chassis, the PXI-1033 provides a transparent, remote link with up to 110 Mbps of sustained throughput. It offers five peripheral slots for I/O modules and features compact, rugged packaging and quiet operation, with acoustic noise registering as low as 38 dBA.

Compatible with all PXI-103 x family accessories, the PXI-1033 Series is available with a rack-mount kit and a thermostatically controlled cooling fan.

To learn more about National Instruments products, including the PXI-1033 Series, visit

Microsoft Launches Expression Studio Suite

Microsoft recently debuted the Microsoft Expression Studio for creative professionals. Expression Studio comprises Expression Web for creating standards-based Web sites; Expression Blend (formally Interactive Designer) for designing rich interactive experiences; Expression Design (formally Graphic Designer) for designing visual elements; and a new tool, Expression Media, which unifies team workflow within the suite and provides for digital asset management.

Expression Media is based on the iView MediaPro product acquired by Microsoft earlier this year. It supports more than 100 media formats and provides offline access to visual catalogs. The Expression Media tool also includes the Expression Media Encoder for preparing, encoding, and deploying video and audio files.

For full product details, visit

Adaptec Announces Two New HostRAID Controllers

Adaptec has launched the Adaptec Serial ATA 1220SA and 1430SA HostRAID controllers, both supporting Intel's latest PCI Express interconnect. The low-profile form factor of the 1220SA and 1430SA make them well suited for entry-level servers and workstations requiring data protection and basic RAID features, with support for up to two (1220SA) or four (1430SA) SATA drives.

The 1220SA offers two 3-Gbps Serial ATA ports, and a PCI Express x1 MHz host interface for bandwidths of up to 500 Mbps. The 1430SA offers four 3-Gbps SATA ports, and a PCI Express x4 MHz host interface for bandwidths of up to 2.5 Gbps. Both new controllers include Adaptec HostRAID, an integrated software technology that provides RAID levels 0, 1, and 10 for protection against data loss or corruption, as well as 48-bit LGA support for large capacity SATA drives exceeding 137 Gbytes, and extended operating system support via an embedded driver for Microsoft Vista.

To learn more about the new RAID devices and Adaptec, visit


Figure    PicoScope5204 has a sampling rate of more than one billion samples per second.

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