Strategic Test Describes How to Optimize Host PC for Fastest Streaming

Strategic Test has just published an Application Note that describes how to optimize the configuration of a host PC to obtain the fastest streaming to or from hard disks when using Digitizer or Arbitrary Waveform Generator PCI cards. Continuous gap-free streaming of up to 200 MBytes per second is possible using COTS motherboards, RAID controller and fast S-ATA hard disks. For example, such a system would make it possible to record or generate a single 200 MSample per second analog signal with 8-bit resolution for up to 1 hour, or a 10 MSample per second signal for 20 hours. Currently, the only other products offering this performance are based on high-end disk controllers costing at least $8000.

The document provides benchmarks of tests carried out using Strategic Test’s UltraFast(TM) cards with a variety of PC motherboards and outlines some of the technical problems that can be encountered and possible solutions. This information can also be useful to users of other manufacturer’s. Until now such information was not publicly available. The application note can be downloaded from the company website.

About Strategic Test
With a product range of more than 150 high-speed Digitizer, Arbitrary Waveform Generator and high-speed Digital I/O PCI, 3U PXI and 6U CompactPCI cards; Strategic Test Corporation is one of the leading suppliers of high-speed PC-based instruments. The UltraFast cards are designed at the R&D facility in northern Germany and distributed through our offices in Woburn (MA) and Stockholm (Sweden).

The first high-speed measurement card for PC’s was designed in 1989. The UF2 series based on the PCI-X 66 MHz/32-bit PCI bus is the forth generation and sets new standards in onboard memory size, data transfer rates and user flexibility. Strategic Test’s clients include global electronics, semiconductor, defense, telecommunications and medical instrument companies, government funded research labs and universities in five continents.