National Instruments on Monday introduced
CompactDAQ, a new Mac and PC-compatible data acquisition system that works using USB. The CompactDAQ system starts at $999.
CompactDAQ is used for collecting data from sensor inputs and electrical measurements on the benchtop, either in the field or in production environments. The system features an eight-slot chassis that can accept I/O modules which can measure up to 256 channels of data — electrical, physical, mechanical or acoustic signals. The chassis interfaces with a Mac or PC using USB 2.0 connectivity.
The modules that fit into the CompactDAQ chassis are hot-swappable and auto-detectable. The CompactDAQ delivers data through four dedicated USB signal streams, to handle synchronous analog and digital input and output, according to National Instruments.
In addition to driver software, National Instruments includes an open Application Programming Interface (API) to connect CompactDAQ to National Instruments’ LabVIEW software, or to create custom applications in C/C++ and other application development environments.
A representative of National Instruments has confirmed that the CompactDAQ is not, in fact, Mac compatible, due to an issue with the device’s drivers. The rep couldn’t comment on future support, but added “I can say that as a rule we try to support any platform for which there is significant demand for use with our hardware.”
Updated 6:40PM May 4, 2006: Information about Mac compatibility added.