Design

High performance STEMlab with faster real-time processing

27th February 2020
Alex Lynn

Red Pitaya has launched a high-end STEMlab platform to join its successful STEMlab-125 development boards. STEMlab is a test and measurement environment designed to provide a low-cost alternative to many expensive measurement and control instruments. 

STEMlab 250-12 offers enhanced hardware performance, complete software control and additional hardware features over the STEMlab-125 products and is designed to meet the needs of more demanding users for industrial, research, test & measurement and data acquisition applications.

Its larger FPGA enables greater real-time processing capabilities plus faster analogue front and back-end performance. Small and portable, it also offers the benefits of remote access, with a web app user interface accessible through Ethernet or WiFi. 

The new STEMlab 250-12 is a two-channel 250 Msps 12-bit signal acquisition and two-channel 250 Msps 14-bit signal generator module with Zynq 7020 Dual-Core ARM cortex-A9 CPU and FPGA, 1GB DDR memory and 1 Gbit Ethernet connectivity. Accuracy and quality of signal is assured with 12-bit A/D converter resolution, frequency response of ±0.5 dB up to 45MHz and -3dB at 60MHz and channel isolation >60 dB (DC to 100MHz). 

There are two input ranges of ±1V and ±20V. Outputs can generate signals ranging from DC to 60MHz frequency, with output voltage ranging from ±5V for a 50Ω load to±10V for high impedance loads. The device also features software control for attenuators, gain and trigger level. There is one trigger input via a BNC connector on the front panel and one reference clock input (10MHz) via an SMA connector on the back panel. 

Signal capture is fast, with rise/fall time of 13ns input 1/20 and 11ns input 1/1. A range of interfaces that are becoming established as standard interfaces across the STEMlab product range are included on STEMlab 250-12, including USB, SPI, I2C and 16 GPIOs. The device also boasts four additional slow analogue inputs and outputs. PoE is offered on request. 

Further STEMlab 250-12 specifications include an operating temperature range of zero to +55°C, with a storage temperature range of -20 to +85°C. STEMlab 250-12 is available as an OEM module or in an aluminium chassis. 

Leon Živec, CEO Red Pitaya, said: “The addition of the STEMlab 250-12 builds on our successful open-source STEMlab range by offering high performance signal capture and analysis with remote access at an affordable price point. It can be used as an oscilloscope, spectrum analyser and logic analyser with more applications to be released in future, and extends the Red Pitaya user community to include more demanding users, who can use it as an as an alternative to individual, expensive dedicated instruments.”

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