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NI upgrades oscilloscope and function generator performance

16 February 2017

NI announced the VB-8054 instrument, a new higher performance model of VirtualBench.

VirtualBench plays a key role in reducing the cost and footprint of test and measurement systems by consolidating five of the most commonly used instruments into one device without compromising the performance of each instrument. Combined with a modern software experience and simple programming interface, VirtualBench creates new efficiencies for engineers interacting with benchtop test equipment or developing low-cost automated test systems.

“Engineering workbenches and test systems are getting more and more crowded every day as technologies converge in the latest smart devices,” said Luke Schreier, director of automated test product marketing at NI. “VirtualBench provides the ideal combination of capability at performance levels that can legitimately replace five or more instruments needed to characterise new product designs or validate assembled units on a production floor. With 500MHz of scope bandwidth and a faster generator in the latest model, VirtualBench meets the needs of even more engineers wrestling with how to lower their cost of capital equipment.”

Key new features of the VB-8054

• Four-channel, 500MHz mixed-signal oscilloscope with 2GS/s sampling rate and protocol analysis (34 digital channels)
• Function generator with 40MHz max sine output, 5MHz square, ramp/triangle, DC and arbitrary modes

Additional capability of the VirtualBench family

• True 5½ digit DMM with 300V input range, three-channel programmable DC power supply (up to 3A) and eight general-purpose digital I/O lines
• Intuitive, unified software view of all five instruments, visualisation on larger displays and quick functionality to save data and screenshots
• USB, Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity to Windows software application and Wi-Fi connectivity to Apple iPad software application
• Programming interfaces to automate measurements in LabVIEW and C environments

The VirtualBench application requires zero installation and can load automatically through Windows AutoPlay when connected through USB. VirtualBench also includes software capabilities like digital phosphor density maps for displaying multiple acquisitions simultaneously, XY mode for plotting channels against one another and hands-free smart capture for automatic data capture of repeated stable waveforms. To help better maintain the value of any VirtualBench investment, NI provides free software and firmware updates as new features are released. These features, in addition to the consolidated interface, help engineers streamline their approach for benchtop characterisation and validation. The small footprint and low price of VirtualBench compared with its equivalent set of boxes help enable lower cost of test on a manufacturing floor.

The VirtualBench hardware family consists of three models most easily designated by oscilloscope analog bandwidth: 100, 350 and 500MHz. Through these models, the VirtualBench family serves a wide range of applications and price points in academic labs, hardware characterisation/debug benches and automated test systems.

To learn more about VirtualBench, visit

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