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Control LXI instruments through TCP

Posted: 20 Feb 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:VXI-11  TCP  GPIB 

In 2000, the VXIplug&play Alliance added support for LAN-based instruments to its VISA specifications. Two popular methods of instrument control via Ethernet were adopted by VISA: VXI-11 and "direct" TCP socket communication. VXI-11 was originally designed to mimic the capabilities of GPIB, including those based on hardware signals, such as service requests, serial polls, device triggers and device clears. It was first used in LAN-to-GPIB gateways, before native were available. It is based on remote procedure calls. A single server like the LAN-to-GPIB gateway can facilitate access to a number of logical devices, such as GPIB instruments behind the gateway. Although VXI-11 was designed for LAN-to-GPIB gateways, it is often supported in native LAN-based instruments as well for compatibility.

The other method of instrument control is socket communication, where an instrument is controlled through a direct TCP socket connection in a stream-oriented manner, which is similar to writing to and reading from a disc file.

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