• HARDWARE- VS. SOFTWARE-DRIVEN REAL-TIME DATA ACQUISITION

      Powell, Richard; Kuhn, Jeff; L-3 Communications Telemetry & Instrumentation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2000-10)
      There are two basic approaches to developing data acquisition systems. The first is to buy or develop acquisition hardware and to then write software to input, identify, and distribute the data for processing, display, storage, and output to a network. The second is to design a system that handles some or all of these tasks in hardware instead of software. This paper describes the differences between software-driven and hardware-driven system architectures as applied to real-time data acquisition systems. In explaining the characteristics of a hardware-driven system, a high-performance real-time bus system architecture developed by L-3 will be used as an example. This architecture removes the bottlenecks and unpredictability that can plague software-driven systems when applied to complex real-time data acquisition applications. It does this by handling the input, identification, routing, and distribution of acquired data without software intervention.