GPIB Products Information

GPIB products is a general search form for controllers, converters, extenders, expanders, isolators, switches and other devices for the general-purpose interface bus (GPIB). More detailed search forms are available for each type of GPIB product. As a rule, GPIB devices conform to a specific standard such as IEEE 488.1 or IEEE 488.2 form the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), or HS488 from National Instruments. In the United States and Europe, GPIB products meet requirements established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or bear the CE Mark. 

GPIB networks require a GPIB controller or adaptor, and up to 14 GPIB products may be connected to this interface board. The IEEE 488 standards specify that computers and peripherals share information at a maximum data transfer rate of 1-MBps. HS488 is a newer, faster standard that establishes a maximum data transfer rate of 8-MBps. Because Hewlett-Packard (HP) originally developed the GPIB protocol, the general-purpose interface bus is sometimes called the Hewlett-Packard interface bus (HPIB).  

Selecting GPIB products requires an understanding of product types. GPIB controllers are interface boards that control the flow of information on the bus. They instruct GPIB instruments to talk or to listen, and respond to service requests from devices in GPIB networks. Because a single GPIB controller can control up to 14 GPIB instruments, applications that involve the control of 15 or more instruments require a GPIB expander or GPIB isolator. GPIB switches enable several GPIB controllers to share one or more GPIB devices, or allow a single GPIB controller to operate multiple GPIB bus systems. 

GPIB converters are GPIB products that translate data from one bus type to another.  For instance, an RS232-to-GPIB converter translates serial commands generated by the RS232 interface into GPIB commands. Many GPIB converters are also GPIB controllers. GPIB extenders are GPIB products remove the restrictions on cable length specified in IEEE 488. By using a GPIB extender, however, it is possible to extend the cable length to several kilometers without lowering the overall performance of the system. Other types of GPIB products are also available from some GPIB suppliers.