PowerPC Still In Use

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bunnspecial, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    A friend is at the American Chemical Society National Meeting out at Denver, and texted me this picture a few minutes ago from the back of the meeting brochure.

    PowerLabs apparently makes data acquisition hardware for scientific instruments(I hadn't heard of them before) but apparently are pretty proud of the fact that they use PowerPC processors.

    As per this page


    It seems that their higher end products use a PowerPC 405GPr, and the lower end products use a Freescale DSP56858

    Not really too relevant, but I just thought it was interesting.

    Attached Files:

  2. poiihy, Mar 27, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015

    poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    What exactly are these machines for? Servers? Data processing? Controlling industrial/scientific mechanics? Where would these be used and what machines use them?
  3. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    I'm taking a guess from a cursory reading of their site, but I have worked with devices similar to this.

    Basically, many scientific instruments(especially older ones, which I'll add often have a long life because they are EXPENSIVE to replace) have their output signal in the form of a simple varying DC voltage.

    Traditionally, this was recorded using a paper chart recorder, which would rotate at at a know, consistent speed(generally variable). This generated the X-axis The data output was connected to a lightweight arm with a specially made felt-tipped pen at the end of it. The pen would move in response to the signal coming from the instrument, giving signal vs. time plot.

    You also had X-Y plotters, which would "draw" on a fixed sheet of paper but did not force you to use time as your X variable. This is useful for electrochemistry experiments like cyclic voltammetry, where you are monitoring current vs. applied potential.

    For obvious reasons, paper plotters are now a thing of the past and have all but been replaced by computer interfaces. Using a computer plotting program has a LOT of advantages, not the least of which include that they allow you to do things like define base lines, calculate integrals(in many cases, the peak area is more important than the height, especially if the peaks are of varying width or are not Gaussian), and save your data for later use.

    Some instruments also have the capability to be controlled by a computer, even though they can also be as stand-alone instruments. This typically gives you a LOT more flexibility than using switches and knobs, or inputting everything via a keypad and a 2-3 line digital display. Not only is it easier, but on something like a gas chromatograph you have the ability to do multi-step temperature ramps and other tricks like that to optimize your separation.

    Presumably, these boxes can be used for that sort of stuff, although their exact use is likely instrument dependent.
  4. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.

    I don't suppose any of y'all remember when I used to write every post like this?

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