rfaces present in instruments for many years. GPIB was designed specifically for instrument control applications. The IEEE 488 specifications which standardized this bus define the electrical, mechanical, and functional specifications of the bus while also defining its basic software communication rules. GPIB is a digital 8-bit parallel communications interface capable of achieving data transfers of up to 8 Mbytes/s, while supporting the connection of 14 instruments in addition to a system controller. GPIB provides robust shielded connectors that are designed for rugged industrial environments.
NI GPIB hardware comes complete with the NI-488.2 driver which includes native interfaces for LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI, Visual Basic 6.0, Visual Basic .NET, Visual C# .NET, and Visual C++. In addition, you can also communicate with GPIB hardware through the Virtual Instrumentation Software Architecture (VISA) VISA is a standard architecture originally defined by the VXI plug&play Systems Alliance, founded in 1993, to provide a common foundation for the development, delivery, and interoperability of high-level, multivendor software system components including support for GPIB, VXI, PXI, VME, Serial and/or USB interface.. VISA offers native interfaces for LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI, Visual Basic 6.0, Visual Basic .NET, Visual C# .NET, and Visual C++.
RS-232 is a specification for serial communication and is popular in analytical and scientific instruments. It is also commonly used to control modems and printers. Unlike GPIB, with the RS-232 interface you can connect and control only one device at a time. RS-232 is also a relatively slow interface, with typical data rates of less than 20kbytes/s.
NI serial hardware is packaged with the NI-Serial driver. You access the NI-Serial driver though the Windows Serial API or the NI-VISA API with native interfaces for LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI
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