PC-Based Measurement and Control Systems

PC-based measurement and control systems provide electrical and physical measurement capabilities for engineers who need a customizable and accurate, yet cost-effective way of conducting benchtop measurements.

What Are PC-Based Measurement and Control Systems?

In a PC-based measurement and control system, NI hardware products are connected to your PC or laptop through USB or Ethernet. This kind of system has two main architectures: directly connect a multifunction I/O device to your PC or connect a CompactDAQ Chassis to your PC, and populate this chassis with conditioned I/O modules. CompactDAQ provides the most customizable solution with direct sensor connectivity.  

PC-Based Measurement And Control System Components

Explore the NI products you can use to create a new system or use our online advisor to configure a custom CompactDAQ system.

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Provide combinations of analog I/O, digital I/O, and counter/timer functionality in a single device for computer-based systems.

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Controls the timing, synchronization, and data transfer between C Series I/O modules and an external host.

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Connect to many sensors and buses and support measurements such as temperature, voltage, resistance, audio frequency, and more.

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Meets engineers’ needs from interactive exploration to custom engineering design with a portfolio of highly interoperable software products.

Entry-Level, Plug-and-Play USB DAQ

Make Key Decisions and Discoveries Based on Accurate Measurements

Get started quickly with NI’s entry-level DAQ devices that enable you to take your first measurement sooner with configuration-based software or build in the level of automation you need to make your discoveries faster.


Key Features of PC-Based Measurement and Control Systems

Quickly Capture and Explore, and Then Customize Your Measurement System

Save time with quick, clear access to your measurements using DAQExpress™ companion software that is shipped with all PC-based DAQ hardware. With DAQExpress, you can quickly configure your measurement across multiple channels and instantly view, explore, and save data. Build on your measurement system with LabVIEW to automate your measurements, perform advanced analysis, and integrate third-party instruments. 

Accurate Precisely Timed Data You Can Trust

The superior analog design quality of NI measurement products and proprietary technology, such as the STC3 timing chip, delivers the accuracy you need to trust your data. CompactDAQ provides a modular, signal-conditioned architecture that gives you direct sensor connectivity, no matter your application requirements. Some CompactDAQ Chassis also support Time Sensitive Networking (TSN), an update to the Ethernet standard that provides synchronization and data transfer between multiple chassis, so there’s no need for separate timing and triggering wires.

Advanced Driver Functionality for Greater Productivity and Performance

NI-DAQmx driver software goes far beyond a basic DAQ driver to deliver increased productivity and performance in DAQ and control application development. NI-DAQmx allows you to specify every aspect of your DAQ system (including NI signal conditioning devices), from device configuration and timing setup to low-level OS and device control, all with one straightforward API. The NI-DAQmx driver is compatible with all NI DAQ hardware, so the same code can reference different devices with no code changes. NI-DAQmx works with LabVIEW, DAQExpress, LabWindows™/CVI, C/C++, Visual Basic, Visual Basic .NET, and C#.

World-Class Support and Full Documentation

Ensure you have specified and installed your system to meet your application’s precise requirements with NI's detailed and complete product documentation. Then minimize troubleshooting time with help from a vibrant and growing community on the NI forums, direct communication with local NI engineers, and online and instructor-led training. Finally, keep measurements accurate with NIST-traceable calibration and factory calibration services.

Featured Content


CompactDAQ Build Guide

Explore component parts as well as practical considerations such as power, mounting, enclosures, and grounding for CompactDAQ systems.

Engineer's Guide to Digitization of Analog Signals

Learn how to connect sensors to instrumentation, implement proper signal conditioning, and reduce potential sources of error in your system.