This standard is intended to serve as a basis for a range of modular instrumentation capable of interfacing transducers and other devices to digital controllers for data and control. It consists of mechanical standards and signal standards that are sufficient to ensure physical and operational compatibility between units regardless of source. The standard fully specifies a data bus (Dataway) by means of which instruments and other functional modules can communicate with each other, with peripherals, with computers, and with other external controllers as shown in Fig K1A. This serves to drastically reduce both the variety and quantity of interfacing required in a single installation and provides a considerable degree of computer independence. The multiplicity of computer dependent and instrument dependent interfaces shown in Fig K1B is typically replaced by a single computer dependent interface as in Fig K1C with one side of the interface speaking the computer language and the other side the standardized Dataway language. It will be noted that the Dataway is strictly a digital interface.
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