Modular data acquisition for now and the future: Why we built the PowerLab C and C Series devices...

We have a long history of creating high-quality hardware and software within the life science community. We pride ourselves in making reliable, easy to use products that are built to stand the test of time. Our PowerLabs are a prime example of this, with many of our customers still running PowerLabs they bought over 20 years ago!

However, we believe it's important to keep innovating and pushing the boundaries of what our data acquisition systems can do, which is why we are excited to share the story behind our new PowerLab C and C Series devices!

Built on the foundations of accuracy, reliability, and ease of use when it comes to data acquisition, the PowerLab C is the ideal solution for researchers looking to invest in a customizable, reliable system for both now, and the future.


Why build a new PowerLab?

Over the last 10 years, we’ve noticed three major trends within the scientific community:

1. Research is diversifying, rapidly.

First and foremost, the questions scientists are asking have become more specialized and also more diverse. With this, researchers are looking for greater flexibility in the tools they use for both sampling and analyzing their data.

2. Technology has shifted digital

Secondly, data acquisition technology has seen a dramatic shift from what was primarily an analog world, towards digital. With this shift has come a plethora of new research devices that can now connect directly to a computer via Bluetooth or USB. 

While this is an exciting time for researchers, these new digital devices have often been created in isolation and aren’t designed to work with existing analog devices/experimental setups.

3. Research funding is limited

Lastly, for many researchers (especially those just starting in their academic careers), securing money through research grants can be a major pain point. So when it comes to spending that precious grant money on things like new laboratory equipment, you want to make sure it's money well spent.

Researchers want to know they are investing in solutions that will stand the test of time and can grow as their research needs grow, rather than becoming obsolete 5 years down the track. 

These three trends became the driving force behind the creation of our latest data acquisition solution - the PowerLab C and C Series devices.

Introducing the PowerLab C + C Series devices

PowerLab C

PowerLab C is our latest data acquisition device based on modern digital technology. Sitting at the heart of our new research system, PowerLab C is designed to connect our next-generation C Series digital devices with advanced sub-microsecond time synchronization.

PowerLab C

C Series Devices

When creating the PowerLab C, we wanted to make sure it could still work with any existing analog technology, prioritizing the development of the first of our new C Series devices: the Front End Interface and the Instrument Interface

When connected to the PowerLab C, these Interfaces allow the integration of any existing analog technology, ADInstruments or otherwise, with sub-µS synchronization and data streaming into one software platform (LabChart 8 or LabChart Lightning).

Instrument Interface | C Series DevicesFront End Interface | C Series devices

The PowerLab C and C Series devices are an extension of the reliability and bulletproof performance that scientists expect from our data acquisition devices, packed with a range of new features that we think you are going to love…

Advanced modularity - A system that can grow as your research grows

‘The modularity of the PowerLab C and C Series devices means that customers can scale the system in a way that we couldn't with our current PowerLabs.’- Brandon Bucher, Head of Research
Modular | PowerLab C

With the PowerLab C and C Series devices, you can easily scale up (or down) the system to suit your research needs; From simple setups of one device connected directly to a computer via a C Series Interface, to multiple devices connected together via Interfaces combined with a PowerLab C. 

Furthermore, for those looking to do more complex experiments, PowerLab C units can be ‘daisy-chained’ together for even greater sampling capacity.

Find out more about the PowerLab C + C Series devices configuration options »

  • PowerLab C and instrument interfaces


    Connect up to 4 devices using PowerLab C
  • INstrument interface connection to computer


    Options to connect C Series devices directly to a computer for simple setups
  • PowerLab C Daisy Chaining for multiple signal inputs


    Daisy-chain PowerLab C's for increased sampling capacity

Analog compatible - Integrates with your existing lab setup

The C Series Instrument Interface and Front End Interface offer backward compatibility with any existing analog technology, eliminating the need for a complete equipment overhaul. 

Analog compatible | PowerLab C
‘We've made sure that the new technology we've created works with a long history of ADInstruments products, but will provide customers with new capabilities going forward.’- Brandon Bucher, Head of Research

Powerful and portable

PowerLab C can be powered from mains power, laptops, or portable battery packs for increased portability in different experimental setups. This allows researchers to perform studies outside of the normal lab environment and (quite literally) take their research to new places! 

What's more, PowerLab C can also power other USB-PD compliant devices and offers power management for up to 4 devices at 100W each.

Powerful and Portable | PowerLab C


A digital framework for the future

Another exciting new feature of the PowerLab C and the C Series devices is the integration of USB-C technology. USB-C not only allows for charging and power management capabilities between the PowerLab C and the C Series devices, but it also provides the housing for a new communication protocol involving inter-device communication and sub-microsecond time synchronization that wasn’t possible with the PowerLab 35 Series

Find out more about PowerLab C’s new features »

For more information about the PowerLab C and C Series Interfaces and how they might be useful for your research please contact your nearest ADInstruments representative who will be happy to help!


Make unique discoveries with unlimited freedom and flexibility. Try LabChart Lightning now – for free!

LabChart Lightning is the latest iteration of our 34 year history of creating easy to use data acquisition and analysis software. LabChart Lightning saves you time, supports improved workflows and empowers innovative researchers to make unique scientific discoveries with unlimited freedom and flexibility. Try it for yourself today! More about LabChart Lightning features »