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IEEE-488, also known as GPIB or HP-IB, comprises a set of standards which allows various test and measurement gear to be controlled and queried remotely.

The following standards are involved:

  • IEEE-488.1: Mechanical, electrical and basic protocol.
  • IEEE-488.2: Formats and common commands.
  • SCPI: Standard commands, built on top of IEEE-488.2. The standard is available here.
  • USBTMC: The USB TMC device class, standard is available here.
  • LXI: The LAN eXtensions fo Instrumentation, standard is available here.

While IEEE-488.1 defines the "Centronix-style" parallel connector, the other standards are in fact seen over other types of connections: RS-232, DB25 parallel connectors, and so on.

sigrok aims to support all of this: all of the command sets, on any device supporting them, across any interface.

GPIB PC interfaces

See GPIB interface comparison for a list of GPIB interfaces we know about.

See Supported hardware#GPIB_interfaces for the list of devices planned/supported in sigrok.

Command sets

Command set Status Comments
SCPI supported Various transports are supported: serial, tcp, usbtmc, vxi, visa, libgpib.
IEEE-488.2 not yet supported Standard document needed


Various GPIB/USBTMC devices are supported, see Supported hardware for details.

Protocol Decoder

The sigrok IEEE-488 protocol decoder supports the parallel GPIB as well as the serial IEC variants.