What is the Difference Between "te" and "ai/ao/di/do" Timing Engines?

Updated Dec 3, 2019

Reported In


  • PXI Analog Input Module
  • PXI Analog Output Module
  • PXI Multifunction I/O Module
  • Multifunction I/O Device
  • C Series Universal Analog Input Module
  • C Series Digital Module
  • C Series Multifunction I/O Module


  • NI-DAQmx

Issue Details

I've noticed that some cards with multiple timing engines have them labeled "te" and others have "ai/ao/di/do". What is the functional difference between the two? How do I know which cards use which naming scheme?


There is no functional difference between the two different naming schemes for timing engines on NI data acquisition hardware. Each naming scheme is not exclusive to a specific family of cards or product line. Generally, the rule of thumb is as follows:
  • If the hardware has a single type of timing engine (i.e. only analog input), "te" naming is used.
  • If the hardware has multiple types of timing engines, "ai/ao/di/do" naming is used.
However, this is not a hard and fast rule, and if you need to know which route to specify, it is best to find out by opening NI Measurement and Automation Explorer (NI MAX), selecting the relevant device under Devices & Interfaces, and clicking Device Routes.