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Dual-channel reconfigurable PCI analysers

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article image AP240 and AP235 analysers.

ACQIRIS , a leading manufacturer of data conversion technology, now offers its model AP240 and AP235 dual-channel reconfigurable PCI analysers with a new advanced peak analysis and time-to-digital conversion (TDC) firmware.

PeakTDC firmware makes the analysers ideal for use in systems where signal bursts are acquired and analysed, and where data reduction to peak information is most valuable. This includes time-of-flight and imaging applications such as time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS), ultrasound, lidar and sonar.

The AP240 and AP235 PCI analysers combine high performance front-end analog-to-digital conversion with up to 1GHz bandwidth (500MHz for the AP235), and reconfigurable on the fly processing from the on-board FPGA-based data processing unit (DPU).

With the PeakTDC firmware, the analysers' DPU isolates peaks from waveform data obtained at up to 2GS/s (1GS/s for the AP235), and transfer this peak data in the form of time and/or amplitude to the host PC.

Peaks are located using an advanced hysteresis algorithm that measures the true peak position and amplitude, and allows multiple peaks to be defined within a wide range. This is particularly useful when averaging or creating a histogram from a series of similar waveforms.

To obtain maximum data throughput, the digitised waveform data is processed using a "ping-pong" buffer system. The firmware allows for various post-acquisition processing and data storage, affecting how data is treated and transferred to the host PC.

Acqiris' AP240 and AP235 PCI analyser platforms incorporate the proprietary XLFidelity and JetSpeed ADC chipsets, and feature front-end signal conditioning with calibrated gain and offset ranges, as well as up to 1GHz bandwidth and dual-channel capability with synchronous acquisition up to a 1GS/s sampling rate (up to 2GS/s in single-channel mode).

Each channel has an independent digitizer and separate programmable processing using the latest FPGA technology, which enables the analyser platforms to be easily reconfigured to perform a variety of on-board real-time signal processing.

The AP240 represents the highest performance with 1GHz front-end bandwidth, 1GS/s ADCs, and up to 12MB of memory (48MB optional). The AP235 uses a similar architecture as the AP240, but offers a more economical package for lower frequency applications. The unit's front-end bandwidth is 500 MHz and the maximum sampling rate is 500MS/s.

For single-channel applications, both cards can interleave their two ADC channels, doubling the maximum sampling rate (2GS/s for the AP240 and 1GS/s for the AP235 on either input, software selectable) and overall timing resolution.

The cards are fully PCI-compliant and can be installed directly in a full-length PCI slot on a PC running under Windows, Linux or VxWorks. The PCI bus allows data processed by the cards to be transferred to the host PC at sustained rates of up to 100MB/s.

The cards can be controlled over the PCI bus or directly from the front panel through Acqiris' unique Ctrl I/O system. Ctrl I/O provides two analogue connectors for clock/reference and trigger signals as well as four digital lines for monitoring the cards' status or configuration.

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