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ADC and the search for the origin of the universe

09 Mar 2015  | Steve Taranovich

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The ADQ412DC has a DC coupled full flexible front-end with variable gain and bias (figure 2d).

Figure 2d: The ADQ412DC has a DC coupled full flexible front-end with variable gain and bias. (Image courtesy of SP Devices)

As Per Löwenborg, CTO of Signal Processing Devices, delivered his speech on time-interleaved ADCs at the 2015 IEEE ISSCC Forum, CERN would have prepared for the receipt of 12 ADC412DC-3G digitizers specially designed for particle physics experimentation. This will be for an upgrade of the data acquisition system at the neutron time-of-flight facility (nTOF).

The weak signals and short duration time of the nTOF are a challenge, but the ADC handles this challenge in particle physics. The synchronisation abilities of the ADC Digitizer, using its flexible multi-channel system, can allow operation as a 24 or 48 channel system which samples at 3.6 or 1.8 Gsps to enable the use of detectors with different time constants.

CERN, along with SP Devices, have jointly developed a storage system to handle the huge amounts of data that the nTOF high channel count and high sampling rate produces. They are able to achieve a sustained data rate of 12 GB/s by using a PCI Express-based approach to this problem. PCI Express Gen2x8 enables fast data transfer integrated in a PC or as a cPCIe/PXIe/MTCA-4 modular instrument (figure 3).

Figure 3: ADQ412DC-PXIE can be ordered in a PCIe format. (Image courtesy of SP Devices)

I see many good solutions coming in future developments at SP Devices. Keep watching for more high-performance analogue-to-digital technology for Communications, Radio Base Stations, Radar, Signals Intelligence and Test & Measurement.

About the author
Steve Taranovich is a senior technical editor at EDN with 41 years of experience in the electronics industry. Steve received his MSEE from Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, New York, and his BEEE from New York University, Bronx, New York. He is also chairman of the Educational Activities Committee for IEEE Long Island. His expertise is in analogue, RF and power management with a diverse embedded processing education as it relates to analogue design from his years at Burr-Brown and Texas Instruments. Steve was a circuit design engineer for his first 16 years in electronics. He then served as one of the first field application engineers with Burr-Brown Corp and also became one of their first global account managers, traveling to Europe, India and China.

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