Quad-channel, digital acquisition and real-time processing system

MPS image
  • Project title
    MPS-DAQ
  • Project status
    Delivered
  • Project type
    Design under contract
  • Target application
    High-energy particle detection and characterization

The MPS-DAQ is a low-power, 12-bit, 100 million samples per second, quad-channel simultaneous digital acquisition system, with FPGA-based real-time processing capabilities.

The system makes use of an industrial-grade FPGA module with DDR3 memory, carefully selected to meet the performance requirements of the project. The FPGA module is attached to a custom carrier board, designed and produced by Logikon Labs specifically for the needs of our client. The complete system, with the FPGA module attached, measures just 90 mm x 90 mm x 12 mm (WxDxH) and consumes less than 4 Watts when fully operational.

The carrier board provides four 50 Ω-terminated coaxial inputs, analogue signal conditioning electronics, a quad-channel analogue-to-digital conversion stage, DC power conversion circuitry, as well as a wealth of debugging features and communication interfaces, while the FPGA is configured to include a soft-core processing unit, coupled to custom digital on-chip circuitry for high-speed deserialisation and real-time processing of the digitized samples from all four channels simultaneously.

The MPS-DAQ offers adjustable input signal gains, from 2x up to 4x, in 1 dB steps. At 2x gain, the system provides a 1 Vpp input signal full scale range, with 0.25 mV sampling resolution. An adjustable per-channel setpoint is also available, with sub-millivolt accuracy as well. Measurements can be performed either in "free running" mode (start and stop provided by the user), or with a predefined run time, adjustable in 10ns steps. All features are under the control of the FPGA module, fully accessible via the available communication interfaces.

The MPS-DAQ can be controlled over USB (useful for communicating with laboratory computers) and SPI (useful for allowing control from most embedded computers), using a simple and intuitive set of commands. Reconfiguration is also possible via USB or SPI, as well as via an industry-standard JTAG interface.

Even though the system has been designed with a high-energy particle detection application in mind, its flexibility allows it to be used in a multitude of other applications, with little or no modifications to its electronics. At the same time, the reconfigurable FPGA (and the on-chip soft-core processor) can be reprogrammed to meet any other processing needs.


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