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TDC boasts 25 million EPS throughput at full speed

Posted: 30 Jul 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:TDC? time-to-digital conversion? time measurement app?

Agilent Technologies Inc. has unveiled the TC890 time-to-digital converter (TDC) featuring six independent stopwatches for precise timing measurements from a common start event to multiple stop events at a high resolution. The product is the first TDC from Agilent's Acqiris line.

The TC890 is suitable for time measurement applications such as laser detection and ranging for 3D mapping and navigation, fluorescence lifetime spectrometry, and ion counting in time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Other applications include pulse-timing measurements such as period, frequency and time interval analysis.

The TC890 records multiple events or hits on each of its six input channels, with a timing resolution of 50ps and a mean dead time between sequential pulses on the same input (double pulse resolution) at less than 15ns. Running at full speed, the instrument offers a 25 million events-per-second (EPS) data-throughput rate. It enables event counting or histogram creation for easy data and spectra comparison.

High-precision time measurement is achieved with a low jitter (<3ps rms), high stability (2ppm) internal clock source or an external 10MHz reference input. Digitized data is fed directly to the onboard FPGA-based data processing unit. This handles the data and subsequent fast readout with a DMA mode for increased data throughput to the PC.

Six of the seven identical input channels are independent stop inputs and the seventh is the common start. The module operates in a multistart, multistop acquisition mode with the timing information of stop events on all independent channels encoded relative to the most recent start event on the common channel.

In standard mode, the recording range is up to 10ms. If one channel can be dedicated to a fiducial signal, the 10ms recording time can be extended to a much wider range. The large internal buffer allows the recording of up to 4 million stop-events per module.

Pricing starts at $13,700. Delivery is six weeks after receipt of order.

- Gina Roos

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