Thursday, October 27, 2016
Publication Date:09/1/2007
Archive >  September 2007 Issue >  New Products > 

Agilent Intros Time-to-Digital Converter
Time-to-digital converter.
Santa Clara, CA — Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced the first time-to-digital converter (TDC) from its Acqiris product line, with six independent stopwatches for precise timing measurements from a common start event to multiple stop events at high resolution.

The converter is especially suitable for time measurement applications, including laser detection and ranging (LIDAR) for 3D mapping and navigation, fluorescence lifetime spectrometry, and ion counting in time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS). Many pulse-timing measurements, such as period, frequency and time interval analysis (TIA), also benefit from the new TDC's precise measurement technology.

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

Six of the seven identical input channels are independent stop inputs and the seventh is the common start. The module operates in a multi-start, multi-stop 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 10 ms. 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 four million stop-events per module. High-precision time measurement is achieved with a low jitter (<3ps rms), high stability (2 ppm) internal clock source or an external 10 MHz reference input. Digitized data is fed directly to the on-board FPGA-based data processing unit. This handles the data and subsequent fast readout with a direct memory access (DMA) mode for increased data throughput to the PC.

For more information, contact: Agilent Technologies, Test and Measurement Organization, 5301 Stevens Creek Blvd., MS 54LAK, Santa Clara, CA 95052 800-452-4844 Web:

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