Term Definition
1 GbE interface for White Rabbit
  • Large distance precision time distribution

The 1 GbE is intended for White Rabbit timing system. One SFP+ cage can be equipped with optical or electrical modules for 1GbE (not included).

10 GbE optical fiber connection
  • Electrical isolation for noise immunity.
  • The digitizer can be placed close to the detector.
  • Allows large physical separation between the digitizer and the host PC.

The 10 GbE interface offers similar advantages as the USB 3.0 interface and additionally, the data transfer capacity is higher (1 GByte/s sustained), the distance to the host can be much longer and there is electrical isolation from the host. The protocol used is UDP. A point-to-point connection to the host is required. Note that the SFP+ module is not included.


Means that the frontend of the digitizer will block DC components of signals, while allowing AC signals through.


Application Programming Interface for SP Devices digitizers - It is a set of functions exported to use the digitizers.

ADX interleaving technology

Maximize spectral purity over a large bandwidth.

SP Devices’ proprietary interleaving technology ADX is available in the firmware option –FWSDR. ADX dynamically suppresses interleaving artifacts to produce a pure spectrum.


The frequency range where the measured response is above a certain limit (for instance -3dB bandwidth describes the frequency range where the measured response is over -3dB).

Continuous streaming

This mode is for continuous recording of very long events.

The recording is starting at a trigger event and continue until it is terminated by the user. The continuous streaming mode produce a large amount of data and is often combined with a data reduction method in the FPGA. This could be, for example, channel masking, DDC and decimation (option –FWSDR), sample skip, or a custom algorithm implemented using the ADQ7 Development Kit or ADQ14 Development Kit.

Continuous wave

See RF signal.

Custom GPIO card

If the –GPIO option is not enough, a custom GPIO expansion card can be provided. See datasheet 15-1413 ADQ14 custom GPIO expansion for more details. The design of a custom GPIO expansion card is available through SP Devices’ design service. Please contact an SP Devices’ sales representative for more information.


See RF signal.

DBS – Digital baseline stabilizer

Enable accurate pulse detection.

SP Devices’ proprietary technology for baseline stabilization, DBS, tracks and compensates for baseline variations to suppress, for example, temperature drift in the detector. This enables accurate triggering even on small pulses and eliminates interleaving pattern noise, which can be particularly important when averaging many acquisitions. The precision of DBS is as high as 22 bits.


Means that the frontend of the digitizer will allow both DC and AC components of signals through.


Decimation is a two-step sample rate reduction method where the data is first filtered, then samples are discarded.  The filter operation reduces the bandwidth and increase the SNR. For high order decimation, the SNR is very high and the data word has to be increased from 16 bits to 32 bits so that the quantization noise does not limit SNR. The sample skip operation reduce the data rate by discarding samples. (Notice the difference to sample skip, where samples are discarded without filtering.)

Digital Down Converter

A DDC combines a complex mixer with a decimation filter to select a specific RF band and reduce the data rate to suit the bandwidth of that RF band.

Freestanding box (–USB)

With the -USB option, the ADQ7 comes in a metal enclosure with mounting flanges. The data and control interface to the host PC is either via USB 3.0 or Ethernet. Two SFP/SFP+ ports are available and one is intended for 10 GbE while the other is intended for White Rabbit time synchronization over 1 GbE. SFP/SFP+ modules are not included. The device is powered by an external desktop power supply. The software driver automatically detects which data/control interfaces that are connected. It is not recommended to send commands and transfer data over more than one interface.

General purpose I/O signals ADQ7DC–MTCA

The external trigger and sync signals can be used as general purpose I/O signals (GPIO).

General purpose I/O signals ADQ7DC–USB

The external trigger and sync signals can be used as general purpose I/O signals (GPIO). The ADQ7–USB can also be extended with an optional custom GPIO card with up to 16 single-ended or 8 LVDS signals.

General purpose I/O signals ADQ7–PXIE, –PCIE

In the standard ADQ7, the external trigger and sync signals can be used as general purpose I/O signals (GPIO). The ADQ7–PXIE and ADQ7–PCIE have a GPIO connector with 12 single-ended and 7 differential signals as standard.

Interleaving Technology

The interleaving technology gives a high signal bandwidth coverage. The interleaving technology is managed by SP Devices'; proprietary technology ADX, which removes typical interleaving artifacts and enables the unique combination of bandwidth and dynamic range which is characterizing digitizer solutions from SP Devices.

Jitter cleaner

For optimized performance with an external clock reference.

If an external clock reference of 10 MHz is used, the internal jitter cleaner will optimize performance.

Large distance synchronization using White Rabbit

The ADQ7 is prepared for large scale timing synchronization using the White Rabbit scheme. The ADQ7 can receive timing information from a White Rabbit network and adjust time-stamp and clock reference to the global system timing. Trigger information is received and generated to communicate with other parts of the system. White Rabbit timing is available as standard in the –USB and–MTCA form factors and require a 1 GbE network with White Rabbit support.

Large scale integration with Micro-TCA.4 (–MTCA)
  • Large scale integration
  • Robust mechanical solution
  • 10 GbE and White Rabbit support

The Micro-TCA.4 form factor is intended for integration into a chassis for modular instrumentation or large scale data acquisition. Chassis trigger and clock reference are supported for easy integration. The ADQ7DC–MTCA primarily uses the PCIe Gen3x4 interface in the backplane for control and data transfer. The –MTCA form factor also includes the 10GbE, USB 3.0 and 1GbE interfaces.

Level trigger

Data driven acquisition.

The standard firmware contains a level trigger for data driven triggering and acquisition. The firmware option –FWPD contains more advanced pulse detection and analysis functionality. The –FWPD also contains zero-suppression to reduce the amount of data.

Modular instrumentation with cPCIe / PXIe (–PXIE)
  • Modular instrumentation

The cPCIe / PXIe form factor is intended for integration into a chassis for modular instrumentation or large scale acquisition. The ADQ7 can operate in Compact PCI Express or PXI Express chassis. Using the multi-unit sync function, multi-channels systems can be achieved. ADQ7 support streaming of at least 5 GBytes/s for sending data to disk or additional computational cards over x8 Gen 3 cPCIe / PXIe backplanes. In a PXI Express chassis, the clock reference from the backplane can be used as clock reference for the digitizer. Backplane trigger is also supported to simplify integration. Note that the ADQ7 occupy 2 slots and extend to the left of the connector.


This mode enables a very long pre-trigger.

This mode is similar to triggered streaming. In addition it allows for very long pre-triggers; up to the entire record length. This allows for tracking the cause of events. For pre-trigger length below 16 kiSamples, us the Triggered streaming parameters. For pre-trigger length above 16kiSamples use the multi-record parameters.

Option for additional GPIO connections (–GPIO)

The option –GPIO offers 12 digital bi-directional signals in addition to the standard GPIO. The direction and value of each pin is set individually. At start-up, all pins are default inputs. The signal level is 3.3V CMOS. The variable gain option –VG always includes the –GPIO option. The interface option –MTCA always includes the –GPIO option.

Pre-trigger buffer

Capture data before the trigger.

The pre-trigger buffer allows for capturing data long before the trigger event occurred. This is useful for analyzing the cause of an event.

Pulse signal

The typical property of a pulse shaped signal is that it has a short existence in time, only a few samples. This implies that the pulse has a wide spectral content. A typical signal consists of a series of pulses that are recorded one by one or all as a bunch. Important digitizer parameters for pulse measure are high bandwidth, time-stamp and high dynamic range. 

Quantization noise

Quantization noise is the effect of representing an analog continuous signal with a discrete number (digital signal). The rounding error is referred to as quantization noise. The quantization noise is nearly random (at least for high resolution digitizers) and is treated as a noise source. 


Record is a set of consecutive samples. These samples are captured at a trigger event

RF Signal

The typical properties of an RF signal is that it has a limited spread in frequency, that is it is limited to a certain frequency band. This implies that the RF signal has a long distribution in time. A typical signal consists of several tones (frequency bands) that are recorded one by one or all as a bunch. At the input of the digitizer is a signal with very high bandwidth to cover the frequency up to RF frequency. The RF signal of interest has often a limited bandwidth which means that a DDC can be used for reducing the data rate to the signal band of interest.  Important digitizer parameters for RF measure are high bandwidth, high dynamic range, DDC-firmware.

Sample frequency

The frequency at which the device is acquiring samples - the frequency of the clock used to sample data. Measured in Hz (kHz, MHz, GHz).

Sample rate and number of channels

(–2A, –2C, –1X, –4A, –4C, –2X)

The sample rate and channels combinations are there to meet various measurement situations.

The ADQ14 is available in non-interleaved version (500 MSPS and 1000 MSPS) and in interleaved version (2000 MSPS). The interleaving performance is enhanced by SP Devices’ proprietary technologies for interleaving, DBS and ADX1. ADQ14 is available with 1, 2 or 4 channels depending on the selected sample rate.

Sample skip

Sample skip means that samples are discarded to lower the effective sample rate. (Notice the difference to decimation, where the signal filtered before samples are discarded).

Sampling Rate

An A/D converter converts an analog signal into a stream of digital numbers, each representing the analog signal's amplitude at a moment in time. Each number is called a "sample." The number sample per second is called the sampling rate, measured in samples per second.


Is the distributable containing API, Documentation, Reference Guide, Programming Examples, basic oscilloscope application ADCaptureLab (Windows only). This is what is needed to use and program the digitizers in any language.

Software trigger

This is a user-controlled trigger.

The software trigger is activated from the user’s application software. The software trigger can also be used for a watch-dog application for surveillance of the experiment.

Spurious-Free Dynamic Range

SFDR is an important measure which characterizes the dynamic performance of ADCs and DACs. It specifies the ratio between the amplitude of the fundamental and the strongest spurious signal. SFDR together with ENOB give a good understanding of the dynamic performance of SP Devices high-performance digitizers.

Stand alone operation with 10 GbE (–10GBE)

The 10 GbE interface offers the same advantages as the USB3.0 interface. In addition to that the data rate is higher (1 GBytes/s), the distance to the host is longer and there is an electrical isolation from the PC. The protocol is UDP. The data transfer require a point-to-point connection.

Stand-alone operation with USB3.0 interface (–USB)

The SuperSpeed USB3.0 interface is intended for stand-alone operation and allows the ADQ14 to be physically integrated with the detector rather than the host PC. This means that the cable between the detector and the digitizer is kept as short as possible for optimized signal quality. The USB box includes flanges for fastening of the box and screw attachment of the USB cable. With the USB3.0 interface, the digitizer is easily connected to any computer. The sustained data rate can be up to 200 MBytes/s and combined with on-board signal processing, an efficient solution is available.

Standard GPIO for connecting to external equipment

The GPIO (general purpose digital input output) is intended for communication with external equipment. The GPIO is accessed from the software through register read and write commands. In this way, it is used for creating a link between the external equipment and the user’s software application. Real-time interaction with the data flow is also possible through the ADQ14 Development Kit. The GPIO signals are available in the User Logic area and can be used for interacting with the data and control in real-time.

The standard version of ADQ14 has GPIO as a software selectable function on the trigger and sync connectors. This means that the connectors are either used as trigger and sync, or as GPIO signals.

Sustained data rate

The sustained data rate means the average transfer rate from the digitizer to the host PC. The sustained data rate measures the actual rate of real data and is NOT including headers and channel coding. The ADQ can maintain the sustained data rate continuously and uninterrupted. (Note that the PC must have the capacity to receive the data at the specified rate.)

Systems integration with PCIe interface (–PCIE)
  • All in one box
  • High performance computing
  • Cost effective hardware

The PCIe form factor is for integration into the host PC. The high speed PCIe interface can handle data rates up to 5 GBytes/s over x8 Gen 3 PCIe links. This is especially useful when combining the digitizer with heavy computation in, for example, a GPU in the same PC. The board is half length to enable compact solutions.


Time-stamp is a real-time measure of the time of a trigger event. The time-stamp is available in the record header. Time-stamp start point is determined by the user through a reset command. The pace of the time-stamp counter is set by the clock of the digitizer. 

Trigger Event

Trigger event is an external signal that activates the data acquisition. This can be a dedicated trigger signal on the trigger input connector, a software command, or an event on the analog signal. 

USB 3.0 flexible interface
  • Freestanding operation
  • Any PC can be used as the host, including laptops.
  • The digitizer can be placed close to the detector.

The SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface enables freestanding operation so that the ADQ7 can be physically located close to the detector rather than inside the host PC. The cable between the detector and the digitizer can thereby be kept very short for optimal signal quality. The USB type B connector is equipped with screw posts for securing the USB cable. Cables compliant with the AIA USB3 Vision standard can be used. With the USB3.0 interface, the digitizer is easily interfaced to any PC. The combination of a sustained data rate of up to 200 MBytes/ s, on-board signal processing and the ease-of-use of the USB 3.0 interface enables a flexible and efficient system solution.

Variable gain option

The variable gain enables full flexible usage of the ADQ14DC. The ADQ14DC can be equipped with software-controlled variable gain. Note that the DC-offset is rail-to-rail regardless of the gain setting.


See Record.

Waveform Averaging

The waveform averaging allows for significant data reduction meaning that a USB 3.0 interface is sufficient in many situations. This means that “any” PC can be used as host. This opens for an optimal systems solution. The USB 3.0 also allows placing the ADQ14 close to the experiment and thereby minimizing the cable length from the detector to the ADQ14. This is crucial for limiting reflections. Even more isolation can be achieved with the 10 GbE interface which also add electrical isolation between the ADQ14 and the PC. This is an efficient solution for ground current issues.

White Rabbit time distribution

Building a system covering several kilometers of distance.

Using a White Rabbit Ethernet-based time distribution network allows the sampling clock and time-stamp of ADQ7 to be locked to a central clock with sub-nanosecond precision over a distance of several km.