Advanced Time Domain Firmware (FWATD)




FWATD is tailored for synchronized repeated measurements:

  • Analytical instrumentation
  • Particle physics
  • General time-of-flight
  • Test and measurement


The powerful signal analysis in the FPGA on the ADQ7 and ADQ14 efficiently reduces the amount of data to be handled by the host PC system:

  • Relaxed data transfer requirements
  • Reduced CPU usage on the host PC
  • Ability to reduce required disk storage
  • Unique record length enabling 0.5 ms flight time at 2 GSPS

The edge of technology

FWATD is a firmware for noise suppression of pulse shaped data. The noise suppression is achieved in three steps:

  • There is a low-pass filter for linear noise suppression
  • The threshold is a non-linear function that discriminate noise below a specified threshold
  • The waveform averaging suppress noise by repeated measurements of a repetitive event

The threshold is based on the Digital Baseline Stabilizer, DBS, which is SP Devices’ proprietary technology for detecting and correcting baseline. The DBS provides a long-term stable baseline for the threshold function.

FWATD can do averaging on records of up to 1 Million samples, which is not available elsewhere. This means a unique measurement capability, which is important in long time-of-flight tubes.

The waveform averaging allows for significant data reduction meaning the a USB 3.0 interface is sufficient in many situations. The USB 3.0 also allows placing the ADQ7 or ADQ14 close to the detectors and thereby minimize the cable length to the digitizer as to reduce reflections. Even more isolation can be achieved with the 10 GbE interface which also add electrical isolation between the ADQ7/ADQ14 and the PC. This is an efficient solution for ground current issues.

Systems integration support

FWATD supports systems installations through the following steps:

  • The external trigger input/output synchronize to the external equipment.
  • The clock reference input/output enables perfect clock frequency lock.
  • USB 3.0 interface allows for flexible systems integration with any PC solution.
  • USB 3.0 interface enable placing the ADQ7/ADQ14 close to the measurement minimizing reflections.
  • 10 GbE interface for electrical isolation between the experiment and the PC.

Getting started

FWATD is delivered with a GUI and example software for setting up the target system.