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High-speed ADC chipsets set the pace in real-time monitoring and control

Dynamic real-time measurements can enable and enhance a variety of experimental processes. Examples include setting system parameters, monitoring high-speed processes until ideal conditions are reached, and recording experimental data for seconds, minutes or hours.

Achieving maximum throughput in these applications depends on the use of high-speed ADC (analog-to-digital converter) devices. Keysight digitizers, which use high-speed ADC and flash ADC chips, implement innovative techniques that maximize data bandwidth and ensure rapid measurements. These capabilities are providing superior throughput in applications such as the control and monitoring of particle and electron beams, and in real-time processing for microwave spectrometry.

Excelling in real-time applications

In atmospheric research, the rotational transitions of molecules such as ozone and carbon dioxide emit weak radiation that produces spectral lines. The shapes of those lines are a function of pressure, enabling the creation of altitude profiles for substances under investigation. Real-time FFT spectrometry based on high-speed ADC technology is an alternative to the acoustic-optical spectrometers (AOS) commonly carried aloft in observation aircraft. In comparative testing, a real-time system configured with Keysight digitizers (and flash ADC or high-speed ADC chips) provided comparable results and offered operational advantages: larger vertical range and better vertical resolution; equal or better dynamic range; and greater stability versus temperature and vibration.

Inside particle accelerators, “bunches” of protons and neutrons travel near the speed of light. As a result, measurement speed is critical and digitizers must have very short dead time between measurements. This is one of the key reasons Keysight digitizers are being used in the most advanced accelerators. Typical models range from 500 MSa/s to 8 GSa/s and use flash ADC or high-speed ADC devices with 8- or 10-bit resolution on one, two or four channels.

Keysight in advanced research

Keysight digitizers have become an integral part of advanced experimental systems in laboratories around the world. Our instruments are used in two major areas that require high-speed measurements: real-time applications and single-shot or event-based applications. With high-speed ADC and flash ADC technologies, our digitizers provide the extreme speed and precision needed for system monitoring and control, and for capturing data from the interactions and events in the experiments themselves.