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Low Cost, Reconfigurable, Multi-Channel Pulse Processing Platform

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
59 b
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
15985 NW SCHENDEL AVE STE 200 BEAVERTON, OR 97006-6703
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Low Cost, Reconfigurable, Multi-Channel Pulse Processing Platform
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-10ER85817
Award Amount: $99,998.00


Large-scale physics experiments often use conventional analog pulse-processing techniques that require multiple instruments such as a pulse shaper, multi-channel analyzer, time-to-amplitude converter, and analog-to-digital converter. For accurate energy resolution and noise immunity using this method, pulse-shaping electronics require the detector pulses to be of sufficient amplitude and duration. Further, pulse detection rates are limited to few tens of kHz, and hence suffer from non-linear effects such as pulse pile-up. In order to address this problem, in the past, the community has invested in custom application-specific circuits, based either on the analog time stretching principle or on the time-to-amplitude conversion followed by an analog-to-digital converter, but increasingly these cannot be produced, as the IC technologies used have been phased out. Furthermore, the cost of ASICs is increasingly greater with each generation of deep-sub-micron CMOS technology. A scalable, general-purpose, low-cost, 8-channel (64-channel goal), all-digital pulse-processing instrument based on high-resolution time-to-digital logic (<25 psec resolution) is being implemented with reconfigurable FPGA chips. Incoming analog pulses will be digitized using a custom-designed front-end discriminator board. This instrument will allow accurate data acquisition and processing at high speeds and eliminate the need for the multiple instruments required for analog pulse processing. COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS AND OTHER BENEFITS: Fast, low-power, low-noise, high sensitivity, and radiation-resistant electronic instrumentation is essential for readout of detectors in numerous physics experiments. A Time-to-Digital Converter (TDC) measures the time between pulses on a detector at a very high temporal resolution and is therefore, a key component of almost every particle physics instrument

Principal Investigator:

Andrew Huntington

Business Contact:

George George
Small Business Information at Submission:

Voxtel, Inc.
15985 NW Schendel Avenue Suite 200 Beaverton, OR 97006

EIN/Tax ID: 931285205
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No