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Interpreting quoted digitizer specifications

Which specification does make the difference when you need to choose a digitizer? What is behind banner specifications? This short article, which was published in Agilent Measurement Journal Volume 4 in May 2008, is 4 years old but still up to date. The blog launch is also a way for us to come back to the basics behind high-speed ADC technology. 

Richard Soden, application engineer underlines here the difficulty to choose the right digitizer but in the same time helps understand that one should not stop just looking at the main specifications. The years are passing, the ADC’s performances are reaching summits but one faces the same issues when he needs to make a choice in deciding which is the best digitizer for his/her application.

It sometimes seems to be like jungle law. This article should help you dig up a little bit the matter like the digitizer fundementals webinar but in a shorter form. Furthermore, we have people on board to help you finding the best solution, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you need pieces of advice. 


About Benedetta Viti

Benedetta is a PR & Web Editor. She is the key player behind the blog High-Speed ADC, willing to know more about the people behind the products. She holds a Bachelor in Languages and a Master in International Marketing.



    Just wanted to share with you the following comment left by Laith the other day:

    Laith made a great comment on specs the other day: I put is here for all of you
    When it comes to gradient pefomrrance, another metric that really bothers me is duty cycle. If you claim 100% duty cycle, I would like to assume that it means I can constantly slew the gradient between its maximum +mT/m and -mT/m at its maximum slew rate. There probably isn’t a system out there that can do this, altough I see more and more manufacturers claiming 100% duty cycle.Here is an example of a more practical metric: I do a lot of work on proper sequence spoiling. Getting good spoiling in an SPGR acquisition requires pretty big gradients at the end of each TR. I think a good metric would be to quote the maximum gradient area (mT*ms/m) the system will allow within a given TR.

    • admin

      Richard Soden our application engineer replied to Laith as follows:
      @Laith, this seems to be a very application specific specification (are we talking tuning magnetic fields for imagery?).

      I agree that when we have such specs, as you say, they can tell us a lot about the performance for a given application.

      The challenge you face when selecting a digitizing device/ADC card/Digitizer is interpreting those general purpose specs (trigger jitter, DNL, INL, SFDR, etc.) to attempt to estimate the impact they will have for your application.

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