Cost-effective precision sampling is the strength of the ATS850 a dual-channel waveform digitizer from Alazar Technologies, Inc. (Lachine, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada) built on a standard PCI bus card. With a 25-MHz real-time bandwidth and 50 MSamples/s sampling rate, the digitizer is suitable for a host of intermediate-frequency (IF) signal analysis chores. It is an ideal solution for all applications requiring signal digitization that is embedded within an application. Multiple ATS850 cards can be configured in a master/slave arrangement to provide as many as 24 input channels. The card features an input range of plus or minus20 mV to plus and minus20 V; the use of attenuation probes can push this range even higher. The 8-b digitizer includes 512 kb of onboard memory, enough to capture 262,140 points per channel. Typical signal-to-noise ratio with the digitizer is 42 dB while typical spurious-free dynamic range (SFDR) is 45 dB.

The digitizer, which features a 40-b time-stamp counter to track the precise timing of triggered events, is supplied with a calibration certificate and the ATScope software that allows an operator to setup the acquisition hardware and capture, display, and archive signals. The company also offers a Windows-compatible software development kit, which allows programs written in C/C++, Virtual Basic, and LabView to control the digitizer.

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