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Home / About us / Digitizers & Pulse Processing

An introduction to CAEN Digitizers and Digital Pulse Processing algorithms

In recent years, thanks to the availability on the market of flash ADC more and more fast and precise, applications in the field of nuclear physics (or related fields) have started to make large use of data acquisition systems based on digitizers. Compared to the traditional and almost analog acquisition systems, in which the A/D conversion was performed only at the end of the chain, the new systems have reversed the approach: the conversion to digital is performed as close as possible to the source of the signal (output of the detector or preamplifier). After the ADC, special algorithms can be applied for the extraction of the quantities of interest, creating digital filters and data processing blocks that, in most cases, are very similar (at least from a functional point of view) to the old and familiar analog circuits, such as timing filter, shaper, CFD, baseline restorer, etc.. The benefits of the digital approach are great stability and reproducibility, ability to reprogram and tailor the algorithms, ability to preserve the information of the signal along the entire acquisition chain, etc...
However, systems based on digitizers have a basic fundamental problem: the extremely huge amount of data to manage. All the four points listed above are related to this issue: high trigger rate, multitude of channels and high readout bandwidth lead to large data streams; this is why the fourth point is so important, that is the ability to do on-line data processing and to extract from the raw samples sequence only the specific parameters necessary to the acquisition.

For More information:

CAEN DPP workshops
DPP workshops were held at CERN (23/06/2010), GSI (25/10/2010), GANIL (2/02/2011), PSI (15/03/2011) INR (7/06/2011), Liverpool University (12/07/2011), Regency Park Hotel in Newbury (UK) (14/07/2011) and TRIUMF (07/12/2011), BARC (1/12/2013), TIFR (9/12/2013), VECC (12/12/2013), USA (March 2015), India (March 2016) with a participation of over 400 physicists and engineers.

  • Guide GD2080 - Introduction to Digitizers (Type: pdf - 2.7 MB). The purpose of this Guide is to provide an overview on the CAEN Digitizers, explain the main characteristics and the different operating modes and present the available options in terms of hardware, firmware and software in order to guide you in your choice.
  • Application Note AN2503 - Charge Integration: Analog Vs. Digital (Type: pdf - 713 KB). The aim of this application note is to compare the energy resolution of two gamma ray spectroscopy setups based on two different acquisition chains the first uses an analog V792N QDC, the other based on a 12 bit, 250 MS/s V1720 digitizer with a Charge Integration Digital Pulse Processing (DPP-CI).
  • Application Note AN2506 - Digital Gamma Neutron discrimination with Liquid Scintillators (Type: pdf - 1.3 MB). In this application note, we describe the capability of the Digitizer series x720 (12 bit, 250MS/s) to perform neutron-gamma discrimination based upon the digital pulse shape analysis. The digitizer runs the preliminary version of the DPP-PSD (Digital Pulse Processing for Pulse Shape Discrimination) firmware for the digital charge integration and neutron-gamma discrimination.
  • Application Note AN2508 - CAEN Digital Pulse Height Analyser a digital approach to Radiation Spectroscopy (Type: pdf - 0.8 MB). The aim of this application note is to show the principles of operation and the results obtained in high resolution gamma spectroscopy using CAEN Digital Pulse Height Analyser, a dedicated system based on 724 digitizers and DPP-PHA firmware.

Digital Pulse Processing products