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32-channel DAQ system with user programmable FPGA and sequencer

The DT5550 is a Programmable 32-channel Digital Acquisition System for physics application. It is one of the CAEN programmable board designed to help users in building a customized acquisition system fitting the needs of their detectors and experimental conditions. The applications of the DT5550 range from nuclear spectroscopy to ASICs readout, from neutron physics to Silicon Photmultipliers detection systems. The firmware, the readout software and some design files are distributed for free and open source so that the user can easily customize them in order to implement a full and complex experimental readout system on a single board. 

The DT5550 is capable to manage simultaneously a large number of digital and analog signals to implement many functionalities required by physics experiments: signal digitization, complex trigger logic, Pulse Height Analysis with MCA capabilities, Time Tagging, Pulse Shape Discrimination, Scaler, Counters and so on. The large number of digital I/O and analog inputs make the DT5550 a solution suitable to readout most of the ASICs commonly used in physic, allowing the user to minimize the effort in designing a readout system (only a simple adapter board between the ASIC and the DT5550 I/O connectors is needed). It is possible, for example, to use a DT5550 to readout up to 8 WeeROC Petiroc (analog readout) or up to 8 WeeROC Catiroc. 

The DT5550 can be used for the following applications:
  • Readout of the following detectors:
    • HPGe, Segmented germanium detector
    • Array/matrix of PMTs
    • Multi anode PMTs
    • Array/Matrix of SiPMs
    • Position sensing detectors (for application like gamma camera) with realtime position reconstruction
    • APD, SPAD, SiPIN and SDD
    • Silicon detectors, CCD
    • CdTE and CZT detector
    • Neutron Detector (3He tubes, position sensing tubes)
    • Neutron scintillator detectors with Gamma Neutron discrimination
  • Readout of mixed signals ASICs
  • Nuclear Spectroscopy
  • High Energy Physics
  • Imaging with multichannel detectors

The DT5550 is fully supported by SCI-Compiler, a Windows-based graphical development system for easy FPGA programming. This tool allows to develop and compile the firmware code using graphical blocks which represents the functionalities needed for firmware implementation (for example oscilloscope, TDC, MCA, charge integration, etc). SCI-Compiler automatically generates the VHDL firmware code starting only from logic blocks and virtual instruments that can be connected together in the GUI and, moreover, it generates C/C++/C#/Python Libraries for custom software development in Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android OS. 

A complete, ready to use default firmware is provided for free and open source. The default firmware manages the basic waveform digitization and charge integration and it is preloaded on the board. The user can open the default firmware in SCI-Compiler and modify it in order to customize, for example, the trigger logic, the data online processing or integrate it in a larger system. 

The SCI-Compiler license and one-year upgrade is included with the DT5550. 

The SCI-5550 Readout Software is the free and open source Windows-based software developed to perform acquisitions with the DT5550. It works in conjunction with the DT5550 default firmware and it can be modified by the user according to the custom functions implemented in the firmware and for any other need. 

Available board models and accessories are listed in the tab "ordering option" and "accessories"
Packaging Form Factor 163x50x226 mm3 (WxHxD) Desktop
Analog Input
32 channels


31 MHz

Zdiff = 100 Ω

Full Scale Range
2 Vpp
Digital Input
2 x 32 channels


Signal Type
Zdiff = 100 Ω

Digital Conversion
14 bits

Sampling Rate
80 MS/s Simultaneously on each channel
Clock Generation
Clock source: internal/external
On-board programmable PLL provides generation of the main board clocks from an internal (25 MHz local Oscillator) or external (rear panel CLK-IN connector) reference
LEMO Digital I/O
Zin = 50 Ω
Single-ended, 25 MHz, 3.3V

Rt = 50 Ω
Single-ended, 25 MHz, 3.3V, 50mA
GPIO 1 - 8 (LEMO)
General purpose programmable digital I/Os
Single-ended, Zin / Rt = 50 Ω
Memory 16 kS/ch
Trigger Source
Internal/External: managed by the default firmware
Complex trigger logic: implementable by the user on the open FPGA

Trigger Propagation
Through programmable LEMO GPIO 1 - 8

Trigger Time Stamp
Default FW: 32-bit counter, 12.5 ns resolution, 50 s range;
Custom FW: defined by the firmware design
Clock Propagation
LEMO CLOCK IN/OUT connectors

Acquisition Synchronization
Through programmable LEMO GPIO 1 - 8
Xilinx XC7K160T (Kintex-7 family)
Communication Interface USB 3.0
USB 2.0 back compatibility Up to 240 MB/s transfer rate
Waveform recording and Charge Integration
Use SCI-Compiler to develop your own firmware (LICENSE INCLUDED)
Firmware Upgrade Firmware can be upgraded via USB 3.0 or mini-USB debugger (on-fly)
Software - SCI-5550 Readout Software to manage the default firmware
- SCI-Compiler for custom firmware development
Description Release Date OS-Version Environment Download
Firmware   DT5550 Default FW 2018.7.23 September, 2018
FW Package 1.15 MB - Type: .NIU Download
Control Software
Windows SCI-5550 Readout Software 2018.7 September, 2018 Windows 7 or Greater
SW Package 81.56 MB - Type: .zip Download
Control Software - Stand Alone
Windows SCI-Compiler FREE TRIAL 2018.7 27/08/2018 Windows 7 or Greater
SW Package 129.78 MB - Type: .zip Download


  • (*) The SCI-Compiler free trial version is meant to be used for evaluation purposes. It does not generate firmware code and does not allow to save any project.
    Requirements: Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 or higher
Code Description
WDT5550XAAAA DT5550 - 32 Channel DAQ System with Programmable FPGA and Sequencer
WDT5550AFEXA DT5550AFE - Single-Ended to Differential Input Adapter for DT5550
Model Package Function Description Compare
All - Reset
CRAMS Read Out Systems Analog Multiplexed ASICs Readout Systems CAEN Readout System for Multiplexed Signals
DT5550 Read Out Systems Analog Multiplexed ASICs Readout Systems 32-channel DAQ system with user programmable FPGA and sequencer
DT5550W Read Out Systems Analog Multiplexed ASICs Readout Systems Weeroc ASIC Development System

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