AXIe Digitizer Madness: Now it’s Agilent’s turn

When I say madness, I mean that in a positive way.   AXIe was missing this critical product category until Guzik recently released the ADC 6000 Series. The virtual ink wasn’t even dry on my blog this week when Agilent announced the M9703A AXIe Digitizer.

Make no doubt where Agilent is aiming this: large-scale physics applications

“This new AXIe digitizer drastically simplifies the creation of very dense data acquisition systems that include a large number of high-speed synchronous channels with wide dynamic range,” said Didier Lavanchy, Agilent’s high-speed digitizer operation manager. “In advanced applications such as high-energy physics experiments, the M9703A provides excellent measurement fidelity from DC to 1 GHz with up to 9.4 effective bits, 66 dBc spurious-free dynamic range and 59 dB signal-to-noise ratio.”

Those are impressive specs.  And like the Guzik AXIe digitizer, it delivers them with remarkable channel density.  Let’s look at what can be packed into 4U of rack space.  There are 8 channels of 1.6Gs/s at 12 bits on each AXIe blade. With 5 AXIe slots in a 4U package, that’s 40 acquisition channels per chassis. The channels can be interleaved, allowing each blade to support 4 channels of 3.2Gs/s each.  That’s 20 channels of 3.2Gs/s in 4U.

40 high-speed digitizing channels can be deployed in 4U of rack space. Reproduced with Permission, Courtesy of Agilent Technologies, Inc.

The M9703A also allows up to 4GByte of data memory and is supplied with four customizable Virtex-6 FPGAs. Like the Guzik product, the data link to a computer is PCIe Gen 2.

The Agilent and Guzik products are not competitors; they deliver complementary speed/resolution tradeoffs.  Between them, AXIe now offers digitizers with sampling rates of 1.6G, 3.2G, 10G, 20G and 40G, all at world-class densities.

Think about what a remarkable two weeks this has been for AXIe.

By Larry DJ

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