The vDAQTM is an all-in-one card and breakout box that’s engineered to provide the most advanced and dependable microscope control and data acquisition. Designed to work with ScanImage software, it can be used to control galvos, resonant scanners, Pockels cells, piezo objective positioners, stages, shutters and much more. Its breakout box greatly simplifies the wiring complexity of microscopes by eliminating the need for additional 3rd party DAQ hardware. The vDAQ is the control center for the most cutting-edge multiphoton microscopes, from customized DYI to leading commercial systems. The vDAQ is a lot of card for the money.
vDAQ is an all-in one data acquisition/control system platform designed for demanding microscope-based applications that require high bandwidth analog signal digitization combined with high accuracy analog output.
Combining various IO options onto a single FPGA platform enables low latency closed-loop control regimes. vDAQ includes a powerful Xilinx Kintex UltraScale FPGA for high-performance real-time processing of data. vDAQ is available in two configurations – Standard and High-Speed.
On-board DDR3 DRAM and a high-speed PCI Express host interface provide flexible options for storing and transferring high bandwidth data streams. vDAQ comes with required cables and breakout accessory for signal connections.
The High-Speed vDAQ
The vDAQ is also available in an even higher sample-rate configuration.
vDAQ is powered by a Xilinx Kintex UltraScale XCKU035 FPGA. The cutting edge UltraScale architecture is the first to offer ASIC-like clock distribution. Efficient routing resources facilitate higher device logic utilization to maximize computing potential.
Connection to the host PC is provided through a PCI Express Gen. 3 x4 interface, which offers up to 4 GB/s data throughput. vDAQ™software supports 64 bit scatter-gather DMA data transfer.
vDAQ includes 4 GB of onboard DDR3 DRAM operating at 1600 MHz. Memory interface is capable of 12 GB/s throughput for local buffering of data.
vDAQ supports up to 4 PMT channels, sampled up to 125MHz, 14bit, synchronization to laser clock, 12 analog inputs, 12 analog outputs, and 32 Digital IO’s
High-speed Analog Input
vDAQ includes high-speed analog input channels accessible from SMB terminals on the rear connector panel of the PCI Express card installed in the PC. Channels support switchable input ranges and an optional low pass filter that can be enabled by software with a variable cutoff frequency. Table 1 details the specifications of the high-speed analog input channels.
|Number of Channels||4|
|Sampling Rate Range||MHz||62.5 - 125|
|Input Range||Vpp||0.5 - 2|
|Low Pass Filter Cutoff Frequency||MHz||1 - 63, FBW (Bypass)|
|Overvoltage Protection||V||± 10|
Precision Analog Input
vDAQ includes precision analog input channels accessible from BNC connectors on the breakout accessory. Table 2 details the specifications of the precision analog input channels.
|Number of Channels||12|
|Max. Sampling Rate||MHz||1|
|Input Range||Vpp||0.5 - 2|
|Overvoltage Protection*||V||± 25|
*Overvoltage Protection rating only valid when vDAQ is powered on
Precision Analog Output
vDAQ includes precision analog output channels accessible from BNC connectors on the breakout accessory. Table 3 details the specifications of the analog output channels.
|Number of Channels||12|
|Max. Sampling Rate||MHz||2|
|Output Range||V||± 10|
|Output Current Drive||mA||20|
vDAQ offers digital input/output lines divided into four groups. Two groups offer individual direction control for each line while the other two groups are group direction controlled. All DIO lines use 5V TTL logic level signaling. All digital lines are accessible from BNC connectors on the breakout accessory. Tables 4 and 5 detail the digital channel specifications.
|Channels Per Group||8|
|Input Low Logic Level||V||1.0|
|Input High Logic Level||V||2.3|
|Output Low Logic Level||V||0.0||0.6|
|Output High Logic Level||V||4.4||5.0|
|Output Current Drive||mA||-16||16|
|Absolute Voltage Range||V||-0.5||5.5|
|Channels Per Group||8|
|Input Low Logic Level||V||0.8|
|Input High Logic Level||V||2.0|
|Output Low Logic Level||V||0.0||0.8|
|Output High Logic Level||V||4.0||5.0|
|Output Current Drive||mA||-24||16|
|Absolute Voltage Range||V||-0.5||6.5|
vDAQ includes an onboard clock synthesis module for synchronizing high-speed analog front end to external clock sources. An external clock source can be connected at the SMB terminal on the rear connector panel of the PCIe card installed in the PC. External clocks can be multiplied and delayed in 370ps steps. Table 6 details the specifications of the clock input.
|Input Frequency||MHz||1 - 425|
|Input Voltage||Vpp||0.4 - 5.0|
vDAQ requires a desktop PC with one PCI Express x8 slot. While a physical x8 slot is required, only x4 link width will be utilized. One six pin PCI Express power connector is required. Power capacity of PC power supply should also be considered when adding vDAQ™to a PC. vDAQ™will draw 5 – 20 W depending on design loaded on FPGA. The host PC must run Microsoft Windows 10 or Windows 11 operating system.
Zong, W., H. A. Obenhaus, et al. "Large-scale two-photon calcium imaging in freely moving mice." Cell. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2022.02.017
|Xilinx Kintex UltraScale FPGA|
|12 Analog Inputs - 1MHz, 16bit|
|12 Analog Outputs - 2MHz, 16bit|
|32 Digital IOs|
|4GB DDR3 RAM|
|4GB/s data transfer rates|
|synchronization to laser clock|
|4 PMT channels, sampled up to 125MHz, 14bit|
|2 PMT channels, sampled up to 2.7GHz, 12bit|
|time correlated single photon counting with sub ns dead time|
|simultaneous photocurrent integration and photon counting|
|time demultiplexing with up to 32 bins for an 80MHz laser source|
vDAQ is used across the globe by the most prestigious laboratories.
MBF’s software utility is underscored by the number of references it receives in the worlds most important scientific publications. See examples below:
Symons, F. J., C. C. Burkitt, et al.
“Modifying quantitative sensory testing to investigate behavioral reactivity in a pediatric global developmental delay sample: Relation to peripheral innervation and chronic pain outcomes.” Developmental PsychobiologyView Publication
Zong, W., Obenhaus, H., Skytøen, E., Eneqvist, H., De Jong, N., Vale, R., . . . Moser, E. (2022)
"Large-scale two-photon calcium imaging in freely moving mice"View Publication
Wang, H. C., A. M. LeMessurier, et al.
“Tuning instability of non-columnar neurons in the salt-and-pepper whisker map in somatosensory cortex.” Nature CommunicationsView Publication
Uguz, I. and K. L. Shepard
“Spatially controlled, bipolar, cortical stimulation with high-capacitance, mechanically flexible subdural surface microelectrode arrays.” Sci AdvView Publication
Wagner, J., K. Degenhardt, et al.
“Medin co-aggregates with vascular amyloid-β in Alzheimer’s disease.” Nature.View Publication
Cui, X., Y.-Q. Weng, et al.
“The cell adhesion molecule L1 regulates the expression of choline acetyltransferase and the development of septal cholinergic neurons.” Brain and BehaviorView Publication
The vDAQ requires a desktop PC with one PCI Express x8 slot. While a physical x8 slot is required, only x4 link width will be utilized. One six pin PCI Express power connector is required. Power capacity of PC power supply should also be considered when adding vDAQ to a PC. vDAQ will draw 5 – 20 W depending on design loaded on FPGA. The host PC must run Microsoft Windows 10 operating system. We also offer integrated PCs systems designed to run ScanImage with the vDAQ.
Yes. As long as you have enough IO’s available, the same vDAQ card can control multiple microscopes. You can even run more than one instance of ScanImage on a single PC.
The clock input can sync down to 1MHz.
Currently, the vDAQ can only be controlled using a Basic or Premium version of ScanImage.
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