Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) are an ideal fit for data
acquisition systems as they offer unparalleled real-time signal processing
power. Moving functionality from the host PC to the on-board FPGAs helps
offload the PCs central processing unit (CPU) and relaxes data transfer
rate requirements. This capability is key in achieving the performance
levels needed in many of today's leading-edge applications.
All our data acquisition and generation modules host Xilinx FPGAs and are
delivered with pre-installed general data acquisition firmware (for ADQ7
and ADQ14 we refer to this firmware as "FWDAQ"). In addition to the
standard/default firmware, we also offer optional firmware development
kits (available for all models) and application-specific firmware packages
(available for ADQ7 and ADQ14 only). More information about these below.
Please note that the firmware options are replacements (not add-ons) to
the standard FWDAQ firmware. This means that the standard acquisition
modes used in most examples and in documentation will either not work at
all or in a very limited fashion. Only the API functions and examples
specially designed for the specific firmware will work with the firmware
option loaded. Please note that with each device you are always entitled
to load the standard FWDAQ onto the device and use the device with the
standard firmware acquisition modes.