Agilent Technologies’ Time-To-Digital Converter Delivers Exceptional Performance For Precise Timing-Measurement Applications

July 26, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
SANTA CLARA, Calif, July 26, 2007 — Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today introduced the first time-to-digital converter (TDC) from its Acqiris product line that features six independent stopwatches for precise timing measurements from a common start event to multiple stop events at a high resolution.

The TC890 is ideal for time measurement applications, including laser detection and ranging (LIDAR) for 3D mapping and navigation, fluorescence lifetime spectrometry and ion counting in time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS). Many pulse-timing measurements, such as period, frequency and time interval analysis (TIA), also benefit from the new TDCís precise measurement technology.

The TC890 records multiple events or hits on each of its six input channels, with a timing resolution of 50 ps and a mean dead time between sequential pulses on the same input (double pulse resolution) of less than 15 ns. Running at full speed, the instrument offers a massive 25 million events-per-second data-throughput rate. It enables event counting or histogram creation for easy data and spectra comparison.

Six of the seven identical input channels are independent stop inputs and the seventh is the common start. The module operates in a multi-start, multi-stop acquisition mode with the timing information of stop events on all independent channels encoded relative to the most recent start event on the common channel.

In standard mode, the recording range is up to 10 ms. If one channel can be dedicated to a fiducial signal, the 10 ms recording time can be extended to a much wider range. The large internal buffer allows the recording of up to four million stop events per module.

High-precision time measurement is achieved with a low jitter (<3 ps rms), high stability (±2 ppm) internal clock source or an external 10 MHz reference input. Digitized data is fed directly to the on-board FPGA-based data processing unit. This handles the data and subsequent fast readout with a direct memory access (DMA) mode for increased data throughput to the PC.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
Pricing for the TC890 multi-start, multi-stop time-to-digital converter (product ordering number U1051A) starts at $13,700. Delivery is six weeks after receipt of order.

The new TC890 extends the range of the existing Acqiris TDC product family. Also available from Agilentís Acqiris TDC product line is the TC840, a 12-channel wide range stopwatch featuring single- and multi-start single-stop functions. High-resolution photos are available at

Acqiris Digitizers from Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies now offers the Acqiris line of products, which includes CompactPCI, PCI, PXI, VXI, VME and OEM digitizers, time-to-digital converters and waveform analyzers with high resolution and high-speed performance.



The Acqiris product line has been designed to provide superior measurement fidelity, minimum power consumption, reduced size and maximum data throughput. It complements Agilentís current product portfolio and strengthens Agilentís synthetic instrument offerings. The combined technology and capabilities of Agilent and Acqiris enhance Agilentís ability to meet the ongoing demand from customers for in-product test and embedded data conversion, accelerating time-to-market and reducing cost.

A podcast on Agilentís continued focus on LXI in conjunction with Acqiris can be heard at

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the worldís premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The companyís 19,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $5.0 billion in fiscal 2006. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

For a high resolution image, please visit
# # #

NOTE TO EDITORS: Further technology, corporate citizenship and executive news is available on the Agilent news site at