TDC modules

TDC modules

TDC modules (modular time-to-digital converters/time taggers)

This is our TimeTagger technology in miniature. Use these modules to integrate time recording functions into your product design!

The compact TDC modules from cronologic provide a practical solution to the challenge of significantly reducing space requirements in measurement setups and analyzers without sacrificing performance and accuracy.

The evolution of the time domain in measurement technology

Measurement technology in the time domain has made significant progress in recent years, particularly in the development of new analog-to-digital converters and time-to-digital converters (TDC). The precise acquisition of timing information is critical in a variety of applications, be it medical imaging, laser range finding, or high-frequency signal analysis. As part of the new TimeTagger generation, cronologic has developed particularly spacious TDC modules that can be integrated via a customer-specific analog front end. As an alternative to the usual differential time measurement, our TDC Modules can also be operated in continuous mode so that stop signals are recorded continuously, even if no start signal is connected.

The timestamps of leading or trailing edges of digital pulses are recorded from the TimeTagger TDC modules with the following quantization (bin size):

• TimeTagger4-1.25G module: 800 ps

• TimeTagger4-2.5G module: 400 ps

• TimeTagger4-5G module: 200 ps

• TimeTagger4-10G module 100 ps

Benefit from the advantages of modularity!

With their size, cronologic's TDC modules are extremely compact and take up only a fraction of the space of our PCIe boards. This enables integration into small, powerful devices without restricting their performance. Thanks to their small format, the modules open up new possibilities for the acquisition of precise time information in various areas of research and development.

Despite their small size, cronologic's TDC modules offer exceptional time resolution and accuracy. They can measure extremely short time intervals with precision, which is crucial for many demanding measuring applications. These small modules are particularly advantageous when cost savings are at the forefront of integration. Using modular circuits can reduce your development costs as you can use proven modules instead of developing complex circuits from scratch.

The integration of TDC modules into existing systems is easily done via a customer-specific analog front end. Not only does this save time in development and allow you to get to market faster, but you can also customize and expand your devices according to your research or application requirements.
In particular, this is an advantage as requirements and technologies in the time domain are constantly evolving. The TDC modules are connected to your board via board-to-board connectors, using differential input signals for your analog front end. We will be happy to provide you with detailed information in this regard.

One of the outstanding features of our new TDC modules is their modularity. It is possible to use modules with exactly the optimum performance parameters for different applications, even if the same analog front end is used. Furthermore, in the event of defects or upgrades, modules can simply be replaced without having to replace the entire measuring device. This saves time and money when maintaining and updating devices.

We primarily offer our TDC modules to customers who order larger quantities to integrate them into their series production. For price information, please contact us with details of your current forecast.

All TimeTagger4 TDC modules can be installed via board-to-board connectors with minimal hardware effort.

Space-saving installation

All TimeTagger4 TDC modules can be installed via board-to-board connectors with minimal hardware effort.
Our TimeTagger4 TDC modules are the perfect choice if you are looking for picosecond resolution at the best possible price/performance ratio.

Integrate at minimum cost

Our TimeTagger4 TDC modules are the perfect choice if you are looking for picosecond resolution at the best possible price/performance ratio.
TDC modules can be combined with a wide range of detectors or constant fraction discriminators (CFD) as their threshold discriminators utilize positive or negative thresholds with configurable voltage.

Bipolar design

TDC modules can be combined with a wide range of detectors or constant fraction discriminators (CFD) as their threshold discriminators utilize positive or negative thresholds with configurable voltage.
Control your device with periodic pulse patterns, the exact timing of which is measured by the TDC. You can use any input channel of our module to output these pulses.

Use the TiGer timing generator

Control your device with periodic pulse patterns, the exact timing of which is measured by the TDC. You can use any input channel of our module to output these pulses.

TDC modules

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TDC modules

- Data

Optimized for
low cost & space-saving
1 start & 4 stop channels
-
board-to-board
800 / 400 / 200 / 100 ps
2 bins
1000x per start event
none
min. 60 MHits/s total; 40 MHits/s per channel
1,67 ms / 430 ms extended
yes / no
no sync possible
PCIe2 x1 @ 400MB/s
external high quality time base required
TDC channels
Additional inputs
Connectors
bin size
Double pulse resolution
Multihit
Dead time between groups
Readout rate
Timestamp range
Common start/stop
Number of boards that can be synced
Readout interface
Time base
Linux support available
yes
low cost

Ndigo Crates

Our Ndigo Crates allow for using up to 8 PCIe-boards with a conventional PC. The external chassis is connected employing a  PCIe2 x16-interface.
Crate5
Crate3
Crate
PCIe3 x16
8 GByte/s
16x
2
3
2
0
included
PCIe3 x16
8 GByte/s
16x
2
3
0
2
included
PCIe2 x16
8 GByte/s
8x
0
8
0
0
included

Applications:

FLIM

(fluorescence-lifetime imaging microscopy)
The decay time of an excited fluorophore is typically in the range of a few nanoseconds. In fluorescence lifetime imaging the exponential decay of a sample is determined requiring a timing resolution in the picosecond regime.

LIDAR

also known as: LIDAR, LiDAR, and LADAR, "light detection and ranging", "laser imaging, detection, and ranging", "3-D laser scanning", "LIDAR mapping", "airborne laser scanning", ALS
LIDAR Systems emit ultraviolet, visible, or near-infrared light to image objects and measuring the time-of-flight (TOF) of reflected photons. Such systems are used for object detection and tracking in many different fields, ranging from archaeology to agriculture, autonomous vehicles and robots etc.

OTDR

optical time-domain reflectometry, optical time-domain reflectometer, remote fiber testing
In optical time-domain reflectometry the time of the reflections is determined from the reflection loss by measuring from the same end of the fiber how much light returns via the Rayleigh backscatter or is being reflected from individual locations along the fiber.

Quantum Sensing

see also: quantum metrology
Quantum sensing is an overall term that encompasses techniques and methods that use quantum mechanical phenomena to make precise measurements of physical quantities. Thereby, quantum mechanical states and effects are used to improve the measurement accuracy beyond the limits of classical sensors.

TOF mass spectrometry

TOF- & MASS- spectroscopy detectors, TOFMS
In many TOFMS units cronologic TDCs are used to measure precisely the arrival of single ions. From the arrival time, the ion’s time-of-flight is deduced, from which the mass-to-charge ratio of the detected particle can be determined.

Time Domain Reflectometry

TDR, distance-to-fault, DTF
TDR (Time Domain Reflectometry) is an electronic measurement method that measures reflections along a conductor. It belongs to the category of Distance-to-Fault (DTF) measurements. TDR measurements provide meaningful information about the broadband behavior of transmission systems.

Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting

TCSPC, photon counting, time-correlated single photon counting, detection of individual photons, single-photon detectors (SPD), photosensors
Whether in astrophysics, materials science, quantum information science, quantum encryption, medical imaging, DNA sequencing or in fiber-optic communication: Single-photon detectors (SPD) provide a timing signal from which, for example, fluorescence lifetimes of excited matter can be deduced.

fluorescence lifetime correlation spectroscopy

FLCS, FCS, fluorescence lifetime correlation spectroscopy
Fluorescence-correlation-spectroscopy is a highly sensitive optical measurement method. Fluctuations in the fluorescence emission intensity over time are recorded, which are caused by individual fluorophores that pass through the detection volume.

phase shift measurements

frequency and phase shift measurements, phase-noise-analyzers
In phase measurements the phase of an incident signal is compared to the phase of a device's response signal. With increasing frequency, such phase shift measurements become more challenging. cronologic TDCs provide many features which help to address this difficult task.

quantum research

Quantum research affects many areas of modern science: quantum cryptography, quantum information science, quantum encryption, quantum key distribution (QKD), quantum electro dynamics (QED), quantum computing etc.
Quantum phenomena such as superposition, uncertainty, and entanglement are studied in quantum research with the goal that they can be safely fabricated when needed and made useful in various disciplines.

spectral imaging

spectral image acquisition, X-ray, radiology, photon-counting computed tomography, microscopy, hyperspectral imaging
The currently most advanced spectral imaging technique is based on single photon-counting detectors. Such detectors typically require precise timing measurements and corresponding applications strongly benefit from fast data acquisition electronics.

Frequently asked Questions