FITPix – Fast Interface for Timepix Pixel Detectors
Journal of Instrumentation 6 C01079, doi: 10.1088/1748-0221/6/01/C01079
The semiconductor pixel detector Timepix contains an array of 256 × 256 square pixels with pitch 55 μm. In addition to high spatial granularity the single quantum counting detector Timepix can provide also energy or time information in each pixel. This device is a powerful tool for radiation and particle detection, imaging and tracking. A new readout interface for silicon pixel detectors of the Medipix family has been developed in our group in order to provide a higher frame rate and enhanced flexibility of operation. The interface consists of a field programmable gate array, a USB 2.0 interface chip, DAC, ADC and a circuit which generates bias voltage for the sensor. The main control system is placed in the FPGA circuit which fully controls the Timepix device. This approach offers an easy way how to include new functionality and extended operation. The interface for Timepix supports all operation modes of the detector (counting, TOT, timing). The FITPix is a successor of the USB 1.22 Interface and the electronic readout is built with the latest available components, which allows achieving up to 90 frames per second with a single detector. The frame rate is about 20 times faster compared to the previous system while it maintains all same capabilities supported. In addition FITPix newly enables an adjustable clock frequency and hardware triggering which is a useful tool when there is the need for synchronized operation of multiple devices. Three modes of hardware trigger have been implemented: hardware trigger which starts the measurement, hardware trigger which terminates the measurement and hardware trigger which controls measurement fully. The entire system is fully powered through the USB bus. FITPix supports also readout from several detectors in chain in which case just an external power source is required. FITPix is a fully flexible device and the user needs no other equipment. FITPix combines high performance and mobility and it opens new fields of applications. The current version of the FITPix interface has dimension 45 mm × 60 mm.
Cite article as:
Z. Vykydal, "FITPix – Fast Interface for Timepix Pixel Detectors", Journal of Instrumentation 6 C01079, doi: 10.1088/1748-0221/6/01/C01079 (2011)