ATS9360 User Manual
12 Bit, 1.8 GS/s
Waveform Digitizer for PCI Express Gen2 Bus
Written for Hardware Version 1.2
April 2013 Edition
Part Number: 9360-USR-1
Copyright © 2010 - 2013 AlazarTech. All rights reserved.
AlazarTech Contact Information
AlazarTech, Inc.
6600 Trans-Canada Highway
Suite 310
Pointe-Claire, QC
Canada H9R 4S2
Telephone: (514) 426-4899
Fax: (514) 426-2723
E-mail: info@alazartech.com
Web site: www.alazartech.com
To comment on the documentation for ATS9360, send e-mail to
support@alazartech.com.
Information required when contacting AlazarTech for technical support:
Owned by:
___________________________
Serial Number:
___________________________
Purchase Date:
___________________________
Purchased From:
___________________________
Software Driver Version: ___________________________
SDK Version:
___________________________
AlazarDSO Version:
___________________________
Operating System:
___________________________
ATS9360 User Manual
i
Important Information
Warranty
The ATS9360 is warranted against defects in materials and workmanship for a period of
one year from the date of shipment, as evidenced by receipts or other documentation.
AlazarTech, Inc. will, at its option, repair or replace equipment that proves to be
defective during the warranty period. This warranty includes parts and labor.
The media on which you receive AlazarTech, Inc. software are warranted not to fail to
execute programming instructions, due to defects in materials and workmanship, for a
period of 90 days from date of shipment, as evidenced by receipts or other
documentation. AlazarTech, Inc. will, at its option, repair or replace software media that
do not execute programming instructions if AlazarTech, Inc. receives notice of such
defects during the warranty period. AlazarTech, Inc. does not warrant that the operation
of the software shall be uninterrupted or error free.
A Return Material Authorization (RMA) number must be obtained from the factory and
clearly marked on the outside of the package before any equipment will be accepted for
warranty work. AlazarTech, Inc. will pay the shipping costs of returning to the owner
parts that are covered by warranty.
AlazarTech, Inc. believes that the information in this document is accurate. The
document has been carefully reviewed for technical accuracy. In the event that
technical or typographical errors exist, AlazarTech, Inc. reserves the right to make
changes to subsequent editions of this document without prior notice to holders of this
edition. AlazarTech, Inc. may also make improvements and/or changes in the products
and/or programs described in this document at any time. The reader should consult
AlazarTech, Inc. if errors are suspected. In no event shall AlazarTech, Inc. be liable for
any damages arising out of or related to this document or the information contained in
it. The latest user manual can be found on the AlazarTech, Inc. web page at
www.alazartech.com/support/downloads.htm.
EXCEPT AS SPECIFIED HEREIN, ALAZARTECH, INC. MAKES NO WARRANTIES,
EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY WARRANTY OF
MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. CUSTOMER’S
RIGHT TO RECOVER DAMAGES CAUSED BY FAULT OR NEGLIGENCE ON THE
PART OF ALAZARTECH, INC. SHALL BE LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT
THERETOFORE PAID BY THE CUSTOMER. ALAZARTECH, INC. WILL NOT BE
LIABLE FOR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM LOSS OF DATA, PROFITS, USE OF
PRODUCTS, OR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF ADVISED
OF THE POSSIBILITY THEREOF. This limitation of the liability of AlazarTech, Inc. will
apply regardless of the form of action, whether in contract or tort, including negligence.
Any action against AlazarTech, Inc. must be brought within one year after the cause of
action accrues. AlazarTech, Inc. shall not be liable for any delay in performance due to
causes beyond its reasonable control. The warranty provided herein does not cover
damages, defects, malfunctions, or service failures caused by owner’s failure to follow
the AlazarTech, Inc. installation, operation, or maintenance instructions; owner’s
modification of the product; owner’s abuse, misuse, or negligent acts; and power failure
or surges, fire, flood, accident, actions of third parties, or other events outside
reasonable control.
Copyright
Under the copyright laws, this publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any
form, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, storing in an
information retrieval system, or translating, in whole or in part, without the prior written
consent of AlazarTech, Inc.
Trademarks
AlazarTech, Inc.™, AlazarTech™, alazartech.com™, ATS™, ATS9360™,
AlazarDSO™, are trademarks of AlazarTech, Inc. Product and company names
mentioned herein are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.
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ATS9360 User Manual
Warning Regarding Use of AlazarTech Products
1.
ALAZARTECH, INC. PRODUCTS ARE NOT DESIGNED WITH COMPONENTS
AND TESTING FOR A LEVEL OF RELIABILITY SUITABLE FOR USE IN OR IN
CONNECTION WITH SURGICAL IMPLANTS OR AS CRITICAL COMPONENTS
IN ANY LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS WHOSE FAILURE TO PERFORM CAN
REASONABLY BE EXPECTED TO CAUSE SIGNIFICANT INJURY TO A
HUMAN.
2.
IN ANY APPLICATION, INCLUDING THE ABOVE, RELIABILITY OF
OPERATION OF THE SOFTWARE PRODUCTS CAN BE IMPAIRED BY
ADVERSE FACTORS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO FLUCTUATIONS IN
ELECTRICAL POWER SUPPLY, COMPUTER HARDWARE MALFUNCTIONS,
COMPUTER OPERATING SYSTEM SOFTWARE FITNESS, FITNESS OF
COMPILERS AND DEVELOPMENT SOFTWARE USED TO DEVELOP AN
APPLICATION, INSTALLATION ERRORS, SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE
COMPATIBILITY PROBLEMS, MALFUNCTIONS OR FAILURES OF
ELECTRONIC MONITORING OR CONTROL DEVICES, TRANSIENT FAILURES
OF ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS (HARDWARE AND/OR SOFTWARE),
UNANTICIPATED USES OR MISUSES, OR ERRORS ON THE PART OF THE
USER OR APPLICATIONS DESIGNER (ADVERSE FACTORS SUCH AS THESE
ARE HEREAFTER COLLECTIVELY TERMED “SYSTEM FAILURES”). ANY
APPLICATION WHERE A SYSTEM FAILURE WOULD CREATE A RISK OF
HARM TO PROPERTY OR PERSONS (INCLUDING THE RISK OF BODILY
INJURY AND DEATH) SHOULD NOT BE RELIANT SOLELY UPON ONE FORM
OF ELECTRONIC SYSTEM DUE TO THE RISK OF SYSTEM FAILURE. TO
AVOID DAMAGE, INJURY, OR DEATH, THE USER OR APPLICATION
DESIGNER MUST TAKE REASONABLY PRUDENT STEPS TO PROTECT
AGAINST SYSTEM FAILURES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO BACK-UP
OR SHUT DOWN MECHANISMS. BECAUSE EACH END-USER SYSTEM IS
CUSTOMIZED AND DIFFERS FROM ALAZARTECH, INC.’s TESTING
PLATFORMS AND BECAUSE A USER OR APPLICATION DESIGNER MAY
USE ALAZARTECH, INC. PRODUCTS IN COMBINATION WITH OTHER
PRODUCTS IN A MANNER NOT EVALUATED OR CONTEMPLATED BY
ALAZARTECH, INC., THE USER OR APPLICATION DESIGNER IS
ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR VERIFYING AND VALIDATING THE
SUITABILITY OF ALAZARTECH INC. PRODUCTS WHENEVER ALAZARTECH,
INC. PRODUCTS ARE INCORPORATED IN A SYSTEM OR APPLICATION,
INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE APPROPRIATE DESIGN, PROCESS
AND SAFETY LEVEL OF SUCH SYSTEM OR APPLICATION.
ATS9360 User Manual
iii
Compliance
FCC/Canada Radio Frequency Interference Compliance*
Determining FCC Class
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rules to protect wireless
communications from interference. The FCC places digital electronics into two classes.
These classes are known as Class A (for use in industrial-commercial locations only) or
Class B (for use in residential or commercial locations). Depending on where it is
operated, this product could be subject to restrictions in the FCC rules. (In Canada, the
Department of communications (DOC), of Industry Canada, regulates wireless
interference in much the same way.)
Digital electronics emit weak signals during normal operation that can affect radio,
television, or other wireless products. By examining the product you purchased, you can
determine the FCC Class and therefore which of the two FCC/DOC Warnings apply in
the following sections. (Some products may not be labeled at all for FCC; if so, the
reader should then assume these are Class A devices.)
FCC Class A products only display a simple warning statement of one paragraph in
length regarding interference and undesired operation. Most of our products are FCC
Class A. The FCC rules have restrictions regarding the locations where FCC Class A
products can be operated.
FCC Class B products display either a FCC ID code, starting with the letters EXN, or
the FCC Class B compliance mark.
Consult the FCC web site http://www.fcc.gov for more information.
FCC/DOC Warnings
This equipment generates and uses radio frequency energy and, if not installed and
used in strict accordance with the instructions in this manual and the CE Mark
Declaration of Conformity**, may cause interference to radio and television reception.
Classification requirements are the same for the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) and the Canadian Department of Communications (DOC).
Changes or modifications not expressly approved by AlazarTech Inc. could void the
user’s authority to operate the equipment under the FCC Rules.
Class A
Federal Communications Commission
This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class A digital
device, pursuant to part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide
reasonable protection against harmful interference when the equipment is operated in a
commercial environment. This equipment generates, uses, and can radiate radio
frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instruction
manual, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. Operation of this
equipment in a residential area is likely to cause harmful interference in which case the
user will be required to correct the interference at his own expense.
Canadian Department of Communications
This Class A digital apparatus meets all requirements of the Canadian InterferenceCausing Equipment Regulations. Cet appareil numérique de la classe A respecte
toutes les exigences du Règlement sur le matériel brouilleur du Canada.
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ATS9360 User Manual
Compliance to EU Directives
Readers in the European Union (EU) must refer to the Manufacturer's Declaration of
Conformity (DoC) for information** pertaining to the CE Mark compliance scheme. The
Manufacturer includes a DoC for most every hardware product except for those bought
for OEMs, if also available from an original manufacturer that also markets in the EU, or
where compliance is not required as for electrically benign apparatus or cables.
To obtain the DoC for this product, click Declaration of Conformity at
http://www.alazartech.com/support/documents.htm. This web page lists all DoCs by
product family. Select the appropriate product to download or read the DoC.
*
Certain exemptions may apply in the USA, see FCC Rules §15.103 Exempted
devices, and §15.105(c). Also available in sections of CFR 47.
**
The CE Mark Declaration of Conformity will contain important supplementary
information and instructions for the user or installer.
Environmental Compliance
Alazar Technologies Inc., hereby certifies that this product is RoHS compliant, as
defined by Directive 2002/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27
January 2003 on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical
and electronic equipment. All manufacturing has been done using RoHS-compliant
components and lead-free soldering.
ATS9360 User Manual
v
Table of Contents
Important Information ................................................................... ii
Compliance ................................................................................. iv
Table of Contents ........................................................................ vi
CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION ..................................................1
About Your ATS9360 ...................................................................2
Acquiring Data with Your ATS9360..............................................4
Optional Upgrades .......................................................................8
CHAPTER 2 - INSTALLATION AND CONFIGURATION...........9
What You Need to Get Started ..................................................10
Unpacking ..................................................................................11
Installing the ATS9360 ...............................................................12
Installing the ATS9360 in a Linux System..................................20
Compiling the ATS9360 Linux Driver .........................................21
Updating ATS9360 Driver ..........................................................22
CHAPTER 3 - HARDWARE OVERVIEW..................................24
Input Connectors ........................................................................26
Signal Connections ....................................................................27
Analog Input ...............................................................................28
Amplifier Bypass Option .............. Error! Bookmark not defined.
Calibration ..................................................................................30
Master/Slave Operation............... Error! Bookmark not defined.
Optional External Clock..............................................................31
Streaming Using Data FIFO.......................................................34
APPENDIX A - SPECIFICATIONS............................................44
APPENDIX B - BENCHMARKS ................................................50
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ATS9360 User Manual
Chapter 1 - Introduction
This chapter describes the ATS9360 and lists additional
equipment.
ATS9360 User Manual
1
About Your ATS9360
Thank you for your purchase of an ATS9360. This PCI
Express (PCIe Gen2 x8) based waveform digitizer has the
following features:

Two 12-bit resolution analog input channels

Real-time sampling rate of 1.8 GS/s to 1 KS/s with
internal clock and 1.8 GS/s to 300 MS/s with external
clock

Uses on-FPGA FIFO for data storage

Streaming of acquired data to PC host memory at
3.5 GB/s (exact rate is motherboard dependent)

800 MHz analog input bandwidth

Half length PCI Express (8 lane) card

External trigger input channel with softwareselectable level and slope

DC coupling and fixed 50 input impedance for
analog inputs

Pre-trigger and Post-Trigger Capture with Multiple
Record capability

NIST traceable calibration

Dual DMA engines for best latency protection against
Windows and Linux operating systems

Fully asynchronous software driver for fastest DMA
with least CPU overhead
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ATS9360 User Manual
All ATS9360 digitizers follow industry-standard Plug and Play
specifications on all platforms and offer seamless integration
with compliant systems.
Detailed specifications of the ATS9360 digitizers are listed in
Appendix A, Specifications.
ATS9360 User Manual
3
Acquiring Data with Your ATS9360
You can acquire data either programmatically by writing an
application for your ATS9360 or interactively with the
AlazarDSO software for Windows.
If you want to integrate the ATS9360 in your test and
measurement or embedded OEM application, you can
program the digitizer using C/C++, MATLAB or LabVIEW for
Windows or C for Linux operating systems.

Windows operating systems supported are Windows
8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP. Both
32 bit and 64 bit operating systems.

Note that Windows 98SE and Windows 2000 are not
supported.
For programming in C/C++ or MATLAB, you must purchase
the ATS-SDK software development kit that comes with
sample programs and a reference manual describing the API.
For programming in LabVIEW, you must purchase the ATSVI virtual instrument library that comes with a high-level,
easy-to-use VI that makes integrating the ATS9360 into your
own system very simple.
AlazarTech offers ATS9360 binary drivers for CentOS
6.3 x86_64 with kernel 2.6.32-279.5.2.el6.x86_64. These
drivers are also 100% compatible with RHEL 6.3. Source
code example programs are also provided, which
demonstrate how to acquire data programmatically using a C
compiler. If customers want to use ATS9360 in any Linux
distribution other than the one listed above, they must
purchase a license for Linux driver source code and compile
the driver on the target operating system.
A Non-Disclosure Agreement must also be executed between
the customer’s organization and AlazarTech. All such source
code disclosures are made on an as-is basis with limited
support from the factory
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ATS9360 User Manual
Interactively Controlling your ATS9360 with AlazarDSO
The AlazarDSO oscilloscope emulation software for Windows
allows you to interactively control your ATS9360 as you
would a desktop oscilloscope. To launch the AlazarDSO,
select
Start » Programs » AlazarTech » AlazarDSO
The following screen will be displayed. If you connect the
input to a signal generator and click on Start button, you
should see the signal on the screen.
AlazarDSO has been designed to be very intuitive and uses a
user interface similar to most of today’s digital oscilloscopes.
ATS9360 User Manual
5
ATS-SDK API
The ATS-SDK, sold separately, API is used for programming
the ATS9360 in C/C++ and MATLAB. It provides the exact
same API that is used for writing AlazarDSO software. To
help you get started, ATS-SDK comes with examples you can
use or modify.
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ATS9360 User Manual
ATS-VI LabVIEW VI
ATS-VI, sold separately, allows you to integrate the ATS9360
into your own LabVIEW program. A high level VI is supplied
that requires very few controls to get started.
ATS-Linux for ATS9360
The ATS-Linux for ATS9360 sold separately, can be used for
programming the ATS9360 under Linux operating system. A
source code driver is supplied that has been compiled for
CentOS 6.3 x86_64 with kernel 2.6.32-279.5.2.el6.x86_64
running on an i386 platform. Sample programs are supplied
in C. The API is identical to the Windows API.
Note that you will need to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement
with AlazarTech in order for the source code of the drivers to
be shared with you.
ATS9360 User Manual
7
Optional Upgrades
AlazarTech offers the following upgrades and accessories for
use with your ATS9360 digitizer:

ATS9360: Standard External Clock Upgrade
(300MHz to 1.8 GHz)

ATS9360: Screened External Clock Upgrade
(75MHz to 1.8GHz)

AlazarDSO – Stream To Disk Module

AlazarDSO – Plug-In Development Kit
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ATS9360 User Manual
Chapter 2 - Installation
and Configuration
This chapter describes how to unpack, install, and configure
your ATS9360.
ATS9360 User Manual
9
What You Need to Get Started
To set up and use your ATS9360, you will need the following:
10

One or more ATS9360 digitizers

ATS9360 Installation Software on USB Disk
ATS9360 User Manual
Unpacking
Your digitizer is shipped in an antistatic clamshell package to
prevent electrostatic damage to the digitizer. Electrostatic
discharge can damage several components on the digitizer.
To avoid such damage in handling the digitizer, take the
following precautions:

Ground yourself via a grounding strap.

Touch the antistatic package to a metal part of your
computer chassis before removing the digitizer from
the package.

Remove the digitizer from the package and inspect
the digitizer for loose components or any other sign
of damage. Notify AlazarTech if the digitizer appears
damaged in any way. Do not install a damaged
digitizer into your computer.

Never touch the exposed pins of the connectors.
ATS9360 User Manual
11
Installing the ATS9360
There are four main steps involved in installation:
1. Physically install the digitizer(s) in your computer.
2. Install ATS9360 software driver
3. Install AlazarDSO software that allows you to setup
the hardware, acquire signals and view and archive
them
4. Optionally, install the ATS-SDK software
development kit or ATS-VI LabVIEW VI, which
enables you to programmatically control the
ATS9360
The following paragraphs will guide you through this process
in a step-by-step manner.
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ATS9360 User Manual
1. Physically install the digitizer in your computer
Identify an unused PCI Express slot on your
motherboard. As per PCI Express specification, the
8-lane ATS9360 card is compatible with any 8-lane
or 16-lane connector on the motherboard.
Make sure that your computer is powered off before
you attempt to insert the ATS9360 digitizer in one of
the free PCI Express slots.
For best noise immunity, leave as much room as
possible between your ATS9360 and other hardware.
Always screw the digitizer bracket to the chassis in
order to create a stable and robust connection to
chassis ground.
In the absence of such a connection, ATS9360 is not
guaranteed to operate within the specifications listed
elsewhere in this manual.
Some motherboards may have an 8 or 16-lane connector, but
only one or four of the lanes is connected to the motherboard
chipset. Motherboard manufacturers refer to this as
“Mechanically 16-lane, electrically 1 lane”. ATS9360 is
fully compatible with such motherboards, but the data
throughput across PCI Express bus will be limited by the
b
fl
ATS9360 User Manual
13
Install ATS9360 software driver
The following instructions guide you through the process
of installing the ATS9360 in a computer running Windows
8, 7, Vista or Windows XP operating systems.
Other operating systems, such as Windows NT, Windows
2000, Windows 95 and Windows 98SE and Linux are not
covered here.
Note that the images of the dialog boxes shown below
were taken from a Windows 7 computer. Computers
running other versions of Windows may have slightly
different dialog boxes.
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ATS9360 User Manual
When you first boot up the computer, the plug-n-play
Windows operating system will detect the presence
of a new PCI express card and will attempt to install
the device driver if found on the computer.
a) If the ATS9360 device driver is not found,
Windows will display the following dialog box
Click Close.
ATS9360 User Manual
15
b) Insert the installation disk that is supplied on a
USB flash drive. If it does not auto-run, manually
run the Autorun.exe program on the USB flash
drive. The following splash screen will be
displayed.
Click Install ATS9360 Driver.
c) After clicking on Install ATS9360 Driver,
Windows will display the Welcome to the
AlazarTech ATS9360 Device Driver Installer
Click Next.
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ATS9360 User Manual
d) The following dialog box will be displayed
showing the progress of installation of ATS9360
driver files in the operating system driver store.
The following final screen will confirm that the
driver has been installed.
Now your ATS9360 is fully installed and is ready
to use.
ATS9360 User Manual
17
a) Install AlazarDSO software that allows you to
setup the hardware, acquire signals and view and
archive them
If you are installing from the USB flash drive shipped
with the ATS9360 digitizer, run the Autorun.exe:

Click on Install AlazarDSO

Follow the instructions on the screen.
If you are installing AlazarDSO after having
downloaded the installation file from AlazarTech web
site:

Download AlazarDSO installation file from
www.alazartech.com/support/downloads.htm

Unzip the file downloaded in the previous
step.

Browse to the folder that contains the
unzipped file, AlazarDsoSetup-1.1.45.exe

Run this executable file and follow the
instructions on the screen.
If you try to run AlazarDsoSetup-1.1.45.exe within the
zip file, the installation will fail.
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ATS9360 User Manual
4. Optionally, install the ATS-SDK software
development kit or ATS-VI LabVIEW VI, which
enables you to programmatically control the
ATS9360
Insert the ATS-SDK or ATS-VI CD. Software
installation will start automatically.
If, for any reason, installation does not start
automatically, run the ATS-SDK-Setup-6.1.0.exe or
ATS-VI-Setup-6.1.0.exe for the respective programs.
Follow the instructions on the screen.
Note that you must have already installed the
ATS9360 drivers for any of the sample programs
included with the ATS-SDK or ATS-VI to work
properly.
ATS9360 User Manual
19
Installing the ATS9360 in a Linux System
ATS9360 is fully compatible with the popular Linux operating
system.
AlazarTech supplies binary drivers that have been tested
under CentOS 6.3 x86_64 with kernel 2.6.32279.5.2.el6.x86_64, which is binary compatible with RHEL
6.3.
To install Linux drivers in a CentOS 6.3 system, follow the
instructions listed below:
1. Copy the supplied RPM file to the target machine
2. Double-click on the RPM icon. This will install the
driver as well as associated example programs.
3. Reboot the PC.
Note that if you do not reboot the PC, the driver will
not be loaded.
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ATS9360 User Manual
Compiling the ATS9360 Linux Driver
If you need to compile the ATS9360 driver for a version of
Linux other than CentOS 6.3, follow these steps:
1. Install the Linux kernel header files.
2. Extract the driver sources using the command
"PlxLinux_ATS9360_5.6.15.tgz ". This will create a
folder names "PlxLinux" with the driver files inside.
3. Set the shell environment variable PLX_SDK_DIR to
the root location where the "PlxLinux" directory was
created. For example, if using bash and the PlxLinux
directory is in your home directory, then add the
following line to the ~/.bashrc :
declare -x PLX_SDK_DIR=$HOME/PlxLinux
4. To build the ATS9360 driver, type
cd PlxLinux/linux/driver
./make
This will create the file ATS9360.ko, the loadable
driver file. You can change build defines in
PlxLinux/linux/makefiles/Gcc.def. Copy the driver to
/usr/local/AlazarTech/bin.
5. Load the driver by rebooting the computer or typing:
cd /usr/local/AlazarTech/bin
ATS9360.rc start
You should be able to run the AlazarFrontPanel
application or Acq2Disk sample in
/usr/local/AlazarTech/samples.
6. If it is necessary to rebuild the library, type
cd PlxLinux/linux/api
make
This will create SharedLibrary/libPlxApi.so.0.0. Copy the file
to /usr/local/AlazarTech/lib and then run ldconf
ATS9360 User Manual
21
Updating ATS9360 Driver
From time to time, AlazarTech updates the device drivers for
its products. These updates may be required for product
enhancements or for bug fixes.
This section of the manual takes you through the steps
required to update the device driver for the ATS9360 PCI
Express waveform digitizer.
In other words, this section shows you how to install a newer
version of the driver, when you already have a previous
version of the driver installed on your machine.
1. Download the latest driver from AlazarTech’s web
site:
www.alazartech.com/support/downloads.htm
2.
Unzip the downloaded file to a local folder
3. Run the resulting installation file (*.exe extension).
For example, the installation file for driver version
5.8.0 is called ATS9360_Driver_V5.8.0.exe.
The following welcome screen will be displayed:
Click Next.
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ATS9360 User Manual
4. The following dialog box will be displayed showing
the progress of installation of ATS9360 driver files.
5. The following final screen will confirm that the driver
has been installed.
a. Click Finish.
ATS9360 driver has now been updated
ATS9360 User Manual
23
Chapter 3 - Hardware
Overview
This chapter includes an overview of the ATS9360, explains
the operation of each functional unit making up your
ATS9360, and describes the signal connections.
Following is a high-level block diagram of ATS9360.
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ATS9360 User Manual
ATS9360 User Manual
25
Input Connectors
ATS9360 digitizers have five SMA connectors, one for ECLK
(External Clock) Input, two for CH A and CH B analog input
connections, one for the TRIG IN (External Trigger) input and
one for AUX I/O (Auxiliary Input or Output).
The following pictorial shows the various connectors available
on the digitizer bracket.
Identification LED
For future use
Optional External Clock
Channel A
Channel B
External Trigger
(TRIG IN)
Auxiliary I/O
(Default is TRIG OUT)
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ATS9360 User Manual
Signal Connections
You can use CH A and CH B to digitize data as well as to
trigger an acquisition.
Use the TRIG IN input for an external trigger only; data on the
TRIG channel cannot be digitized.
If External Clock Upgrade is installed on your ATS9360, use
the ECLK input for clocking the ATS9360 in applications that
require an external clock. Consult the chapter Optional
External Clock for details on various types of clocking
schemes available.
AUX I/O connector can be used as the following I/O’s:
Outputs:
 Trigger Output
 Pacer Output
 Digital Output
Inputs:
 Trigger Enable Input
 Digital Input
 Clock Switchover Control
ATS9360 User Manual
27
Analog Input
The two analog input channels are referenced to common
ground in bipolar mode. These settings are fixed; therefore,
neither the reference nor the polarity of input channels can be
changed. You cannot use CH A or CH B to make differential
measurements or measure floating signals unless you
subtract the digital waveforms in software.
For accurate measurements, make sure the signal being
measured is referenced to the same ground as your
ATS9360 by attaching the cable’s ground shield to the signal
ground.
The External Trigger input (labeled TRIG IN) has a ±2.5 V
analog Input range with 50input impedance, or a 3.3V or
5V TTL input with 10k impedance.
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ATS9360 User Manual
Monolithic 12-bit ADC
ATS9360 uses a dual analog-to-digital converter with a
maximum conversion rate of 1.8 GS/s on each input.
If you use an external clock, you must follow all the timing
specifications on the external clock as described in Appendix
A, Specifications.
Multiple Record Acquisition
The ATS9360 allows the capture of multiple records into the
on-board memory. This allows you to capture rapidly
occurring triggers in OCT, ultrasound or radar applications.
Note that ATS9360 allows you to acquire pre-trigger data,
even when acquiring using only the on-FPGA FIFO.
Specifying Record Length
Record Length is specified in number of sample points. It
must be a minimum of 256 points and can be specified with a
64-sample resolution.
Specifying Pretrigger Depth
You can acquire pre-trigger data up to 2048 points in dual
channel and 4096 in single channel. Minimum value for pretrigger amount is 0.
Specifying Record Count
User can specify the number of records that must be
captured into host PC memory. The minimum value must be
1.
There is no upper limit on how many records you can capture
in one acquisition.
ATS9360 User Manual
29
Calibration
Calibration is the process of minimizing measurement errors
by making small circuit adjustments.
All ATS9360 digitizers come factory calibrated to the levels
indicated in Appendix A, Specifications. Note that AlazarTech
calibration is fully NIST traceable.
However, your digitizer needs to be periodically recalibrated
in order to maintain its specified accuracy. This calibration
due date is listed on the CALIBRATION sticker affixed to your
ATS9360 digitizer.
Externally recalibrate the ATS9360 when this calibration
interval has expired.
This requires three very simple steps:
1. Verify whether or not ATS9360 is still within its
specifications. If it is, then your calibration can be
extended by another one-year period
2. If not, perform calibration, i.e. make adjustments to
the circuit until it is within specifications again
3. If any adjustments have been made, verify if the
ATS9360 is within specifications
Recalibration must be performed at AlazarTech factory.
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ATS9360 User Manual
Optional External Clock
ATS9360 PCI Express Digitizer optionally allows you to
supply the ADC clock. This option is extremely important in
many RF applications in which phase measurements must be
made between the inputs themselves or between the inputs
and an external event.
Another application that requires external clock is Optical
Coherence Tomography (OCT) that sometimes requires
analog sampling to take place relative to an MZI clock,
sometimes also known as k-clock.
Driving high performance ADCs must be done carefully, as
any injection of phase jitter through ADC clocks will result in
reduction in data conversion quality.
Aside from phase noise, the clock signal for a pipelined ADC
must also have a duty cycle close to 50%. This maximizes
the dynamic performance of the ADC. See Fast External
Clock section below for more details.
External clock input impedance is fixed at 50 Ohms.
External clock input is always AC-coupled.
There are two types of External Clock supported by
ATS9360:

Fast External Clock

10 MHz Clock Reference
The following paragraphs describe the two types of External
Clock input and outline the restrictions on each of them.
ATS9360 User Manual
31
Fast External Clock
This setting must be used when the external clock frequency
is in the range of 1.8 GHz down to Lower Clock Limit.
If you purchased ATS9360: Standard External Clock
Upgrade, Lower Clock Limit is 300 MHz.
If you purchased ATS9360: Screened External Clock
Upgrade, Lower Clock Limit is 75 MHz.
It is highly recommended that the Fast External Clock signal
have a duty cycle of 50% +/- 5%. However, duty cycle
specification can be substantially relaxed at lower
frequencies.
If the External Clock supplied is lower than the Lower Clock
Limit, measurement quality may be compromised.
Measurement errors may include gain errors, signal
discontinuities and general signal distortion.
External Clock must be a at least ±200mV sine wave or
square wave signal. Maximum amplitude for external clock is
±1V.
The receiver circuit for Fast External Clock is a high speed
ECL receiver that translates the input signal into a PECL
(Positive ECL) clock signal that features very fast rise times.
Since Fast External Clock is always ac-coupled and selfbiased, there is no need for the user to set the external clock
level.
Dummy Clock Switchover is another useful feature for OCT
applications that use Fast External Clock. In these
applications, the user-supplied clock is not of constant
frequency and may even be out of specification at certain
times.
The unique Dummy Clock Switchover capability of ATS9360
allows the sampling clock to be switched to a nominal 250
MHz clock while the user-supplied clock is out of
specification. User can control the switchover time by
supplying an appropriate pulse to AUX I/O connector.
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ATS9360 User Manual
10 MHz Clock Reference
ATS9360 allows the user to synchronize the sampling clock
to an external 10 MHz reference signal. This is useful in
many RF applications.
Reference clock frequency must be 10 MHz +/- 0.25 MHz.
Amplitude can be a ±200mV sine or square wave.
In 10 MHz PLL external clock mode, the ATS9360 can
generate any sample clock frequency between 300 MHz and
1800 MHz that is a multiple of 1 MHz.
ATS9360 User Manual
33
Streaming Data Across the Bus
One of the most unique features of the ATS9360 is its onboard, dual-port FIFO and the associated Dual-DMA engine.
This combined by the advanced, fully asynchronous software
driver allows data transfer to host PC memory without any
appreciable “in-process” software involvement.
These features are particularly useful for applications that
require:
a) Continuous, gapless data capture. Also known as “Data
Streaming” to PC host memory or hard disk
or
b) Data capture from rapidly occurring triggers, also known
as Pulse Repeat Frequency Captures or PRF Captures.
In order to understand these sophisticated features, let us
first review some of the issues involved in transferring data
under Windows or Linux operating systems.
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ATS9360 User Manual
The Effects of the Operating System
Windows and Linux are not real-time operating systems, i.e.
the operating system cannot guarantee a deterministic
response time to an event, such as an interrupt or a software
generated event.
This means that if software has to play any appreciable part
in data transfer, then the data throughput cannot be
guaranteed, as the operating system will have the last say as
to when the data collection application will get the CPU
cycles to execute the necessary commands.
Note that the above is true even if the digitizer claims to use
Direct Memory Access (DMA) to do the actual transfer, but
uses software commands to re-arm the digitizer. It is the rearm command that will determine the overall data throughput.
For example, it is very common for PCI digitizers that boast
very fast throughput to slow down considerably when
capturing pulsed radar or ultrasonic signals at Pulse Repeat
Frequency (PRF) of 1 KHz or so, even though each capture
is only 2048 bytes (a paltry 2 MB/s throughput).
In other words, digitizers that specify raw data throughput of
100 MB/s can hardly handle 2MB/s effective throughput due
to operating system related delays in issuing re-arm
commands.
ATS9360 User Manual
35
Real-Time Operating Systems
Some vendors claim that switching to a real-time operating
system (RTOS) can solve the problems involved in PRF data
capture.
Before switching to an expensive RTOS (such as VxWorks,
QNX or PharLap ETS), ask the vendor of the operating
system, the supplier of your PC system and manufacturer of
the digitizer board if they are all guaranteed to be 100%
compatible and interoperable with each other with
deterministic interrupt latencies and if you will get your money
back if the system does not work at your PRF rates with your
software.
Here is an excerpt from a FAQ section of one such supplier
of RTOS:
Question: How do system configuration and CPU selection
impact the interrupt latency?
Answer: Hardware platforms and the configuration of the
associated drivers that use the hardware do impact response
times. Some of the common issues include:
Video cards - some of the higher-end cards lock-out (or busywait) the bus for extended periods of time to improve their
performance.
DMA devices - devices which burst DMA for lengthy period.
Power management which cycles off the CPU during IDLE CPU
periods.
Memory speeds, processor speeds, etc.
A PCI or PCI Express digitizer being used in a PRF or
streaming application is, by definition, doing “burst DMA for
lengthy period”, and is a type of product that can negatively
impact response times of the RTOS.
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ATS9360 User Manual
As such, the claim that an RTOS can remove all timing
uncertainties in PRF application is suspect, to say the least.
Furthermore, you may not be able to get software drivers for
the selected RTOS for all the hardware components you
need for your system.
In summary, moving to a real-time operating system will not
guarantee data throughput, but will surely increase the overall
system cost, increase the cost of software development and
maintenance and limit the number of suppliers for other
hardware components.
Dual Port Memory
The basic throughput problem faced by digitizers is that
almost all of them use single-port memory, i.e. if you are
reading data from the acquisition memory, you cannot
capture into it and vice-versa.
This requires a software handshake which is heavily
dependent on the operating system response time.
ATS9360 User Manual
37
ATS9360 solves this problem by providing a FIFO and an
advanced dual-DMA engine that can stream data to PC host
memory at up to 3.5 GB/s (exact rate is motherboard
dependent).
Bottom line is that software does not have to wait until the
end of data capture to read the acquired data.
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ATS9360 User Manual
AutoDMA
Just having a FIFO, on its own, does not solve the problem of
PRF captures or streaming applications. Software still has to
get involved in re-arming the hardware after every capture
and again for reading the data from on-board acquisition
memory.
ATS9360’s proprietary AutoDMA circuitry allows the
acquisition system to be re-armed by a hardware command
and data transfer to be initiated by the hardware itself, thus
removing virtually all “in-process” software involvement.
ACQUIRE
ACQUIRE
ACQUIRE
TRANSFER
TRANSFER
ACQUIRE
TRANSFER
Of course, software still has to set up the DMA when one of
the buffers fills up, but, thanks to the dual-DMA engine and
fully asynchronous driver that uses overlapped IO, these
tasks can be paralleled.
In other words, when software is re-arming DMA channel 0,
DMA channel 1 is already transferring data to host memory.
Note that if data throughput is too high, a DMA_OVERFLOW
flag gets set and is available to the programmer.
Consumption of the captured data is, of course, under the
control of user-created software, and it is this that will
determine the maximum PRF instead of the bus throughput.
The important thing to note is that if asynchronous DMA is
used, CPU usage is no more than 5%, even if a 3.5 GB/s
DMA is going on.
ATS9360 User Manual
39
No Pre-Trigger (NPT) AsyncDMA
Many ultrasonic scanning and medical imaging applications
do not need any pre-trigger data: only post-trigger data is
sufficient.
NPT AutoDMA is designed specifically for these applications.
By only storing post-trigger data, the memory bandwidth is
optimized and the entire on-board memory acts like a very
deep FIFO.
Note that a DMA is not started until RecordsPerBuffer
number of records (triggers) have been acquired.
NPT AutoDMA buffers do not include headers, so it is not
possible to get trigger time-stamps.
More importantly, a BUFFER_OVERFLOW flag is asserted
only if the entire on-board memory is used up. This provides
a very substantial improvement over Traditional AutoDMA.
NPT AutoDMA can easily acquire data to PC host memory at
the maximum sustained transfer rate of the motherboard
without causing an overflow.
This is the recommended mode of operation for most
ultrasonic scanning, OCT and medical imaging applications.
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ATS9360 User Manual
Continuous AsyncDMA
Continuous AutoDMA is also known as the data streaming
mode.
In this mode, data starts streaming across the PCIe bus as
soon as the ATS9360 is armed for acquisition. It is important
to note that triggering is disabled in this mode.
Continuous AutoDMA buffers do not include headers, so it is
not possible to get trigger time-stamps.
A BUFFER_OVERFLOW flag is asserted only if the entire onboard memory is used up.
The amount of data to be captured is controlled by counting
the number of buffers acquired. Acquisition is stopped by an
AbortCapture command.
Continuous AutoDMA can easily acquire data to PC host
memory at the maximum sustained transfer rate of the
motherboard without causing an overflow.
This is the recommended mode for very long signal
recording.
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41
Triggered Streaming AsyncDMA
Triggered Streaming AutoDMA is virtually the same as
Continuous mode, except the data transfer across the bus is
held off until a trigger event has been detected.
Triggered Streaming AutoDMA buffers do not include
headers, so it is not possible to get trigger time-stamps.
A BUFFER_OVERFLOW flag is asserted only if the entire onboard memory is used up.
As in Continuous mode, the amount of data to be captured is
controlled by counting the number of buffers acquired.
Acquisition is stopped by an AbortCapture command.
Triggered Streaming AutoDMA can easily acquire data to PC
host memory at the maximum sustained transfer rate of the
motherboard without causing an overflow.
This is the recommended mode for RF signal recording that
has to be started at a specific time, e.g. based on a GPS
pulse.
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ATS9360 User Manual
Stream To Disk
Any one of the AutoDMA modes can be combined with a fast
disk drive to create a very efficient and low cost data
streaming system.
AlazarDSO Stream To Disk module (sold separately) allows
out-of-the-box disk streaming. No programming is required.
Note, however, that the speed with which data can be stored
to memory will be limited by the lower of:
1. ATS9360 Bus Throughput (3.5 GB/s)
2. PCI Express throughput supported by the
motherboard
3. Sustained Throughput of the disk drive
system
AlazarDSO includes a Disk Throughput Benchmarking tool,
using which you can quickly and easily see how fast your disk
drives are.
Accessed by clicking on Tools » Benchmark » Bus…
Files are saved as ATB format binary files, and can
automatically be converted to text files or MATLAB
compatible files.
For more information on complete disk streaming systems,
please contact the factory or your local distributor.
ATS9360 User Manual
43
44
CAPACITY
WRITE SPEED
RAM Disk
Few 10’s GB
> 5.0 GB/s
PCIe SSD
Upto 800 GB
~ 1.4 GB/s
RAID SSD
2 TB
2.8 GB/s
RAID HDD SAS
40 TB
2.3 GB/s
ATS9360 User Manual
Appendix A - Specifications
This appendix lists the specifications of the ATS9360. These
specifications are typical at 25 °C unless otherwise stated.
The operating temperature range is 0 to 50 °C.
System Requirements
Personal computer with at least one free x8 or x16 PCI Express slot (must be
Gen 2 or Gen 3 slot to achieve full data throughput), 4 GB RAM, 100 MB of
free hard disk space,
PCI Express revision
2.0a or higher
Transceiver speed
5 Gbps
Number of lanes
8
Compatibility - mechanical
x8 and x16 slots
Compatibility - electrical
x1, x4, x8 and x16 slots
Power Requirements
+12V
1.3 A, typical
+3.3V
2.9 A, typical
Physical
Size
Single slot, half-length PCI card
(4.2 inches x 6.5 inches)
Weight
250 g
I/O Connectors
ECLK, CH A, CH B,
TRIG IN, AUX I/O
SMA female connectors
Environmental
o
Operating temperature
0 to 55 C
Storage temperature
-20 to 70 C
Relative humidity
5 to 95%, non-condensing
ATS9360 User Manual
o
45
Acquisition System
Resolution
12 bits
Bandwidth (-3dB)
DC-coupled, 50
DC - 800 MHz
Number of channels
2 simultaneously sampled
Maximum Sample Rate
1.8 GS/s single shot
Minimum Sample Rate
1 KS/s single shot for internal clocking
Full Scale Input ranges
50 :
±400mV
DC accuracy
±2% of full scale in all input ranges
Input coupling
DC
Input impedance
50 ± 1%
Input protection
50
±4V (DC + peak AC for CH A,
CH B and EXT only without external
attenuation)
Acquisition Memory System
Memory Size
Uses on-FPGA FIFO
Record Length
Software selectable with 64-point resolution.
Record length must be a minimum of 256
points. There is no upper limit on the
maximum record length.
Number of Records
Software selectable from a minimum of 1 to a
maximum of infinite number of records
Pre-trigger depth
From 0 to 4096
Post-trigger depth
Record Length – Pre-Trigger Depth
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ATS9360 User Manual
Timebase System
Timebase options
Internal Clock or
External Clock (Optional)
Internal Sample Rates
1.8 GS/s, 1.5 GS/s, 1.2 GS/s,
1 GS/s, 800 MS/s, 500 MS/s, 200 MS/s,
100 MS/s, 50 MS/s, 20 MS/s, 10 MS/s,
5 MS/s, 2 MS/s, 1 MS/s, 500 KS/s,
200 KS/s, 100 KS/s, 50 KS/s,
20 KS/s, 10 KS/s, 5 KS/s, 2 KS/s, 1 KS/s
Internal Clock accuracy
±2 ppm
Dynamic Parameters
Typical values measured on the 200 mV range of CH A of a randomly
selected ATS9360. Input signal was provided by a Marconi 2018A signal
generator, followed by a 9-pole, 10 MHz band-pass filter (TTE Q36T-10M1M-50-720BMF). Input frequency was set at 9.9 MHz and output amplitude
was 135 mV rms, which was approximately 95% of the full scale input.
Input was averaged
.
SNR
57.1 dB
SINAD
56.6 dB
Note that these dynamic parameters may vary from one unit to another, with
input frequency and with the full scale input range selected.
ATS9360 User Manual
47
Optional ECLK (External Clock) Input
Signal Level
±200mV Sine wave or square wave minimum.
±1V max.
Input impedance
50
Input Coupling
AC
Maximum frequency
1.8 GHz for Fast External Clock
10 MHz Clock Reference:
Minimum frequency
10 MHz Clock Reference:
Sampling Edge
10.1 MHz
300 MHz for Fast External Clock
9.9 MHz
Rising
Sample Rates Available With
10 MHz Clock Reference:
1.8 GS/s
Note that the accuracy and stability of these
sampling frequencies is dependent on the
accuracy and stability of the 10 MHz Clock
Referece input supplied by the user
Triggering System
Mode
Edge triggering with hysteresis
Number of Trigger Engines
2
Trigger Engine Combination
OR
Trigger Engine Source
CH A, CH B, EXT, Software or None,
independently software selectable for each of
the two Trigger Engines
Hysteresis
±5% of full-scale input, typical
Trigger sensitivity
±10% of full scale input range.
This implies that the trigger system may not
trigger reliably if the input has an amplitude
less than ±10% of full-scale input range
selected
Trigger level accuracy
±5%, typical, of full-scale input range of the
selected trigger source
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ATS9360 User Manual
Bandwidth
250 MHz
Trigger Delay
Software selectable from 0 to 9,999,999
sampling clock cycles
Trigger Timeout
Software selectable with a 10 us resolution.
Maximum settable value is 3,600 seconds.
Can also be disabled to wait indefinitely for a
trigger event
TRIG IN (External Trigger) Input
Input impedance
50  for ±2.5 V range
Bandwidth (-3dB)
DC - 250 MHz
2 Kfor TTL input
Input range
±2.5 V or TTL Input, software selectable
DC accuracy
±10% of full-scale input
Input protection
±8V (DC + peak AC without external
attenuation)
Coupling
DC only
TRIG OUT Output
Connector Used
AUX I/O
Output Signal
5 Volt TTL
Synchronization:
Synchronized to a clock derived from the ADC
sampling clock. Divide-by-4 clock (dual channel mode) or divide-by-8 clock (single channel
mode)
Certification and Compliances
CE Mark Compliance
Materials Supplied
One ATS9360 PCI Express Card
One ATS9360 Install Disk on USB flash drive
One ATS9360 User Manual
All specifications are subject to change without notice
ATS9360 User Manual
49
Appendix B - Benchmarks
This appendix lists the data throughput measured by our
technicians on various computers and motherboards under
different operating systems.

Given the constantly changing nature of computers,
these benchmarks are provided as a reference only
and AlazarTech assumes no liability in case the
computer you purchase behaves differently than
what was observed in AlazarTech’s laboratory.
Model
Chipset
Slot
Throughput
ASRock
Extreme 11
Intel X79
PCIe x16
3.5 GB/s
ASUS P9X79
Intel X79
PCIe x16
3.5 GB/s
HP Z800
Intel Xeon
PCIe x16
3.4 GB/s
HP Compaq
6200 Pro
Intel i3-2100
PCIe x8
3.1 GB/s
Operating System tested under: Windows 7 64-bit
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ATS9360 User Manual
ALAZAR TECHNOLOGIES INC.
6600 Trans-Canada Highway, Suite 310
Pointe-Claire, QC
CANADA H9R 4S2
Tel:
Fax:
(514) 426-4899
(514) 426-2723
E-mail:
Web:
info@alazartech.com
www.alazartech.com
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