Patterning, Imaging and Acquisition (PIA) board


The scanning and transmission electron microscopes of the FEI company reveal the nano field (1 billionth of a meter). The systems are used by the scientists and developers working on the state of the art nanotechnology innovations for the 21st century.

One of the products Technolution develops for the latest generation microscopes is the Patterning, Imaging and Acquisition electronics (hardware, programmable logic and embedded software).

Front end

This board is used at the front end of a microscope to:

  • Generate both repeating and complex deflection signals of the electron- or ion bundle of the microscope;
  • Read and filter the brightness information of eight detectors and to transform this into pixels (pixel filter);
  • Carry out various image manipulations;
  • Forward the image information to a PC.

The technologies applied are:

  • Texas Instruments DSP (200MHz, TMS320C6205)
  • 2 x Xilinx Spartan III
  • Gigabit Ethernet connection to a PC
  • Four 12-bit A/D converters to read the detector values (on 40 Ms/s)
  • Four 16-bit D/A converters to generate scan values (op 40 Ms/s)


  • Gilles Dondorp
  • ✆ +31 (0)182 59 40 00

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