SonixDAQ Software V6.X
DAQ Demo Software (6.0)
The SonixDAQ software is separated from the Exam software. This section will only focus on the DAQ software which is used to:
- Initialize the DAQ.
- Adjust the DAQ parameters from Side Menu.
- Selecting the buffer size.
- Adjusting the gain and TGC curve.
The following figure shows the main user interface of the SonixDAQ software:
Note: If you program the DAQ with one bitstream e.g. 40MHz and want to switch to the other bitstream i.e. 80MHz you need to turn off the DAQ and turn it back on. If you skip this step, the DAQ will always respond as already being initialized and will not load the new bitstream. Also, by default the Bias Current is set to 0 which will turf off the receive. To turn it back on you need to set this parameter nonzero.
After pressing the "initialized" button, the DAQ software will program the DAQ hardware. Once the DAQ is programmed, the right side menu allows the user to adjust the parameters for data acquisition, start/stop the sequencing, and download/transfer the captured data to PC.
Note: If you program the DAQ with one bitstream e.g. 40MHz and want to switch to the other bitstream i.e. 80MHz you need to stop the DAQ and re-initialized it with the new sample rate. If you skip this step, the DAQ will always respond as already being initialized and will not load the new bitstream.
The flowchart of the supported sequence control is depicted in a figure below and will be explained in detail in the following sections.
Adjust the TGC Curve
The user can obtain the desired TGC curve in the top section of the window. Both adjustable TGC (as a function of depth) and fixed TGC can be programmed.
This window allows the user to adjust the imaging parameters such as
- Number of Samples: number of samples that will be acquired regardless of the sampling frequency,
- Receive Delay: the delay (in micro seconds) after the sync signal and before start of data collection,
- Line Duration: duration of each acquisition in micro seconds,
- Gain Delay, delay after the transmit before the TGC is applied in micro seconds,
- Gain Offset, shifts the TGC curve up based on the Gain offset value, the value is in micro volts and it ranges from 0 to 1600 (1.6 Volt maximum gain),
The effects of these parameters on data acquisition are depicted in a figure below. Further explanations are provided in the next subsections.
The DAQ has its own internal clock that runs at 40MHz. This clock is different from the Sonix clock. In this section you set the DAQ to use its own internal clock or to use the external clock provided to the DAQ through a BNC cable. This will make sure that both the DAQ and the Sonix system are using the same clock. It is important to note that this clock always has to be 40MHz regardless of the sampling frequency. The DAQ uses this 40MHz clock to generate the sampling frequency (i.e. 40MHz or 80MHz).
For general imaging it is not necessary to use the external clock. Small differences between the two clocks will not introduce any problem. But for tracking applications (e.g. tissue tracking or blood flow imaging) you should always use the external clock to make sure your data are all synced. Otherwise, you will notice small drifts over time in your channel data samples.
Note: This option is only available on the Sonix systems with the new PCI card (i.e. SonixTouch, SonixMDP, and modified SonixRP). On the old SonixRP system only the internal clock should be used.
In this section you select synchronization pulse source: internal or external. The synchronization pulse is a pulse which indicates the beginning of each acquisition. The user can choose the source of this pulse based on the purpose of the data collection. If the purpose is to test the DAQ, it is not required to connect the synchronization BNC to the Sonix system’s BNC. The DAQ is capable of generating this pulse internally.
In this scenario, the source of the synchronization pulse must be selected as internal. Also, it is not required to connect the DAQ to the probe slot. Instead, the DAQ's probe connector can be connected to a signal generator, which generates a wave form with a frequency less than 20MHz and amplitude less than 50mV.
There are four separate boards inside the DAQ. Each board acquires data from 32 channel.
Active channels can be any combination of channels from 1 to 128. Next figure shows the active channel selection window.
DAQ Demo Software (6.1)
The following figure shows the main user interface of the SonixDAQ software (6.1):
This version allows the user to visualize the channel Data acquired from the DAQ as an image (right screen) as well as individual channels (left screen). The user can scroll through different frames using the slider on the top. Sliders on the left can be used to help with visualization of different channels. One slider sets the start channel for display and the other slider sets the number of channels for display. Slider on the bottom plus the span ratio can also be used to control the axial zoom for channel display. By selecting the Beamforming check box, a parallel beamforming will be applied to the DAQ data to generate the RF image.
The software also allows the user to save these Channel data (or beamformed RF frames when check box is selected) into a .rf file with proper header information such that it can be processed by the Amplio Demo Program for generating the corresponding B mode images. The save button will save all the frames into daqData.rf file in the same folder as that raw data have been acquired. This option enables the user to beamform DAQ data a lot faster than Matlab.
DAQ indexing check box on the top allows the user to see the channel data a) with transducer element index or b) daq channel index. This option can be used for debugging to see if a specific board on the DAQ is not functioning properly.
Note: By default the demo software assumes a linear transducer for beamforming. In order to make the software compatible with other transducers the users need to modify the source code and recompile the Demo software.