Four-Channel Correlator

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Overview of Four-Channel Correlator

Featuring four independent input channels, the unit, interfaced to the computer through the USB protocol, allows for the fast acquisition of imaging and FFS data. The card is provided of four TTL inputs for simultaneous measurements of two autocorrelation functions (dual input) or one cross-correlation function. The raw data can be stored into the computer and analyzed at a later time.

Includes the VistaVision FFS and smFRET Modules for FFS acquisition, data processing and display. Analysis is performed using autocorrelation function (FCS), cross-correlation function (FCCS) or photon counting histogram (PCH, proprietary technology). 

Custom model functions can be input by the user and fitted by the software. Multiple files can be analyzed using global analysis with either autocorrelation functions or photon counting histograms. Plots are exported to popular formats (png, jpeg, gif, tiff, bitmap, metafile).

The ability to acquire and store raw data is essential for allowing the researcher to experiment with different analysis models without losing the information content of the acquired data.


  • Acquisition and storage of raw data, which can be utilized for further analysis
  • Capability of simultaneous data acquisition on four channels
  • Acquisition triggered by an external signal
  • Trigger out to synchronize external devices
  • A user-selected delay for acquisition after the trigger by an external source
  • Acquisition synchronized with excitation light source
  • Synchronization with Frame CLK for image acquisition


  • Scanning FCS
  • RICS and N&B
  • Single Molecule FRET

Product Specifications for Four-Channel Correlator

  • USB 2.0 (Windows 11)
Acquisition mode
  • Counts mode or time tagged mode (user selectable through the software)
Raw data size
  • 32 bits / 16 bits
Number of acquisition channels
  • 4 synchronous or independent input channels for simultaneous auto or cross correlation
Data handling and storage
  • Acquisition of raw data (counts or time-tagged-time-resolved mode).

    The autocorrelation, PCH (photon counting histogram), Single Molecule FRET is performed through the software in real time.

    Option of storing the raw, autocorrelation, PCH or Single Molecule FRET data. The raw data can be post processed with different time bin or threshold.

Sampling rate
  • Counts mode: up to 10 MHz
  • Time-Tagged-Time-Resolved mode: up to 80 MHz
Data Incoming Stream

In Time-Tagged mode (80 MHz internal clock):

  • Up to 12M c/s for single channel acquisition.
  • Up to 3M c/s for each channel for using four channels simultaneously.

In Counts mode (10 MHz internal clock):

  • Up to 150M c/s for each channel for using four channels simultaneously.
Raw data file structure
  • Binary file with a header of 256 bytes
Data acquisition dead time
  • 3.125 ns for the cross correlation
  • 12.5 ns for the auto correlation
  • Used as a frame clock input to synchronize an image acquisition.
  • Four channels data input for four auto correlation and all possible cross correlation between channels (Ch1xCh2, Ch1xCh3, Ch1x Ch4, ...)

D-SUB 9-PIN connector:

  1. USB controller output
  2. FPGA Input
  3. FPGA Input
  4. FPGA Input
  5. FPGA Input
  6. FPGA Input
  7. User +5V
  8. FPGA output
  9. GND
  • AUX +5 V external supply
Dimensions (mm)
  • 255 (L) x 70 (D) x 30 (H)
Weight (kg)
  • 0.26
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