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Tracker Readout Asic for Proton Computed Tomography Data Acquisition


A unique CMOS chip has been designed to serve as the front-end of the tracking detector data acquisition system of a pre-clinical prototype scanner for proton computed tomography (pCT). The scanner is to be capable of measuring one to two million proton tracks per second, so the chip must be able to digitize the data and send it out rapidly while keeping the front-end amplifiers active at all times. One chip handles 64 consecutive channels, including logic for control, calibration, triggering, buffering, and zero suppression. It outputs a formatted cluster list for each trigger, and a set of field programmable gate arrays merges those lists from many chips to build the events to be sent to the data acquisition computer. The chip design has been fabricated, and subsequent tests have demonstrated that it meets all of its performance requirements, including excellent low-noise performance.

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