All PCs are not created equal
Andor iQ workstations (iQ-WKS) are based on DELL Precision machines and are specified with the highest performance components to ensure that they match the data capture, display and analysis requirements of your system.
Acquisition Bandwidth and System Configuration
High frame rate CCD and EMCCD cameras deliver large amounts of data and demand high bandwidth operation for image streaming e.g. the DU885KCS running at 35 MHz delivers up to 70 MBs-1. Andor iQ provides a smart virtual memory system (ImageDisk) which transparently streams images to and from a disk drive during acquisition and analysis. To cope with these data rates and avoid operating system conflict we include a dual drive, 7200 rpm SATA RAID 0 disk, which is independent of Windows operating system demands. This configuration uses an internal data bus, freeing the PCI bus for camera transfers and other instrument control functions.
ImageDisk removes dependency on RAM for Huge Datasets
Image Disk functionality removes limitations of system RAM, so that iQ can operate on huge data sets e.g. up to 1 million frames per acquisition. However, we still load the system with 4GB of fast DDR RAM to optimize performance, enabling iQ-WKS to maintain much data locally for enhanced processing and analysis.
Multi-Core Processors and Multi-threaded software
As processor technology advances software must be designed to make use of the latest features. Multi-core processors provide parallel execution paths, but only if software allows it. Although Andor iQ is an established stable platform, it is by no means static. Our development strategy ensures that we continuously improve performance and functionality. Much of the core of iQ has been multi-threaded, especially in acquisition and display, ensuring performance benefits from today's modern processors.
Since 4D and 5D imaging is a favorite application for Revolution systems, we have introduced high speed visualization tools to allow review of large data sets - even during acquisition. For optimum performance, visualization uses multiple threads and graphics processing units (GPU) on high end graphics cards, e.g. NVidia and ATIFire. We select top of the range graphics cards with maximum memory to deliver best performance and minimize latency, which might otherwise have a negative impact on acquistion performance. Graphics card memory limits the amount of data that can be rendered ""on-GPU"" in a single pass and so is increasingly important. Current cards use 768 MB.
High resolution, high dynamic range, fast response LCD Monitors
iQ-WKS includes either one 24"" ultra sharp LCD monitor, selected for graphics and imaging performance. A desk top of 1920x1200 (24"") or 2560x1024 (2x21"") allows plenty of desk top real estate so that you can have all the software tools laid out for easy and convenient instrument control, protocol execution and display. Large desktops require plenty of graphics power to ensure high refresh rates with little drag on system performance.
Equally, in dynamic imaging applications, where rapid review and rendering is required the monitor response time and contrast affect the quality of the rendered image or movie. The monitors we choose are state of the art. The current generation have a response time of 6 ms and contrast of 1000:1, with a maximum refresh rate of 60 Hz at full resolution.
PCI cards included in system
When you buy one of our workstations, you receive a system which is pre-configured with hardware and software and tested to demanding performance specifications. We install the latest version of Andor iQ software, optional modules and hardware including camera controller and other interface modules e.g. PCI DAC card which is needed for Revolution system control and synchronization.
The system price includes all cards, installation and configuration, burn in and performance testing. So be aware that iQ-WKS is not a vanilla PC.
System specification - subject to frequent change
iQ-WKS current specification will be based on the highest specification component parts available through DELL. So the following is an indicator of where we stand at time of writing, be sure to check at the time you are considering purchasing a system for more up-to-date specifications.
* Multi-core Processor - fastest Intel available
* 4GB DDR RAM (may change in future)
* 250 GB 7200 rpm SATA system drive
* 1 TB 7200 rpm RAID 0 drive for ImageDisk
* 2407FPW-HC, 24"" Ultra Sharp LCD monitor, 1920x1200 pixels, 60Hz, contrast 1000:1, response time 6 ms.
* 768MB PCIe x16 nVidia Quadro FX 4600
* Andor iQ + FastLZ module - current release 1.9
* CCI-23 controller card (PCI) - PCI Express to be announced later.
* PCI DAC card for Revolution system control
* Configuration, burn in and performance testing.