Multi-Channel Analyzer is one of the main components of an electronic system, utilized in nuclear spectroscopy; as one of the most used instruments, MCA is prone to constant improvements, proportional to requirements in data acquisition. It is considered as a fundamental instrument for scientific measurement purposes. It is in the heart of nuclear spectroscopy which grants the histogram of consequently arriving pulse amplitudes. These data are used to construct the energy spectrum of particles detected and may be used for further analysis and applications. . In this paper we want to focus into two main purposes. First, is the proposal and design overview of a Digital Multi-Channel Analyzer, based on Altera DE1-SoC FPGA. This digital design supports the idea to remove most of the front-end electronics, and giving priority to digital signal processing on the FPGA. Our second aim, is giving a simplified explanation of what may be considered a complex topic among young researchers and engineers. The idea behind this, lies in the attempt to create an open source community to work and create certain IPs (intellectual properties) for FPGAs, needed in nuclear spectroscopy. As a result, one should focus more in thinking about optimization algorithms, rather than the fundamental setup of the instrument. We want to generalize a procedure to evoke a low-cost alternative towards well-known expensive equipment utilized in this area.
Multi-Channel Analyzer, FPGA, DSP, Energy Spectrum