Intan Technologies, LLC: low-noise amplifier microchips for electrophysiology, EKG, EMG, EEG, ECoG, and neural recording headstages and bio instrumentation

RHD2000 series amplifier chips

32-channel amplifier board (headstage) with SPI interface cable used in the Intan RHD2000 System.

Introduction to the Intan RHD2000 system


This page provides a quick introduction to the modular RHD2000 Recording System based around the family of digital electrophysiology microchips from Intan Technologies.

Hardware

You need three basic components from Intan to assemble a functional electrophysiology recording system:

  • An amplifier board (headstage). These are small circuit boards containing an Intan RHD2000-series chip that amplify, filter, and digitize signals from 16, 32, 64, or 128 electrodes. Unlike traditional headstages that provide limited analog amplification, Intan headstages perform all amplification on the headstage and produce a digital data stream conveying the signals from all electrodes.
  • A Recording Controller or USB interface board. This acts as a digital hub that links one or more amplifier boards to a computer via a standard USB port. The USB interface board can stream up to 256 amplifier channels to a host computer at user-selectable sampling rates up to 30 kS/s per channel. The newer Recording Controllers support up to 1024 amplifier channels in a rack-mountable case with more robust digital and analog I/O and more capable software.
  • An SPI interface cable. These cables link the amplifier board to the USB interface board, sending power to the amplifier board and data back to the USB interface board. They come in both 3-ft (0.8 meter) and 6-ft (1.9 meter) lengths, and it two thicknesses: standard and Ultra Thin. Multiple cables can be daisy-chained to create longer cables.

Software

Intan provides free software to operate this system. The software allows users to select amplifier bandwidths and sampling rates, measure electrode impedances, view live signals from electrodes, and save data to disk. Recording sessions may be controlled manually or triggered automatically by external digital signals. We also provide free software to load saved data files into MATLAB or Python, or to convert data files to Spike2 format. Our software does not perform any data analysis.

We provide compiled, ready-to-run software for Windows PCs (Windows 7, 8, or 10). You can download it and try it out before you buy Intan hardware; it will run in demo mode. We provide open-source C++/Qt source code that can be compiled for Mac OS or Linux.

For users wishing to control the system directly from LabVIEW or MATLAB, we offer a (non-free) LabVIEW Library and MATLAB Toolbox for the USB interface board only. The MATLAB Toolbox is not required for loading saved data files into MATLAB.

Electrodes

In addition to these hardware and software components, you will also need electrodes such as silicon probes, microwire probes, or some other type of extracellular or surface recording electrode. Intan does not manufacture or sell electrodes, but many companies make electrodes that are directly compatible with Intan amplifier boards, including NeuroNexus, MicroProbes, Atlas Neuroengineering, Cambridge NeuroTech, Plexon, and Blackrock Microsystems.

If you wish to adapt other types of electrodes to our amplifier boards, you can use our electrode adapter board or wire adapter to engineer a custom interconnection.

Commutators

Many of our customers use our system with commutators. We do not sell commutators, but we do provide an application note describing how to adapt our SPI interface cables to any basic commutator. Since our interface cables use purely digital signals, operation with commutators is typically robust and free of movement-induced noise.

Wireless

Intan Technologies does not manufacture or sell any devices with wireless telemetry, but several third-party companies have developed wireless electrophysiology products and data loggers using Intan RHD2000 chips, including:

Syncing with Stimulators, Video, etc.

The USB interface board has 16 digital inputs and 8 analog inputs that are sampled in synchrony with the amplifier channels. Other third-party devices such as optogenetic stimulators, video trackers, etc., usually produce digital (TTL) sync pulses or control signals. These signals can be connected to the USB interface board and used to align saved electrophysiological data with other events. The Intan system cannot generate precise digital signals to control stimulators; it can only record them.

Catalog and Prices

Our prices are listed online here, along with an order form. This graphical catalog shows all the components of the modular RHD2000 System.

Documentation

This datasheet describes how to use the hardware and software components of the RHD2000 System. More information can be found on the RHD2000 System webpage.

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