Traditionally, EDX microanalysis systems have consisted of an X-ray detector, pulse processor (either analog or digital), multi-channel analyzer and computer. The signal from the detector was always processed by dedicated hardware before being channelled to a computer. The role of the computer was limited to user interface for inputting of parameters and presentation and storage of the results. It was only possible to analyze results in software, not to process real-time data. Until recently, computers lacked sufficient power for real time high speed digital processing of x-ray signals.

The introduction of the URSA 200 “processor-less” system pushes the envelope, and sets a new standard for EDS technology. The URSA 200 hardware consists of a very high speed high resolution analog to digital converter that channels digitized detector output signal directly to the PC bus. The raw data is processed in real time by the PC. This streamlined approach has all the advantages of a digital pulse processor without the associated cost. Furthermore, it opens up exciting opportunities for resolution improvement by optimizing processing algorithms for a given detector. A wide range of detectors from all major manufacturers is supported.
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