ZestDAQ Software Platform

ZestDAQ is a platform for data acquisition (DAQ) and control applications running on the Zest series of USB and Ethernet boards from Orange Tree Technologies.

Many data acquisition applications have a similar structure. The first stage is the interface to the peripheral or sensor producing the data. The data may then be processed or formatted on the fly, and buffered in on-board memory. Finally the data is sent to a host computer for display and/or storage.  There may also be a control channel for setting up any parameters of the acquisition system, and for starting and stopping it. There are also applications where data flows in the other direction from a PC to transducers.

ZestDAQ consists of multiple FPGA logic cores designed to make the buffering, formatting and transfer of data between peripherals or sensors and a host PC as straightforward as possible. With this framework, the user needs only to create the application specific code to interface to their peripherals and format the data in a suitable manner for transmission to the host PC. It also includes a host software library and host software examples.

Block diagram 1
Arrangement of cores in a ZestET2 Ethernet board

Block diagram 2
Arrangement of cores in a ZestSC3 USB board


  • Reduces the design effort for common data acquisition and control architectures
  • Allows end users to concentrate on the details of their specialised sensors and applications
  • Common IP interfaces across boards simplify porting of designs between USB and Ethernet boards


  • Wrapper around Ethernet interface to simplify network communications
  • Wrapper around USB interface to multiplex multiple data streams across a single link
  • Multi-channel FIFO buffering of data in external SDRAM
  • Core to simplify accessing control and status registers in the FPGA design


  • ZestDAQ is provided free to Orange Tree customers.

Orange Tree Technologies Ltd
173 Curie Avenue
OX11 0QG
United Kingdom