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[FAQ] Raw ADC data Capture from mmWave Sensor

Other Parts Discussed in Thread: DCA1000EVM, MMWCAS-DSP-EVM, TIDEP-01012, IWR6843, AWR1843, AWR1243, AWR2243, AWR1243BOOST, MMWAVE-STUDIO

Here are the common queries related to ADC data capture from mmWave Sensor device.


Q1. What are the hardware required to capture raw ADC from mmwave sensor?

Answer: TI provides DCA1000EVM and TSW1400 hardware to capture raw ADC data from mmWave sensor (single chip) over LVDS interface. 

For AWR1243P Cascade (4-chip) TIDEP-01012 and MMWCAS-DSP-EVM board required to capture raw ADC data over CSI-2 interface.

User can order these boards based on device selection to capture the raw ADC data for their device evaluation.

Q2. How to capture RAW ADC data from mmwave sensor (xWR1243/xWR1443/xWR1642 /AWR1843/IWR6843)?

Answer: mmWave Sensor can send out RAW ADC data over LVDS/CSI-2 interface (HSI: high speed interface).

Out of all device variant only AWR1243 has CSI-2 for production and LVDS for debug purpose only. All other device variants have LVDS interface to capture the RAW ADC data.

For CSI-2 capture user need to connect AWR1243 with external processor (TDAxx or FGPA or other processor) and write own application to capture the RAW ADC data over CSI-2 from AWR1243.

TI provides DCA1000EVM and TWS1400 hardware to capture ADC data over LVDS from mmwave sensor.

TSW1400 has limitation of capturing ADC data for few seconds whereas with DCA1000EVM we can capture almost live data stream with no limit on size or time.

We would recommend using mmWave Studio with DCA1000EVM/TSW1400 to capture the ADC data and follow mmWave Studio user guide & DCA1000_Quick_Start_Guide.pdf for the steps to do that.

Here are training video

TSW1400 :



Q3 How to use DCA1000EVM to capture the ADC data from device using mmWave Studio?

Answer: Follow mmWave Studio user guide & DCA1000_Quick_Start_Guide.pdf for the steps to do that. And here are the training materials for the same.


Q4. How to use TSW1400 to capture the ADC data from device with mmWave Studio?

Answer: Here are the training materials to use TSW1400 with mmWave Studio


Q5a. How to capture ADC data using DCA1000EVM (over LVDS) while mmw demo or any custom application running on xWR1642/ AWR1843/IWR6843 device?

Answer: Please refer these related threads-


Q5b. Why is it necessary to use an external host with AWR1243 or AWR2243? Is it possible to use mmWave demo visualizer with them or capture data without DCA1000?

Please refer to the below thread:


Q6. What is data format of raw ADC data when we capture from DCA1000EVM or TSW1400?

Answer: these documents explain about data format captured from DCA100EVM and TSW1400 for different device variants.


Q7. How to capture raw ADC data over CSI-2 interface?

Answer: Currently only AWR1243/P device supports CSI-2 interface to stream raw ADC data. User needs to use compatible external Host having CSI-2 interface connected with AWR1243 device. 

TI provides TDA3x and TDA2x processor for this purpose (single chip) and  MMWCAS-DSP-EVM for cascade setup.


Q8. Matlab script or document to do the signal processing of captured raw data (DCA1000)

Refer this thread-


Q9. How to use capture data in continuous mode (CW mode) using SDK application?

Answer: The recommendation is to use mmWave Studio with DCA1000EVM/DevPack to configure continuous mode (CW mode) data to mmWave Sensor. As mmWave Studio requires SPI interface to connect with mMWave sensor for any configuration, this SPI interface is available either on DevPack or DCA1000EVM not on BOOST EVM.

The latest SDK doesn’t support CW mode in the application.

Old version SDK v1.1 provided a capture demo where user can enable LVDS streaming and optionally enable the CW mode (RF Evaluation) as well.

Please refer this link where same topic has been discussed.


Q10. How to capture ADC data using mmWaveLink_example AWR1243+DCA1000EVM?

  • Set AWR1243BOOST in SOP-4 mode.
  • Connect AWR1243BOOST with DCA1000EVM.
  • Configure the DCA1000EVM using mmWave Studio (steps here) or use DCA1000EVM_CLI_Control.exe from mmWave Studio to do this step.
  • Execute mmWaveLink_example on the PC which configure the device, make sure that you have change the no of frames to infinite in mmwaveconfig.txt (numFrames=0) before starting it.
  • DCA1000EVM should able to capture the data now.

related thread -


Q11. How to control DCA1000EVM without mmWave Studio configuration?

Answer: In new version of mmWave Studio we are providing DCA1000-CLI tool (<mmwave_studio_02_01_00_00>\mmWaveStudio\PostProc\DCA1000EVM_CLI_Control.exe) and its source code which can be used for this purpose.

Follow the documentation mmwave_sdk_user_guide.pdf (section 3.3.2 from mmwave SDK) and DCA1000EVM_CLI_Software_User_guide.pdf (from mmWave Studio <mmwave-studio>\mmWaveStudio\ReferenceCode\DCA1000\Docs) where it explain the usage step for this CLI tool.

Here are a few threads which provide the alternate solution to capture data using Studio but without doing any device configuration from it.


Q12. How to capture ADC Raw data (single frame) from mmWave sensor without External board (DCA1000EVM or TSW1400)

Answer: It is highly recommended to using the DCA1000EVM for raw ADC data capture. If you plan to use just the mem_capture test application (SDK 2.1 onward at ‘packages\ti\drivers\test\mem_capture’ directory) then you are limited by only 1 frame data. This may not be of much help to the customer whould would like to develop post processing algorithms using the raw data.

Although in the SDK 1.1 version there was capture demo application which copies 1-frame worth of data to L3 memory and using given Matlab script that data can be processed. This application is not supported now but user can visit old version and do the experiment on their own.

Total Size in Bytes (1 Frame )= noOfChirps * NumADC_Samples * 2(I, Q) * NumRX_channels * 2(16bit)


Q13. How can I write a tool to automate my ADC capture with mmWave Sensor?

Answer: For this purpose, you need DCA1000EVM which captures raw ADC data from all mmWave Sensor variants over LVDS and stores to PC else you can have Host processor which supports CSI-2 interface to capture raw adc data from AWR1243 device only.

To automate capture event with DCA1000EVM we provide DCA1000-CLI tool (C:\ti\mmwave_studio_02_01_00_00\mmWaveStudio\PostProc\DCA1000EVM_CLI_Control.exe) which can easily embed into your existing automation framework. Source code and documentation of the same tool is also provided with mmWave Studio installation (C:\ti\mmwave_studio_02_01_00_00\mmWaveStudio\ReferenceCode\DCA1000) which user can modify as per their requirement.

Q14. What is the difference between TSW1400 and DCA1000 for data capture?

Refer to the following threads: 

Q.15. Why is there a requirement of a Gigabit Ethernet Interface for connection with DCA1000?

The reason for this limitation was because the FPGA does not have a processor core to implement all the Ethernet mac features. So it was hard coded to operate in 1Gbps mode. 

Q.16. How can we capture data using AWR and DCA1000 without using mmWave Studio on a Linux Machine?

Please refer to the below thread :