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Cambridge Electronic Design Limited (CED)

Cambridge Electronic Design Limited (CED) has developed data acquisition, analysis and experiment control systems for Windows with powerful 1401 family of laboratory interfaces. CED hardware and software solutions are specialist applications are in intracellular and extracellular physiology, spike shape analysis, EEG, EMG, ECG, behavioural studies, evoked response, signal averaging, spectral analysis, patch and whole cell voltage clamp systems (including dynamic clamping), teaching systems and organ bath software. Read more to discover CED’s hardware (i.e. Spike2 and Signal) and software (i.e. solutions Power1401, Micro1401, and 1902 amplifier) solutions below!

Hardware & Software for data acquisition & analysis.

Software Solutions


This multi-channel continuous data acquisition and analysis package applies a range of capabilities from a simple chart recorder to complex applications that require stimulus generation, data capture, scrolling or triggered displays, control of external equipment and custom analysis. The versatility of this software makes it suitable for a wide range of applications for specific analysis task including electrophysiology, neurophysiology, sports science, pharmacology, and more. The Spike2’s power and flexibility supports demanding applications such as extracellular multi-electrode recording and complex stimulus timing. Featured with built-in script language, users can easily customise programs with full control from simple automation to addition of complex analyses. Directly import data recorded by other systems including Axona, Biopac, Neuroscan and more, or export data to spreadsheet, text, binary and MATLAB® files. With updates, your Spike2 software will be consistently revamped with the latest versions’ new features for free throughout the life cycle of the version. These powerful data capture and analysis functions, incorporated with one of the CED1401 family of laboratory interfaces, make Spike2 an extremely flexible, cost-effective and time-saving addition to any laboratory.


  • Navigate through your data quickly and simply using the intuitive user interface; zoom and scroll with the mouse or keyboard
  • Record multiple data types, including waveforms, event times, coded markers, and discriminated single or multi-unit spike data.
  • Generate simple and complex protocols of waveform and pulse outputs
  • Acquire data from third-party devices using CED Talker software modules. Data can be sampled with or without a 1401 interface
  • Detect features automatically or manually and take measurements based on triggered and cyclical data with ‘active’ cursors
  • Analyse multiple channels of waveform and event data on-line and off-line
  • Process data with functions including: filtering, rectification, interpolation, spectral analysis and inter-channel arithmetic
  • Display and export images as you want them, with versatile display options including: triggered update with optional overdraw and 3D display and duplicated windows with independent display settings
  • Record very large numbers of channels by synchronising multiple CED 1401s
  • Customise the program with the built-in script language that provides control from simple automation to addition of complex analysis functions
  • Replay data files, with simultaneous output of waveform data through 1401 analogue outputs (DACs) or computer sound card

Learn more about Spike2’s experiment control, cardiovascular, data processing applications, and the latest versions by clicking here.


Signal is a sweep based data acquisition and analysis package that is utilised for a range of applications from simple storage oscilloscope to complex applications requiring stimulus generation, data capture, control of external equipment and custom analysis. It’s flexibility makes it the ideal for transient capture, patch and voltage clamp, LTP studies, evoked responses and TMS. It’s intuitive design and sampling and analysis capabilities shares features most researchers need, in a user-friendly environment. Moreover, with a built-in script language to automate repetitive tasks and provides additional tools for custom analyses and applications. This software’s functions for specific applications including dynamic clamp, whole cell and patch clamp electrophysiology and evoked response (i.e control of magnetic and other stimulus devices). Take advantage of this versatile system that can import data seamlessly by many other systems including; WAV, TMS international, Delsys Files, DATAPAC, and more to analyse existing data. To demonstrate data, Signal’s optional windows can show dynamic information in text and images at large scale, to be visible across the lab. The powerful data capture and time-saving analysis functions of Signal together with one of the CED 1401 family of laboratory interfaces make an extremely flexible and cost effective addition to any laboratory.

Learn more about Signal’s Dynamic clamp capabilities, evoked response, patch clamp functions, and the latest versions of this software by clicking here.

Hardware Solutions


The Power1401-3A is the latest version of this high performance data acquisitions interface series that applies advanced processor technology to empower and encourage versatility required laboratory applications. This hardware records waveform data, digital (event) and marker information, and can generate waveform and digital outputs simultaneously for real-time, multi-tasking experiment control. With a 1 GHz Marvell processor (similar to an ARM V5TE core) and up to 2GB of on-board memory, to facilitate high speed data capture, independent waveform sample rates and complex on-line analysis, to reduce time waste for the host computer to perform other tasks, such as data manipulation and further analysis. With CED software packages such as Spike 2 and Signal, you can easily customise this hardware to be applied for a wide range of research applications including; single and multi-unit spike processing, dynamic clamping, ECG, EEG, EMG & EOG, evoked response, TMS and rTMS, cardiovascular studies and more.


  • 16 channels of 16-bit waveform input on base unit
  • 1 Gbyte memory expandable to 2 Gbytes
  • Dynamically programmable amplifier option
  • Software-selectable ±5V or ±10V input and output ranges
  • Synchronisation with other CED 1401s for large numbers of channels, all accurately timed
  • USB 2.0 high-speed connection
  • Firmware upgrades that are available via CED website

Learn more about the technical specifications of this hardware by clicking here.


This low cost and versatile data acquisition unit is empowered with an onboard processor unit that is designed with high speed memory optimised for real time processing, free from the constraints of the host computer operating system. Moreover, ith fast and accurate sampling coupled with simultaneous output offers extensive on-line experimental control. The Micro4 records waveform data, digital (event) and marker information, and can simultaneously generate waveform and digital outputs in real-time for multi-tasking experimental control. It features high-speed waveform capture at rates up to 1MHz with 16-bit resolution. The 32-bit RISC processor allows complex on-line analysis while freeing time for the host computer to perform other tasks, such as data manipulation and further analysis. Similar to the Power1401, the CED software packages such as Spike 2 and Signal, applications customise the system for use in a wide range of research areas. Advanced software features include on-line spike sorting in Spike2 and fast sweep modes in Signal when using the Micro4. Applications of this hardware include; Tetrode and n-trode recording, Single and multi-unit spike processing, Evoked response, TMS and rTMS, In-vivo and in-vitro studies, Gastro-intestinal studies, Cardiovascular studies, Tremor analysis, and more.


  • 4 channels of 16-bit waveform input on base unit
  • Software-selectable ±5V or ±10V input and output ranges
  • Synchronisation with other CED 1401s for large numbers of channels, all accurately timed
  • USB 2.0 high-speed connection
  • Firmware upgrades via CED website

To learn more about the technical specifications of the MICRO1401 including waveform I/O, digital I/O and more, please click here.

1902 Amplifier

The 1902 isolated pre-amplifier is a versatile modular unit designed to work with modern computer-controlled data acquisition systems. Developed for a broad range of applications, the 1902 accepts biological and instrumentation signals from a wide variety of sources. This hardware is available in single or multi-channel configurations, with communication that is achieved through a serial line to allow multiple of sets of unit to be controlled simultaneously. Its applications


The main competitive advantage of programmable amplifiers is the degree of interaction between the signal conditioner with the application software recording the data. This hardware is directly managed through the CED data acquisition and analysis programs Spike2 and Signal, or through a stand-alone control application.

  • Trigger input converter from high-level pulses or switch closures to 5V TTL
  • Overload indicators with software readback
  • EMG filter with full wave rectifier and programmable post-filter gain
  • 16-bit ADC for digitisation of transducer and other low-bandwidth signals and transmission of results down the serial line

Software Controllable Features:

  • Programmable gain with readback
  • Digital filters generated according to user-entered filter cut off values
  • Optional input clamping
  • Selectable mains notch filter
  • AC/DC coupling
  • Dynamically controlled 12-bit offset

Specialist Options:

  • Stimulus artefact clamp to avoid saturation of the amplifier when using high intensity magnetic or other stimuli
  • Buffer option: maintains common-mode rejection when a single reference electrode needs to feed multiple channel inputs
  • ECG front end with 5 lead switching under software control. Lead configurations available: I, II, III, aVL, aVR, aVF and V. Calibrator: 1 mV rectangle wave. Gain is selectable from x100 to x100,000

(input clamp example)

To learn more about the technical specifications of the 1902 amplifier, please click here.