ScanImage 2016 : Acquisition and Control Hardware


ScanImage 2015 and later allows users to configure their system for resonant scanning or linear scanning (=galvo only scanning). A microscope with two laser paths can combine both methods to allow for simultaneous imaging and photostimulation.

The sections below describe the basic acquisition and control hardware requirements for both imaging systems.


Resonant Scanning

ScanImage uses the National Instruments National Intruments FlexRIO platform for the core acquisition and control tasks for resonant two-photon laser scanning microscopy

ScanImage supports a handful of pre-specified FlexRIO system configurations

NI ScanImage Resonant Scanning Bundle


Vidrio Technologies offers National Instruments hardware bundles, to help users create valid configurations. If you also order a ScanImage optimized computer from us at the same time, Vidrio will install ScanImage and create a custom machine data file for your system.

Email us at for a ScanImage hardware bundle quote.

(info) See notes below for further information about the key options

Configuration Guide


Please see Configuring ResScan (Resonant Scanning) page for additional details. 


RoleItem(s)Performance characteristics
Chassis/controllerPXIe-1073 or better 
Scan Control DAQPXIe-6341NI PXI-based X Series DAQ

One of

NI Digitizer Module

  • 2 channel
  • 4 channel
FPGA Module

One of

NI PXI-based FlexRIO Module

  • Basic option
  • Performance option

For SI5 - there will be no difference in operation. Most users should order the PXIe-7961R.

Future versions may utilize the far greater (~10x) processing power of the PXIe-7975R.
The 7975R has been supported by SI5 since Fall 2014


Additional X Series multifunction DAQ boards for some features:

Pockels controlPCIe-6321 or PXIe-6341Highly recommended - allows blanking laser during resonant scanner slowdown and galvo scanner flyback
Piezo/Fast Z controlPCIe-6321 or PXIe-6341Allows for volume imaging applications

The PXIe option is moderately more expensive, but has some advantages:

  1. Simplifies wiring complexity between boards.
  2. Reduces the number of PCIe slots required in the computer (or makes more available).

Linear Scanning

ScanImage uses National Instruments Multifunction DAQ boards for image acquisition and microscope control.

Recommended hardware


PMT acquisition, galvo control


 For multi-PMT acquisition, a simultaneously sampled NI X-series board is required.


Pockels controlPCIe/PXIe-6341Highly recommended - allows blanking laser during resonant scanner slowdown and galvo scanner flyback
Piezo/FastZ controlPCIe/PXIe-6341Allows for volume imaging applications

Users upgrading from ScanImage 3.8 can reuse their existing PCI-6110/6132/6133 digitizers, but will need to purchase at least one additional X-series board (e.g. PCIe-6321). Please contact us at to learn about upgrade options from ScanImage 3.x

Configuration Guide


Please see Configuring LinScan (Galvo Galvo scanning) page for additional details.


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