Getting Started

vortex is available in Python and C++. For standard hardware setups, the Python bindings via a binary wheel are the fastest way to get started.

Python from Binary Wheel

Pre-built binary wheels for recent Python and CUDA versions on Windows are published on the vortex website. Ensure that you install the wheel that matches the CUDA version for your system. vortex uses the suffix -cudaXXY to denote a build for CUDA XX.Y. Installation of vortex-oct-tools is also recommended as it provides Python support classes for interacting with vortex and is required for certain demos.

pip install vortex-oct-cuda112 vortex-oct-tools -f

Install Dependencies

These binary wheels are compiled for use with an AlazarTech digitizer for acquisition, a CUDA-compatible GPU for processing, and National Instruments hardware for I/O. They require the installation of the following driver and runtime components, even if the corresponding hardware is not present.


The AlazarTech drivers are different from ATS-SDK, which is the software development kit only. ATS-SDK is only required for building vortex and does not include the drivers. The AlazarTech drivers are required to run vortex.

  • CUDA runtime with version XX.Y for vortex-oct-cudaXXY

  • NI DAQmx runtime

vortex will fail to import if any of the above dependencies are missing. See the Build Guide for instructions on building Python bindings that match your hardware availability.

Check Installation

Check that vortex and its dependencies are installed correctly using the following command. The command outputs OK and the vortex version if vortex is correctly installed.

> python -c "import vortex; print('OK', vortex.__version__)"
OK 0.4.1

If you receive the API version incompatibility error message below, you likely need to upgrade NumPy.

> python -c "import vortex; print('OK', vortex.__version__)"
RuntimeError: module compiled against API version 0xf but this version of numpy is 0xe
OK 0.4.1
> pip install --upgrade numpy
> python -c "import vortex; print('OK', vortex.__version__)"
OK 0.4.1

Once everything is installed, try running a demo.


A C++ installation provides full access to vortex’s features. See the Build Guide to get your build system set up. You can build a custom version of the Python bindings through C++, if needed.