Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics

A NIH research center for biomedical fluorescence spectroscopy at the University of California, Irvine

Globals for Images

SimFCS Features

  • Developed by Enrico Gratton
  • Fluorescence data analysis, simulation, and acquisition
  • Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS)
  • Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) and Phasor plots
  • Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET)
  • Generalized Polarization (GP) and Spectral Phasors
  • Number and Brightness (N&B)
  • Photon Counting Histogram (PCH)
  • Raster and Spatio-temporal Image Correlation Spectroscopy (RICS and STICS)
  • Single Particle and Modulation Tracking (SPT, MT)
  • Tutorials

Globals Software for Spectroscopy and Images

Globals, originally developed in the 1980s at the Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics (LFD) for the analysis of multiple files from spectroscopy, is now available for the Windows operating system (Globals for Spectroscopy aka GlobalsWE) and for image analysis using the RICS and phasor approaches (Globals for Images aka SimFCS).

SimFCS 3.0

A new version of Globals for Images was released on May 10, 2013. It uses a new licensing scheme and requires activation with a new serial number.

To upgrade from earlier versions, run the latest simfcs-setup.exe installer. Backup existing installations before upgrading.

Existing customers who purchased Globals for Images directly from the Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics can request a new serial number from Sales and Support at Proof of purchase is required. The new serial number can be used to activate 8 computers.

To activate a computer, run 'SimfcsReg.exe' from the SimFCS folder in the Windows start menu. Enter your name and the license serial number provided by the LFD, and then press the 'Register' button. An Internet connection is required during activation.

Download Installer

These are the official installation files of Globals software for the Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 operating systems. The installers include tutorials and help files. Please read the installation and compatibility notes. Each version may be used free of charge for 30 days. After the 30 days they cannot be used again without purchasing a license.

Download Update

These executables are updated frequently and contain the newest developments. The executables require an existing full installation created by the latest installers. To update, copy the downloaded executable files to the installation directory, usually "C:\Program Files\SimFCS" or "C:\Program Files\Globals".

Installation and Compatibility Notes


  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP Professional 32-bit with Service Pack 3 (or compatible such as Windows 7 and 8.x Professional).
  • Minimum CPU: Pentium IV (Globals for Images) respectively Intel Pentium III (Globals for Spectroscopy) compatible.
  • Minimum memory: 2 GB for Globals for Images (4 GB recommended); 512 MB for Globals for Spectroscopy; 2 GB virtual memory.
  • Minimum display resolution: 1024x768 pixels.
  • OpenGL 2.0 compatible graphics card and display driver (Globals for Images).
  • Administrator rights for installation.
  • Internet connection during license registration (Globals for Images).

Recommended for image analysis with Globals for Images

  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 or 8.1 Professional 64-bit.
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 or better.
  • RAM: 8 GB or more.
  • Display resolution: 1920x1200 pixels.

Compatibility Issues

Globals software has been reported to run in analysis and simulation mode under Windows Vista\7\8 64-bit, the Wine compatibility layer under Linux, as well as Windows running under VirtualPC, VMware Workstation, and the Parallels Desktop for MacOS X. These configurations are not officially supported and cannot be used for data acquisition.

Globals software does not yet fully support non-English language systems, working with non-administrator privileges, or any 64-bit Windows systems:

  • The installer programs, globals-setup.exe and simfcs-setup.exe, must be run with administrator privileges. Either log on as a local administrator before installation or right click the downloaded installer executable and select "Run as" providing administrator credentials. Under Windows Vista\7\8 the installers will automatically prompt for administrator credentials.
  • If Globals software is to be used by non-administrator users, those users must be granted "modify" permissions to the program directories (usually "C:\Program Files\Globals" and "C:\Program Files\SimFCS"). In Windows Explorer, right click on the installation directory and select "Properties" and then the "Security" tab. Select the "Users" group and check the "Allow Modify" permission. This requires administrator privileges. The new installer simfcs-setup.exe will automatically try to change those permissions on the installation directory.
  • On non-English Windows Vista\7\8 systems, simfcs.exe might fail with access denied messages. This issue is currently under investigation. As a workaround, copy the C:\Program Files\SimFCS folder from another computer to the user's desktop.
  • Windows Home and Tablet editions are not recommended.
  • The operating system must use US decimal symbol (".") and digit grouping (","). These can be set in the "Regional and Language Options" control panel.
  • It is recommended to use the "Windows Classic" theme with default scale font size (96 dpi). These can be set in the "Display" respectively "Personalization" control panels.
  • In order to use SimFCS in data acquisition mode, devcon.exe must be executed once with administrator privileges. Installation of additional drivers for data acquisition hardware such as Traditional NI-DAQ (Legacy), Becker Hickl TCSPC, ISS cards, and PixeLink might be required. Depending on the type of acquisition hardware, one or more of the following dummy DLL files need to be deleted from the installation directory: nidaq32.dll, PimMegaApi.dll, and spcm32.dll.
  • In case Windows' Data Execution Prevention (DEP) is turned on for all programs and services, the simfcs.exe file must be explicitly excluded from DEP.