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Although CMOS fabrication has enabled a quick evolution in the design of high-density neural probes and neural-recording chips, the scaling and miniaturization of the complete data-acquisition systems has happened at a slower pace. This is mainly due to the complexity and the many requirements that change depending on the specific experimental settings. In essence, the fundamental challenge of a neural-recording system is getting the signals describing the largest possible set of neurons out of the brain and down to data storage for analysis. This requires a complete system optimization that considers the physical, electrical, thermal and signal-processing requirements, while accounting for available technology, manufacturing constraints and budget. Here we present a scalable and open-standards-based open-source data-acquisition system capable of recording from over 10,000 channels of raw neural data simultaneously. The components and their interfaces have been optimized to ensure robustness and minimum invasiveness in small-rodent electrophysiology.