User Firmware Generator and Compiler for CAEN Programmable Boards
- Block diagram based user firmware generator and compiler for CAEN programmable boards:
- DT5495 – V2495 Programmable Logic Unit support
- DT5550, DT5550SE and DT5550W support for pulse processing and readout system development
- Automatic VHDL generation starting from logic blocks and virtual instruments
- Very simple generation of complex logic: schematics based design
- Advanced signal processing block: PHA based on Trapezoidal Filter, Charge Integration or Peak Stretcher, 500 ps resolution TDC, Oscilloscope, Digitizer, MCA (DT5550 only)
- Advanced sequencer Design based on graphical representation of State Machine ideal to implement custom ASIC readout system
- Automatic generation of drivers, libraries and demo software for Windows, Linux and macOS to implement communication between devices and PC software through USB, ethernet and VME protocol.
SCI(entific) Compiler is Windows based software designed to accelerate the firmware implementation for signal processing in scientific instrumentation and is targeted to generate custom applications for nuclear physics world. SCI-Compiler is an automatic code generatorthat, starting from a graphical block diagram, generates a VHDL peace of code that implements the required function. Moreover, SCI-Compiler is able to generate C libraries and drivers to be used in Windows, Linux and macOS for software implementation.
SCI-Compiler uses a prebuilt library set containing macroblocks with complex function. Each macroblock could be imagined as a modular instrument (MCA, Oscilloscope, Digitizer, TDC) that the user could connect with each other.
Programming with SCI-Compiler is much more similar to implement an experimental setup than developing a software.
What is SCI-Compiler
The increasing use of programmable logic devices in trigger and data acquisition systems makes clear that having a general purpose platform and technicians dedicated to the firmware development is becoming more and more important. The advantage of employing programmable logic devices with respect to standard logic modules (like NIM logic modules) is remarkable: a single programmable logic device includes the potentiality of hundreds of thousands of standard logic modules. For the technicians, who usually work with standard logic modules, the use of specific languages like VHDL or Verilog for the firmware development could represent a limitation in the spread of these powerful devices.
We introduce an innovative method to simplify the firmware development. This method is based on a graphical programming interface consisting of blocks specifically developed for nuclear physics applications. For instance, any trigger logic could be implemented by connecting specific blocks in the graphical interface, as easily as physically connecting NIM modules in a rack.
The SCI-Compiler software allows to develop both purely digital applications, exploiting blocks like scaler, counter, pattern matching, logic analyzer and state machine, and analog processing applications, such as custom multichannel analyzer using charge integration, trapezoidal filter, spectrum and oscilloscope blocks. In addition, the SCI-Compiler software provides the function to read and test the ASICs, enabling the user to develop a sequencer for the ASIC control.
The SCI-Compiler software focuses the attention only on the functional blocks of the application to be implemented and does not require a deep knowledge of the device in use, enabling the employment of programmable logic devices also to users who are not experts in firmware development.
- Readout of digital and analog ASICs using DT5550 or DT5550W
- Complex trigger logic
- Event Counters
- Single Channel (SCA) and Multi Channel Analyser (MCA)
- Time to Digital Converter
- Replacement for any old digital NIM module logic based system
- Time tagging logic
- Particle realtime Time of Arrival distribution calculation
- Logic Analyzer
- X-Ray and Gamma Ray Imaging
- SiPM testing and characterization (using DT5550-AFEs and DT5550)
- Custom board prototyping
SCI-compiler has been designed to generate code for some particular hardware platform designed by CAEN. Presently, SCI-Compiler supports the following CAEN products:
– DT5495 – V2495 Programmable Logic Units
– DT5550 DAQ System with User Programmable FPGA and sequencer
– DT5550SE Digitizer
– DT5550W Weeroc ASICs Development system
User Firmware Generator and Compiler for CAEN Programmable BoardsProduct page
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