Summary 500 words
The first upgrade foreseen at the ATLAS experiment at LHC will be the insertion of an innermost silicon layer, called Insertable B-layer (IBL). A new front-end ASIC has been designed (named FE-I4). To readout this new pixel layer an update of the readout electronics is necessary and it will be realized with two VME-based boards:
the Back Of Crate module (BOC) implementing optical I/O functionality and the ReadOut Driver
module (ROD) implementing data processing functionality. The ROD hosts the electronics devoted to control operations whose main tasks are: providing setup busses to access configuration registers on several FPGAs, receiving configuration data from external PC, managing triggers and running calibration procedures. In parallel with a back-compatible solution with a DSP, a new ROD control circuitry with a PowerPC embedded into a FPGA has been implemented. Development strategies and status of the activities in implementing a PowerPC based system are presented. Major focus will be on the firmware and software design. In particular several solutions will be described: connection methodology with the Atlas control system, implementation of custom logic and its integration with the embedded processor and strategies toward a combined software-firmware simulation environment.