September 28, 2015 to October 2, 2015
Europe/Zurich timezone

Versatile prototyping platform for Data Processing Boards for CBM experiment

Sep 29, 2015, 5:41 PM
Hall of Civil Engineering (Lisbon)

Hall of Civil Engineering


IST (Instituto Superior Técnico ) Alameda Campus Av. Rovisco Pais, 1 1049-001 Lisboa Portugal
Poster Logic Poster


Dr Wojciech Zabolotny (Warsaw University of Technology, Institute of Electronic Systems (PL))


The Data Processing Boards (DPB) are an important component of the CBM readout chain. Before the final, production versions of DPB may be designed, it is important to create a prototyping platform, to test and select appropriate hardware and firmware solutions. The Kintex based AMC FMC Carrier (AFCK) board is a versatile and open solution fulfilling those requirements, offering configurable high speed (up to 10 Gbps) connectivity. The paper describes the AFCK hardware, the firmware architecture, and the IP cores developed for different DPB prototyping tasks. Due to its versatility and openness the AFCK may be reused in other experiments.


In the CBM experiment the Data Processing Boards (DPB) are the components
used in three important subsystems.

As the part of the readout chain, they are receiving data from the front-end
electronics (FE) via multiple short distance and lower speed links.
The received data are then preprocessed, concentrated and sent to the first
block of the Data Acquisition System (DAQ) -
the First Level Event Selector (FLES) via high-speed long distance links.
In interaction with the Experiment Control System, the DPB boards provide
an interface to configure the FE.
Finally, they are connected to the Timing and Flow Control (TFC) system,
to ensure
transmission of the reference clock and synchronous commands, necessary
to synchronize
the FE, and to transmit the flow control related commands and status

As multiple solutions are possible to implement the described
the dedicated, versatile Kintex based AMC FMC Carrier (AFCK) board in
MTCA.4 standard was developed to allow verification of possible
solutions and selection
of the most appropriate ones.

The AFCK board is based on the XC7K325T FFG900 Kintex chip, and offers
16 Multi Gigabit
Transceivers (MGT) with speed up to 10 Gbps. Due to flexible clocking
scheme, various
transmission rates are achievable, and due to availability of the jitter
cleaner circuit,
it is possible to produce usable MGT clock from the clock delivered by
the MGT receiver.

The MGT signals may be routed to various connectors available in the
AFCK board:
the FMC connectors and SATA connectors are available, when working in
stand-alone mode,
and additionally MTCA backplane and RTM connectors may be used, when
board is placed
in the MTCA crate.

Availability of HPC FMC connectors allows to adjust the board
functionality to different
use scenarios, by relatively cheap implementation of specialized FMC boards.
E.g. the dedicated FMC board was developed to allow usage of the AFCK
for testing
of the STS-XYTER (readout ASIC) communication protocol.

The AFCK board has been successfully used to implement various IP cores
needed for prototyping
of the CBM readout chain like:

  • implementation of the tester of the STS XYTER protocol,
  • implementation of the White Rabbit core, which is one of possible
    solutions to distribute timing and synchronization messages,
  • implementation of the GBT-FPGA
    core, which will be used to communicate with FE, implementation of the Ethernet based
    high speed data transfer protocol.

Additionally the skeletons of firmware for different DPB usage scenarios
have been created,
both for testing of other readout and DAQ components and for development
of final DPB firmware.

Due to its flexibility and reach resources, the AFCK board may be a good
prototyping platform for
data concentration and FE control systems in different experiments.

Primary authors

Dr Grzegorz Kasprowicz (Warsaw University of Technology, Institute of Electronic Systems (PL)) Dr Wojciech Zabolotny (Warsaw University of Technology, Institute of Electronic Systems (PL))


Mr Adrian Pawel Byszuk (Warsaw University of Technology, Institute of Electronic Systems (PL)) Mr Bartłomiej Juszczyk (Warsaw University of Technology, Institute of Electronic Systems (PL)) Dr David Emschermann (GSI - Helmholtzzentrum fur Schwerionenforschung GmbH (DE)) Dr Joerg Lehnert (GSI - Helmholtzzentrum fur Schwerionenforschung GmbH (DE)) Prof. Krzysztof Pozniak (Warsaw University of Technology, Institute of Electronic Systems (PL)) Mr Marek Guminski (Warsaw University of Technology, Institute of Electronic Systems (PL)) Prof. Ryszard Romaniuk (Warsaw University of Technology, Institute of Electronic Systems (PL)) Dr Walter Mueller (GSI - Helmholtzzentrum fur Schwerionenforschung GmbH (DE))

Presentation materials