In 2021 the LHCb experiment will be upgraded, and the DAQ system will be based on full reconstruction of events, at the full LHC crossing rate. This requires an entirely new system, capable of reading out, building and reconstructing events at an average rate of 30 MHz. In facing this challenge, the system could take advantage of a fast pre-processing of data on dedicated FPGAs. We present the results of an R&D on these technologies developed in the context of the LHCb Upgrade I. In particular, we discuss the details and potential benefits of an approach based on producing in real-time sorted collections of hits in the VELO detector (pre-tracks). These pre-processed data can then be used as seeds by the High Level Trigger (HLT) farm to find tracks for the Level 1 trigger with much lower computational effort than possible by starting from the raw detector data, thus freeing an important fraction of the power of the CPU farm for higher level processing tasks.
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