For the FAIR beam lines of the GSI center, a solution to control settings of a wide range of electronic devices was needed. This included slow control as well as accelerator-event triggered real-time applications. A project to build a system with a lot of programmable IOs was thus started.
As the peripherals to control are numerous and different, the solution had to be very generic. The user must have the possibility to set the standard and the timings of many IOs independently.
MagentaSys has built a very modular solution based on a system containing two front side boards and one RTM (rear transmission module) on which it is possible to plug up to four different noses boards.
Every noses boards cover a subset of functionalities, some of them are required to forward message on long distance (up to 400m), some others implements a lot of different selectable standards (NIM, TTL w/wo pull up, w/wo open collector, differential compatible with RS485 standard etc...).
The two front side boards are:
- One SVEC board VME based, containing one FPGA. It's the one responsible to interact with the RTM to switch the IOs.
- One MEN A20 single board computer, VME based. It's the one instantiating the main software, connected on Ethernet in order to have the system remotely configurable.