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Applications of Field-Programmable Gate Arrays in Scientific Research

Focusing on resource awareness in field-programmable gate array (FPGA) design, Applications of Field-Programmable Gate Arrays in Scientific Research covers the principle of FPGAs and their functionality. It explores a host of applications, ranging from small one-chip laboratory systems to large-scale applications in "big science." The book first describes various FPGA resources, including logic elements, RAM, multipliers, microprocessors, and content-addressable memory. It then presents principles and methods for controlling resources, such as process sequencing, location constraints, and intellectual property cores. The remainder of the book illustrates examples of applications in high-energy physics, space, and radiobiology. Throughout the text, the authors remind designers to pay attention to resources at the planning, design, and implementation stages of an FPGA application, in order to reduce the use of limited silicon resources and thereby reduce system cost. Supplying practical know-how on an array of FPGA application examples, this book provides an accessible overview of the use of FPGAs in data acquisition, signal processing, and transmission. It shows how FPGAs are employed in laboratory applications and how they are flexible, low-cost alternatives to commercial data acquisition systems. Web Resource A supporting website at offers more details on FPGA programming and usage. The site contains design elements of the case studies from the book, including VHDL code, detailed schematics of selected projects, photographs, and screen shots.
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Table of Contents

Introduction What is an FPGA? Digital and analog signal processing FPGA costs FPGA versus ASIC Understanding FPGA Resources General-purpose resources Special-purpose resources The company- or family-specific resources Several Principles and Methods of Resource Usage Control Reusing silicon resources by process sequencing Finding algorithms with less computation Using dedicated resources Minimizing supporting resources Remaining in control of the compilers Guideline on pipeline staging Using good libraries Examples of an FPGA in Daily Design Jobs LED illumination Simple sequence control with counters Histogram booking Temperature digitization of TMP03/04 devices Silicon serial number (DS2401) readout The ADC + FPGA Structure Preparing signals for the ADC Topics on averages Simple digital filters Simple data compression schemes Examples of FPGA in Front-End Electronics TDC in an FPGA based on multiple-phase clocks TDC in an FPGA based on delay chains Common timing reference distribution ADC implemented with an FPGA DAC implemented with an FPGA Zero-suppression and time stamp assignment Pipeline versus FIFO Clock-command combined carrier coding (C5) Parasitic event building Digital phase follower Multichannel deserialization Examples of an FPGA in Advanced Trigger Systems Trigger primitive creation Unrolling nested-loops, doublet finding Unrolling nested-loops, triplet finding Track fitter Examples of an FPGA Computation Pedestal and RMS Centre of gravity method of pulse time calculation Lookup table usage The enclosed loop microsequencer (ELMS) Radiation Issues Radiation effects FPGA applications with radiation issues SEE rates Special advantages and vulnerability of FPGAs in space Mitigation of SEU Time-over-Threshold: The Embedded Particle-Tracking Silicon Microscope (EPTSM) EPTSM system Time-over-threshold (TOT): analog ASIC PMFE Parallel-to-serial conversion FPGA function Appendix Index References appear at the end of each chapter.

About the Author

Hartmut F.-W. Sadrozinski is a research physicist and adjunct professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. A senior fellow of the IEEE, Dr. Sadrozinski has been working on the application of silicon sensors and front-end electronics in elementary particle physics and astrophysics for over 30 years. He is currently involved in the use of silicon sensors to support hadron therapy. He earned his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jinyuan Wu is an electronics engineer in the Particle Physics Division of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Dr. Wu is a frequent lecturer at international workshops and IEEE conferences. He earned his Ph.D. in experimental high energy physics from Pennsylvania State University.

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