First idea for an exercise by Dominique and Hannes. To be discussed.

Name of the exercise

Programming an FPGA to generate events

Responsible for the exercise

Dominique Gigi / Hannes Sakulin

Description of the exercise

Students will program an FPGA (Altera) which is located on a Generic-III (G-III) PCI module inside a PC. The FPGA should be programmed to send several words of data over an SLINK-64 when it receives a trigger signal over a LEMO (TTL) or a trigger generated in software.

A receiver station (PC + G-III + SLINK receiver) will be provided to visualize the data that the FPGA sends. (In the following proposed exercise, students will learn to program their own receiver application).

What will the students learn

  • Basics of designing simple digital electronics
  • Implementing these electronics in an FPGA
  • Full tool chain up to the creation of the FPGA programming file
  • Concept of programming the PROM / FPGA via PCI
  • Debugging an FPGA design using the built-in logic state analyzer (time permitting)
  • Fast data links (SLINK)


2 hours.

List of material

  • 2 PCs (can be provided by CMD)
  • 2 G-III cards (can be provided by CMD)
  • SLINK sender card (can be provided by CMD)
  • SLINK receiver card (can be provided by CMD)
  • SLINK cable (can be provided by CMD)

Optionally - in order to receive external triggers:

  • Trigger generator (e.g. NIM) & converter to TTL
  • Lemo cable (can be provided by CMD)
  • G-III add-on to receive triggers (can be provided by CMD)

Relevant information

Add URLs to:
  • Related lectures (typically the exercises will take place after the related lectures)

The manuals of the devices (modules, scopes, etc) and S/W packages used in the exercise

In addition you have to provide:

  • An installation guide. This document is for the supervisor of the exercise. It has to describe in detail how the material has to be set up before the exercise can start (Cabling, S/W installation, etc.)
  • An instruction sheet. This document is for the students and tells them whay they have to do


You have to provide a possible solution for the exercise witch the studens can consult after the exercise or if they get stuck. The solution should not be in this TWiki (we don't want the students to see it)

-- HannesSakulin - 2009-09-08

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Topic revision: r1 - 2009-09-08 - HannesSakulin
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