In this paper we present a hardware/software co-design based computation platform for online data processing in particle physics experiments. Our goal is to ease and accelerate the development and make it universal and scalable for multiple applications, on the premise of guaranteeing high communicating and processing capabilities. The entire computation network consists of quite a few interconnected compute nodes, each of which has multiple FPGAs to implement specific algorithms for data processing. High-speed communication features including RocketIO multi-gigabit transceiver and Gigabit Ethernet are supported by FPGAs to construct internal and external connections. An embedded Linux operating system is fitted on the PowerPC CPU core inside the Xilinx Virtex-4 FX FPGA. Thus programmers can access hardware resources via device drivers and write application programs to manage the system from the high level. Furthermore measurements have been executed using the development board to investigate both communicating and processing performances of the system. Results show that the computation platform is able to communicate at a UDP/IP data rate of around 400 Mbps per Ethernet link, and the event selection engine could process an event rate of 25%.
NATURVETENSKAP -- Data- och informationsvetenskap (hsv//swe)
NATURAL SCIENCES -- Computer and Information Science (hsv//eng)