Presented at the Topical Workshop on Electronics for Particle Physics,
Perugia, Italy, September 23-27, 2013.
describing the CERN Open Hardware projects and a short introduction
about White Rabbit. Main focus on the five points that seem to be
required to make an Open Hardware project successful.
Contains on page 15 a nice table of the eight CERN OH designs that found
manufacturers and clients.
Open Hardware Opportunities and Innovative Electronics at CERN
Erik van der Bij - CERN
CERN has a culture of innovation with evident links to economic,
political, educational and social advances. Also in the field of
electronics that is used to control the particle accelerators one can
find this culture.
The most recent innovation is the advent of professional Open Hardware
where electronics designs developed for CERN are made available to any
company for production and sales with “no strings attached”. These
developments often required support from industry and are based on bus
standards such as FMC, PCI Express, PXI Express and VME, while the
Wishbone specification is used as SoC bus. The CERN Open Hardware
Licence that goes with those designs fosters a collaborative approach
between research and industry and calls for a new business model for
small and medium sized engineering enterprises.
A good example of an innovative, enabling technology is the
Ethernet-compatible control and timing network that is developed for use
in CERN’s control system. This so-called White Rabbit network allows
synchronising measurement stations to a precision better than 1
nanosecond, even when they are separated by 10 kilometres. As the
designs are Open, this CERN technology found easily its way for use in
astronomical telescope fields and in long distance atomic clock time
Several European SMEs are now selling these innovative designs to
clients in scientific and industrial domains. At the same time these
projects are generating new business as clients need support to adapt
the Open Hardware designs to their specific needs.