The 12th WR workshop will be held at CERN (room 40/S2-A01, "Salle Anderson") between the 8th and the 9th of October 2022. This will be a hybrid on-site/online workshop. While we do prefer to have you all at CERN, we understand that some of you may have difficulties travelling to Geneva, especially given the short notice. The registration and final agenda will be handled through Indico this time. Please visit https://indico.cern.ch/event/1194961/ to register.
This wiki page is a convenient means of providing informal information before the event, and will be updated after the workshop with links to all relevant material. All times in the discussion below and the Indico agenda are for Geneva, Switzerland (CEST, i.e. GMT+2).
In order to attend, either remotely or on-site, please register in Indico. Speakers can give presentations at CERN or remotely. If you would like to speak, please send an email to Javier.Serrano at cern.ch with a title, an abstract and a rough estimate of the time you would need for your presentation. We will use all abstracts we receive before 9 September (end of day Geneva time) to make the final agenda and publish it in Indico. Keep an eye on the white-rabbit-dev forum for communication about the workshop. You can watch the white-rabbit-dev category by setting up your preferences in Discourse. This means that you will get an email every time somebody posts something on white-rabbit-dev.
A block of rooms is reserved in the CERN Hotel for WR Workshop participants (Single with bathroom CHF 58.00/night). To reserve a room, please use the following form: Booking_form_White_Rabbit_workshop.pdf (docx). Please, try making the reservation before 7 Sept when the block is released (you can book now and then cancel later).
The list of talks below is just meant to give you a rough idea of the presentations we already know will happen in any case, so as to help you decide if you would be interested in attending. We will privilege the afternoons (Geneva time) of Saturday and Sunday to place the presentations so that our friends in the US west coast and east Asia can attend at times which are not too unreasonable for them.
CERN Guided Tour:
We organise CERN Guided Tour during Saturday morning for those of you who arrive on Friday or early Saturday morning. The tour will start at 9h40 and finish at 12h30 on Saturday (you will need to arrive slightly earlier to collect your visitors badge). Participants, who indicated interest in the tour during registration, will receive details by email - if you have not done so and you want to participate, you should be able to update your registration, you can also contact directly maciej.lipinski at cern.ch.
Saturday 8 October 2022
14:00 - 14:30
Welcome to the 12th White Rabbit Workshop Overview of the WR ecosystem today and what to expect from this workshop (slides, recording)
Javier Serrano (CERN)
14:30 - 15:00
Status of the WR Switch (current v3 and new v4) Architecture and features of the next generation Switch (slides, recording)
Adam Wujek (Independent Consultant), Maciej Lipiński (CERN)
15:00 - 15:30
New WRPC release (v5) A well-awaited release; new features and the strategy for the the repo maintenance (slides, recording)
Tristan Gingold (CERN)
15:30 - 16:00
16:00 - 16:30
The new WR Collaboration scheme An efficient public/private partnership (slides, recording)
Welcome to the 12th White Rabbit Workshop: A quick introduction for newcomers and setting the scene for the workshop. One of the main themes of this workshop will be the final discussions before the launch of the White Rabbit Collaboration, which aims at making WR more sustainable, higher-quality and generally more useful to more people. The second part of this presentation will introduce this subject briefly, and we will have more in-depth discussions in later slots.
Status of the WR Switch (current v3 and new v4): The presentation will summarize features available in the latest firmware release v6.0.1 of the WR Switch v3, as well as new features available in the master that will be
added to the next release. It will also explain how new features can be submitted by contributors. The presentation will then outline the architecture, features and design status of the next generation WR Switch v4. A road map for related developments will be presented.
New WRPC release (v5): The presentation gives an overview of the White Rabbit PTP Core (WRPC) gateware and software architecture.
It summarizes the newly introduced features and boards in the WRPC v5 release as well as those features in the pipeline for the next release.
Finally the repo management and how new features can be submitted by contributors will be discussed.
The new WR Collaboration scheme: In this talk, I will present the White Rabbit Collaboration, which is currently being shaped and will launch in the coming months. The Collaboration aims to gather all stakeholders of the technology in a global community that will work to ensure society and companies can benefit from the full potential of the technology. By pooling resources from all its members, the collaboration will work to ensure the IEEE 1588-2019 standard can be implemented through an open hardware core that is maintained and upgraded to the highest level of performance. We thus intend to create a supportive and forward-looking community that drives the uptake of the technology in emerging sectors. The collaboration aims to become the reference point for the White Rabbit technology and offer a unique voice to its members.
BabyWR: White Rabbit in Gravitational Observatories: A Gravitational Observatory is a large interferometer for detection of gravitational waves. The timing system of the Virgo European Gravitational Observatory near Pisa will be upgraded. A White Rabbit demonstrator was designed to validate White Rabbit in the Virgo timing system. Currently a pathfinder experiment for Einstein Telescope (ET-Pathfinder) is under construction in Maastricht (NL) as a first step towards future Einstein Telescope (ET). Throughout these Gravitational Observatory infrastructures many clocks are needed. Clocks need deterministic phase, some clocks need to be ultra low phase noise. We believe that BabyWR, a small plugin module with minimal functionality, will be an easy and cost effective solution for the many clocks that will be needed in these Gravitational Observatories. BabyWR will generate a 1PPS and a low phase noise 10MHz (< 100dBc/Hz@10Hz). Optionally a more expensive high performance external oscillator can be used to improve phase noise for demanding clocks. Third parties and companies can profit from this implementation as well by re-using the design and/or bringing the design to the market.
Field experience with high channel count WR systems: D-TACQ Solutions provides high channel count data acquisition systems to "Big Physics". Over 20 years, we've concentrated on the Y axis, while developing various schemes to ensure T axis synchronization both in-crate and out of crate. Porting the White Rabbit core to our existing platform solved the synchronization problem and allowed us to deliver a large "distributed oscilloscope" application. Since then, "White Rabbit On Board" has allowed our business to branch out into new applications. The talk focuses on how WR helped us, some technical and institutional workarounds that allowed us to succeed, and where the availability of distributed precision timing is taking future development.
Operational experience with a WR-based timing system in GSI: At GSI, the White Rabbit based General Machine Timing System is used for operation of all three ring machines (SIS18, ESR and CRYRING) as well as all transfer lines. Moreover, the system is in test operation at the linear accelerator UNILAC, which serves as injector for the SIS18 synchroton. The productive system uses about 50 White Rabbit switches and a couple of hundred nodes. In 2022, the GSI accelerator complex was used for about seven months of beam production and this presentation reports on our operational experience with the White Rabbit based timing system.
WR at CERN: Presentation of White Rabbit Timing (WRT), the new CERN project that aims at providing a generic event-based timing system covering both TAI and RF timebases.
WRT is planned for deployment in 2026 at CERN and with more than 2k nodes it will become the biggest WR installation of the laboratory.
The presentation will also provide an overview of some of the most important WR applications currently in operation at CERN.
WR deployment at the Swiss Plasma Center: The Swiss Plasma Center (SPC) scientists work on plasma and nuclear fusion on the Tokamak à Configuration Variable (TCV) operated using a timing system designed in the late 80's. Newer acquisition devices have higher timing requirements than when TCV was built. There is a need for an accurate timing system inter-operable with the legacy timing system and with newer devices. This presentation shows the work that has been done so far at SPC for deploying White Rabbit Protocol in parallel with our existing timing system.
Precision Time Sync in Datacenters and potential applications for WR and Time Appliances Project: With the increase in demand for cloud services, horizontal expansion is a must. Getting multiple machines to perform consistently requires consensus. Consensus can be achieved by exchanging votes between all participating machines. This process is difficult to scale, while the alternative is to use a distributed clock. Depending on the method, distributed clocks can have different levels of precision which in return, affects the performance of the cloud services. Time Appliances Project was formed three years ago to help with the development of hardware and software as well as alignment of the datacenter industry. Time Card and Open Time server were a result of this project and paved the road for the adaption of PTP which led to a significant improvement over the performance bottleneck previously imposed by NTP. WR can provide an incremental improvement in performance over PTP by enabling distributed clocks with higher performance across the datacenter.
IEEE Standardisation: The presentation will summarise how WR was included into the IEEE1588-2019 standard as the High Accuracy Default PTP Profile. It will compare the new High Accuracy protocol with the White Rabbit protocol it was based on, and provide a road map towards using High Accuracy with existing White Rabbit hardware. The presentation will also cover other contributions of the WR community to the standard, such as standardisation of in-situ asymmetry calibration, development of an SNMP MIB to allow standardised management of devices implementing High Accuracy, or standardisation of WR-required parameters in the EEPROM of SFPs.
Distributed radiofrequency signal acquisition and synthesis along a White Rabbit network using embedded boards (Raspberry Pi4 + SPEC): White Rabbit (WR) allows for synchronizing any device on a dedicated GbE network with
sub-ns accuracy (typically 60 ps at 1s integration time) most often materialized by providing 1-PPS and 10 MHz outputs. However, practical applications for distributed coherent radiofrequency (RF) synthesis or acquisition, e.g. for a distributed RADAR requiring coherent local oscillators and synchronized sampling for Direction of Arrival measurement, must exploit the WR clocks. After demonstrating last year  the use of WR implemented on PCi SPEC boards on embedded single board computers (OEM version of the Raspberry Pi4), we discuss how the WR-synchronized clocks can be used for generating the signals needed for RF signal synthesis and acquisition, first by using external network synchronizing dedicated peripherals (ADi AD9548) and then thanks to CERN's control of the Si570 oscillator controlling the analog to digital converter of the FMC-ADC board implemented by Tomasz Włostowski. We show from phase noise measurements that the local oscillator fluctuation is the main source of instability and the phase locked loops do not add additional noise. Perspectives include merging distributed acquisition brought by the WRTD project with this PLL controlling feature to provide coherent acquisition capability.
New features in experimental phase: Disciplining Si57x oscillators and a DAC-less WR; this presentation focuses on features the WR community is currently experimenting with.