Applications of Field-Programmable Gate Arrays in Scientific Research: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Applications of Field-Programmable Gate Arrays in Scientific Research

1st Edition

By Hartmut F.-W. Sadrozinski, Jinyuan Wu

CRC Press

172 pages | 2 Color Illus. | 91 B/W Illus.

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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.

Table of Contents


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



References appear at the end of each chapter.

About the Authors

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Microprocessors
SCIENCE / Physics
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Electronics / Microelectronics