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ATCA/xTCA-based hardware for control and data acquisition on Nuclear Fusion fast control plant systems

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7 Author(s)
Correia, M. ; Lab. Associado, Univ. Tec. de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal ; Sousa, J. ; Rodrigues, A.P. ; Batista, A.J.N.
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In contemporary control and data acquisition systems for Nuclear Fusion devices, the galloping need for high channel density and real-time multi-input-multi-output (MIMO) support gave rise to a new generation of hardware architecture based on the Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture (ATCA) specification. In addition, ATCA successfully delivered solutions in other sensitive issues such as form-factor component area, power dissipation and redundancy, complying with the high complexity and security required for such systems. Experience has showed, however, that due to its aforementioned complexity, such hardware devices can yield to a lengthy development. Furthermore, the ATCA specification is, as yet, somewhat undefined for instrumentation applications, more so within the specificities of Plasma Physics applied devices. The entitled “xTCA” specification is currently being developed for those purposes. Based on the ATCA itself, it will define new functionalities that standardize and facilitate hardware development for device operation in a Fusion control plant environment - most notably, dedicated timing and input-output (IO) port assignment on the Rear Transition Module (RTM). The prototype hereby presented is an xTCA Peripheral Component Interface (PCIe) switch Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) carrier blade. The device serves as a hub, as to control and handle I/O data from its parent nodes existing within the same xTCA shelf through its proprietary fabric channels in dual-star topology. Parent node blades, under development, are equally linked through xTCA's agnostic fabric in full-mesh topology, as to attain system MIMO functionality from all I/O endpoints. The switch blade carries up to four AMC modules, adding up to modularity and versatility. This allows for a much more independent and speedier hardware development, as dedicated AMC modules, such as data processing and storage devices, can be simultaneously projected. Commercial off-t he-shelf (COTS) AMC products are readily available and may also be immediately integrated in the system.

Published in:

Real Time Conference (RT), 2010 17th IEEE-NPSS

Date of Conference:

24-28 May 2010