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The ITER control, data access and communication (CODAC) design team identified the need for two types of plant systems. A slow control plant system is based on industrial automation technology with maximum sampling rates below 100 Hz, and a fast control plant system is based on embedded technology with higher sampling rates and more stringent real-time requirements than that required for slow controllers. The latter is applicable to diagnostics and plant systems in closed-control loops whose cycle times are below 1 ms. Fast controllers will be dedicated industrial controllers with the ability to supervise other fast and/or slow controllers, interface to actuators and sensors and, if necessary, high performance networks. Two prototypes of a fast plant system controller specialized for data acquisition and constrained by ITER technological choices are being built using two different form factors. This prototyping activity contributes to the Plant Control Design Handbook effort of standardization, specifically regarding fast controller characteristics. Envisaging a general purpose fast controller design, diagnostic use cases with specific requirements were analyzed and will be presented along with the interface with CODAC and sensors. The requirements and constraints that real-time plasma control imposes on the design were also taken into consideration. Functional specifications and technology neutral architecture, together with its implications on the engineering design, were considered. The detailed engineering design compliant with ITER standards was performed and will be discussed in detail. Emphasis will be given to the integration of the controller in the standard CODAC environment. Requirements for the EPICS IOC providing the interface to the outside world, the prototype decisions on form factor, real-time operating system, and high-performance networks will also be discussed, as well as the requirements for data streaming to CODAC for visualization and archivin- - g.