News

CERN BE-CO-HT contribution to KiCad: Support of free software in public institutions:

Added by Erik van der Bij on 16 Mar 2017 at 16:42

At the Octave conference in Geneva the presentation Support of free software in public institutions: the KiCad case will be given by Javier Serrano and Tomasz Wlostowski from CERN.

KiCad is a tool to help electronics designers develop Printed Circuit Boards (PCB). CERN's BE-CO-HT section has been contributing to its development since 2011. These efforts are framed in the context of CERN's activities regarding Open Source Hardware (OSHW), and are meant to provide an environment where design files for electronics can be shared in an efficient way, without the hurdles imposed by the use of proprietary formats.

The talk will start by providing some context about OSHW and the importance of using Free Software tools for sharing design files. We will then move on to a short KiCad tutorial, and finish with some considerations about the role public institutions can play in developing and fostering the use of Free Software, and whether some of the KiCad experience can apply in other contexts.

White Rabbit core collection: White Rabbit PTP Core v4.0 released

Added by Grzegorz Daniluk on 15 Mar 2017 at 10:33

We have just released v4.0 of the WR PTP Core. You can find all the links to download the reference designs binaries and user manual on our release wiki page

The main features and fixes you will find in this release include:
  • Re-written, debugged and simplified Mini-NIC
  • Improved synthesis time with RAM initialization
  • New platform and board HDL support packages
  • SNMP and Syslog for remote diagnostics
  • VLAN support
  • fixed 64-bit printouts for long WR links
  • option to use P2P PTP mode
  • bugfixes and documentation expanded to describe also the HDL ports and generics

Thank you for all the bug reports and contributions. As always, we encourage you to try this fresh release on your boards.

Greg Daniluk for the WR PTP Core team

White Rabbit: 23-02-2017: WR Job vacancy at CERN

Added by Erik van der Bij on 23 Feb 2017 at 13:21

CERN has opened a vacancy for a job that is very much White Rabbit related:
Electronics and networking engineer

Furthermore another, more general HDL developer job is opened:
HDL Developer

GBT-based Expandable Front-End (GEFE): The GEFE project @ RADECS16 (from 19/09/16 to 23/09/16)

Added by Manoel Barros Marin on 15 Feb 2017 at 14:26

A poster of the GEFE project has been displayed during the RADiation Effects on Components & Systems (RADECS) 2016 conference, held at Bremen from 19/09/16 to 23/09/16.

The poster can be downloaded from the "DOCUMENTS" section of this site.

GBT-based Expandable Front-End (GEFE): Radiation test results of GEFE @ RadWG meeting (07/07/16)

Added by Manoel Barros Marin on 15 Feb 2017 at 14:13

The results of the radiation test performed to the GEFE v2 at the CHARM facility at CERN have been presented during the Radiation Working Group (RadWG) meeting on the 07/07/16 at CERN

The slides of the presentation can be downloaded from the "DOCUMENTS" section of this site.

White Rabbit Switch - Software: WR Switch firmware v5.0 released

Added by Grzegorz Daniluk on 16 Dec 2016 at 12:02

The new stable release v5.0 of the WR Switch firmware comes this year as a Christmas present. As always, you can find all the links to download the firmware binaries and manuals on our release wiki page

Main features and fixes include:

  • Updated Buildroot 2016.02
  • Updated Linux kernel 3.16.38
  • Fixes to the SNMP support preventing it from crashing or not updating objects
  • Changing WR interfaces enumeration in Linux (wri1..18 instead of wr0..17) to match the ports enumeration on the front panel
  • 64-bit Tx/Rx frame counters
  • Verification of firmware checksum before updating
  • VLANs configuration in the central dot-config file
  • make menuconfig on the switch to facilitate modification of a local dot-config file
  • New timing role none to disable PTP on selected ports
  • More verbose Syslog messages in case of errors
  • new wr_mon tool - with improvements for reporting VLANs and synchronization peer
  • User-defined boot script execution for all exotic setups currently not possible with standard configuration mechanisms
  • Tools for reading and writing SFP EEPROMs
  • Advanced RTU configurations in dot-config
  • Re-written, more efficient multiport linked list in the switching core
  • Added bandwidth throttling HDL module to prevent CPU from being flooded with traffic from WR ports
  • Additional frames counter for traffic originated from Linux to WR ports
  • Improved RTU forwarding decisions to save resources and not forward Ethernet frames to ports that are down
  • White Rabbit Switch: Failures and Diagnostics - document that lists various errors that the switch may report and tries to propose possible problems that caused the Error and actions that should be taken.
You can find a list of the main features and bugfixes in the wiki pages for two subprojects: For the full list of solved issues please check:

We also advise you to read the two FAQ items [1] [2] describing minor issues you might experience when upgrading to v5.0.

Thank you for all the bug reports and contributions. As always, we encourage you to try this fresh release on your switches.

Greg Daniluk, Adam Wujek

OHR Meta Project: "High Energy Physics and Open Source engineering"

Added by Erik van der Bij on 02 Dec 2016 at 17:15

Andrea Borga from NIKHEF has presented High Energy Physics and Open Source engineering, accelerate shared knowledge at OSSHC 2016, the first edition of the yearly Open Source Software en Hardware Congres for the Benelux countries.

All the presentations (some in Dutch) can be found under the Tab Downloads.

OHR Meta Project: "Open Hardware and Collaboration"

Added by Erik van der Bij on 25 Oct 2016 at 10:24

Javier Serrano will give a Keynote presentation at the PCaPAC conference.

Open Source Hardware (OSHW) follows the lead of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and has similar goals: ensuring developers can share their work without artificial hurdles, improving quality through peer review, avoiding vendor lock-in and providing for a fair playground in which projects can thrive and accommodate contributions without compromising their long-term future. The talk will introduce OSHW and then attempt to answer a number of questions:
•What are the perceived benefits and issues of OSHW, in general and in the context of public research facilities?
•What is new with respect to FOSS?
•What makes OSHW projects succeed or fail?

The talk will use real examples of OSHW projects throughout, and will conclude with some thoughts about what the future holds in this domain.

The 11th International Workshop Personal Computers and Particle Accelerator Controls 2016 (PCaPAC) will be held by LNLS, in Campinas, Brazil. PCaPAC traditionally focuses on low-cost control systems using PC technology for control & data acquisition systems and emerging technologies.

CERN BE-CO-HT contribution to KiCad: a commitment to freedom

Added by Erik van der Bij on 14 Oct 2016 at 18:51

In his message KiCad: A commitment to freedom, Javier Serrano thanks the KiCad supporters for their generous donations through the CERN & Society Foundation.

DCES-DTRHF-SER1CH-v1 : DCES at CHEP 2016

Added by Julien Leduc on 07 Oct 2016 at 21:46

DCES will be presented in at CHEP 2016 in San Francisco during the poster session.

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