News

White Rabbit: 19-06-2017: WR Job vacancy at CERN

Added by Erik van der Bij on 19 Jun 2017 at 14:15

CERN has opened a vacancy for a job that is very much White Rabbit related, for applications which need extreme precision:
Design Engineer - Analogue electronics

sfp-plus-i2c: SaFariPark now open for public

Added by Vincent van Beveren on 29 May 2017 at 15:07

SaFariPark is not a site to book holidays on the African plains - though with additional personal funding I am willing to add that feature. It is a software tool to read and write the digital interface of SFP/SFP+ transceiver modules. Together with a device to plug in multiple (4) SFP/SFP+ modules, creatively called MultiSFP (see Figure 1), it is a versatile tool for all your SFP needs. MultiSFP and SaFariPark have been developed by Nikhef as part of the ASTERICS program, and all is open hardware/open source.


Figure 1 - MultiSFP front panel

MultiSFP supports a 10 Gigabit capable connection to the electrical interface of each SFP. Via one USB port each SFP I2C bus can be exercised using SaFariPark. The software main window (Figure 2) exposes most functionality, which are:
  • Editing of individual fields in the SFP module
  • Fixing corrupted SFP EEPROM data, recalculating checksums
  • Showing and saving SFP+ sensor data such as TX/RX power and temperature.
  • Selectively copying content of one SFP module to multiple other modules
  • Laser tuning of optical SFP+ modules


Figure 2 - Main window of SaFariPark

Apart from this SaFariPark allows you to dump the entire EEPROM content, and extend the SFP+ EEPROM data dictionary with custom fields using XML. This enables users to add fields for custom or exotic SFP+ modules. As the software is written Java, it has been verified to work on Linux and Windows. Mac has not been tested yet.

More information can be found here: Also see:

Hdlmake: HDLMake version 3.0 promoted to Master

Added by Javier D. Garcia-Lasheras on 26 May 2017 at 13:35

HDLMake 3.0

After a massive refactoring & upgrade process, we have finally published the brand-new HDLMake 3.0 version. This version not only sports a whole set of new features, but has been carefully crafted so that the source code providing a common interface for the growing set of supported tools can be easily maintained.

New Features

These are some of the highlighted features for the new HDLMake v3.0 Release:

  • Updated HDL code parser and solver: the new release includes by default the usage of an embedded HDL code parser and file dependency solver to manage the synthesis and simulation process in an optimal way.
  • Support for Python 3.x: the new release supports both Python2.7 and Python3.x deployments in a single source code branch, enabling an easier integration into newer O.S. distributions.
  • Native support for Linux & Windows shells: The new release not only supports Linux shells as the previous ones, but features native support too for Windows shells such as the classic CMD promt or the new PowerShell.
  • TCL based Makefiles: in order to streamline the process of supporting as many tools as possible in a hierarchical way, in a changing world and rapidly evolving world of FPGA technology and tool providers, we have adopted TCL as the common language layer used by the generated synthesis Makefiles.
  • Proper packaging: from the HDLMake 3.0 onwards, the source code is distributed as a Python package, what allows for a much cleaner installation procedure.

More info

You can find more info about the HDLMake 3.0 version in the following links:

Yet Another Micro-controller: YAM first release at OHR

Added by Christian Herve on 23 May 2017 at 08:41

YAM release V1.4 is now available from CERN OHR.

The core has been already used in a number of designs at ESRF .

However there is still some pending work.
  • The co-processors have not been fully tested yet.
  • The yamasm assembler doesn't yet support the 3-operand implementation.

White Rabbit: 26-04-2017: WR Job vacancy at OPNT - NL

Added by Erik van der Bij on 26 Apr 2017 at 12:11

OPNT in The Netherlands has opened a vacancy for a job that is very much White Rabbit related:
R&D Manager with profile: Time&Frequency, Network synchronization, PTP White Rabbit

White Rabbit: 18-04-17: clean that fibre and SFP!

Added by Erik van der Bij on 18 Apr 2017 at 17:49

The White Rabbit team at CERN organised a short course about fibre-optic cleaning and inspection.

A special fibre inspection microscope that automatically analyses the image to decide if a cable or SFP passes or fails the norms was demonstrated.
The images of some of the often-used cables and SFP modules that we picked from the development lab, showed clearly traces of grease and dust.

The course showed undoubtedly that fibres should always be inspected and that in almost all cases they should be cleaned before plugging in.
One should not forget to inspect and clean the SFP side either!

The slides of this Fibre Cleaning and Inspection course are available via the OHWR Electronics Design project.

Thanks to Amin Shoaie from CERN's EN-EL group for making this course available.
Note that this course and the practical exercises will be repeated at CERN in the last week of April. Please contact us if you are interested.

Click on image to see the course (pdf, 711kB)

White Rabbit: Tutorial at ICALEPCS conference in October

Added by Erik van der Bij on 30 Mar 2017 at 13:59

The ICALEPCS organizing committee will organize a pre-conference workshop on WR in Barcelona in October.

We intend to make this more of a "WR tutorial." and we think there will be something to learn and discuss for everybody: newcomers, casual users and even experts.

Online registration will open on April 17. Registration for the workshop is independent of registration to the conference. If you register, it will be a great pleasure to see you there. Also, please send me comments on the program if you have any. We still have a bit of freedom to change it if need be.

And of course, please forward this to any other people you think could be interested!

Javier

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.

Access to the presentation: Support of free software in public institutions: the KiCad case

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

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