The White Rabbit technology is an extension of Ethernet. It provides sub-nanosecond synchronization over 1G Ethernet networks with timing and data transfers among its different elements. The solution is part of the White Rabbit (WR) Project which is lead by CERN and follows an “Open Hardware” strategy.
White-Rabbit based Timing System
Seven Solutions offert a Timing System specifically designed for Particle Accelerators. Our solutions includes the following main elements:
– Low jitter Master oscillator with possibility of integration with GNSS receivers for alignment to UTC(k) scales and resiliency options for high availability systems.
– Time transfer and low jitter frequency dissemination based on White-Rabbit devices. Thanks to using Ethernet technology, the same timing network can be used for any kind of data distribution using the same White-Rabbit network. The solution is scalable to thousands of nodes and tens of kilometers distances.
– User-configurable programmable triggers with up to subnanosecond accuracy.
– Fast critical commands for immediate Low-latency triggers distribution.
– User-configurable event timestamping with up to 40 ps precision.
– Low level user-libraries as well as EPICS support.
– Additional deterministic network capabilities, interoperability with other timing network protocols and integration with high-speed ADC/DAC devices is possible.
The Timing System here developed is based on the paradigm of Time-Triggering Control as an alternative to other Timing systems based on Event-triggering control framework. The event-based approach was the preferred solution in the past due to the lack of dependable and deterministic time transfer technologies. Now thanks to the White-Rabbit technology, a paradigm shift is possible, making available a much more feature-rich, flexible and higher performance Timing Systems for the next generation of most advanced Particle Accelerators.
Why choosing the White Rabbit Solution?
Our Timing System is based on White-Rabbit as the best design choice. Other solutions that bring precise timing and high synchronization already exist in the market, but most of them are limited in performance or flexibility or they use complex ad-hoc elements with poor support or availability. We believe that White Rabbit Solution is the best investment for a long term approach thanks to the following features:
The WR devices are powered by FPGAs, therefore their hardware can be easily reprogrammed to be up to date.
The WR protocol was conceived by CERN, one of the best scientific institutions in the domain of research, and it actively collaborates in the design of the OHWR products we manufacture. The implication of CERN consolidates the durability and the quality of the whole solution.
All the elements in the White Rabbit Solution are designed to be as modular as possible in order to reduce the cost of maintenance and upgrade.
It allows a hybrid network: the WR Switch can be used as a normal switch to connect directly to your PC in order to be quickly linked in the network. If you do not need the specific features of WR protocol, you do not need to use a specific network card. You can also use only the PTP features of the WR devices if you only need millisecond accuracy.
The WR devices are compliant with the IEEE-1588-2019 High Accuracy profiel. By simply firmware upgrade you can use a fully standardized device, avoiding interoperability issues and granting future upgrades.
Seven Solutions offer a full product ecosystem, including modular devices based on the ZEN family & low-cost equipment such as LEN. Thanks to our engineering team and our support capabilities, we can help you to deploy and customize the network, achieving the best Timing System for your facility.
The following example shows how our Timing System can be developed using White Rabbit solution as backbone technology to provide a shared notion of time to all the devices in the network and make it possible to develop a time-triggering control system. The elements are the following:
Common clock in the entire network is provided from a GNSS receiver and distributed using a data & timing network based on White-Rabbit switches.
Different nodes (ZEN, SPECs, etc…) are powered with different FMC cards for triggering and/or timestamping operations.
The Timing systems also distribute frequency with low jitter for ADCs and DAC devices distributed into the network. Their data can be read / write using the same timing network and standard Ethernet devices can be connected to retrieve such information for later processing and analysis.
All the elements are programmed using friendly user-libraries and EPIC framework in order to configure the Timing System to generate the triggering signals or capture the timestamps events.