Utilizing FPGAs for data acquisition at high data rates

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Elektroniska komponenter

Abstract:

The aim of this thesis was to configure an FPGA with high speed ports to capture data from a prototype 4 bit ΣΔ analogue-to-digital converter sending data at a rate of 2.4 Gbps in four channels and to develop a protocol for transferring the data to a PC for analysis. Data arriving in the four channels should be sorted into 4 bit words with one bit taken successively from each of the channels. A requirement on the data transfer was that the data in the four channels should arrive synchronously to the FPGA. A Virtex-5 FPGA on a LT110X platform was used with RocketTMIO GPT transceivers tightly integrated with the FPGA logic. Since the actual DUT (Device Under Test) was not in place during the work, the transceivers of the FPGA were used for both sending and receiving data. The transmission was shown to be successful for both eight and ten bit data widths. At this stage a small skew between the data in the four channels was observed. This was solved by storing the information in separate memories, one for each of the channels, to make possible to later form the 4 bit words in the PC (MatLab). The memories were two port FIFOs writing in data at 240 MHz (10 bit data width) or 300 MHz (8 bit data width) and read out at 50 MHz.

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