Introduction to dfeware
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Yurii Maravin, FNAL. Introduction to DFEWare. 11/13/02. To start : on d0ol43 execute from d0cft home area: setup d0online setup dfe_ware dfe_ware &. Digital Front End Board MIL-STD-1553 Interface for SciFi detector electronics :

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Introduction to dfeware

Yurii Maravin, FNAL

Introduction to DFEWare


To start: on d0ol43 execute from d0cft home area:

setup d0online setup dfe_ware dfe_ware &

Digital Front End Board MIL-STD-1553 Interface for SciFi detector electronics:

Python package provides a GUI interface to the DFE Controller boards using EPICS and the VxWorks Online Control Processors.

Ctt organization
CTT Organization

  • > 100 DFE boards

  • > 102 DFE Firmware files

What we want is a remote, fast and reliable access to DFE boards

  • Initialization of DFE boards with a proper firmware.

  • Monitoring DFE boards.

  • Diagnosing and resolving problems.

Control of dfe boards
Control of DFE boards

DFE subrack

DFE Controller




DFE Board

Compact Flash Card

  • DFEC: download configuration files to the DFE devices

    • control up to 20 boards, up to 16 devices each

  • Compact Flash Card: very robust memory device to store configuration files

  • Communication to DFEC is done by MIL-STD-1553

  • Mil std 1553

    • MIL-STD-1553, or usually just 1553, is the protocol DØ uses to communicate with DFE controllers

      (as well as communications with sequencer controllers, VRBCs, Vicors [power supplies], and AFE crates).

    Dfeware gui interface to dfecs
    DFEWare – GUI Interface to DFECs

    • Downloads of Firmware files to the DFEC Compact Flash Memory via 1553

      • Online database of firmware files (2.3 Gb)

      • DFE configuration files

  • Initialization of Firmware in the FPGA Devices of the DFE Boards

  • Monitoring of all DFE Devices

  • Diagnostics and checks of DFE components.

  • Dfec panels
    DFEC Panels

    DFEC_XXXX_X_1 naming:

    • PC03: DFEA

    • PC19: DFES/DFEF

    • PC20: FPTT/FPSS

    • PC04: MIXR

    • PW03_1: STOV/STSX

    • PW03_2: CTOC/CTQD/CTTT

    • PT: Combined test stand

    Next slide!

    Dfec status
    DFEC Status




    Controller can be found only in three states:

    Dfec status1
    DFEC Status

    • DFEC Status:

    • should be mostlyIdle (Busy)

    • if Halt then DFEC is in error state. Specific error will be given here:

    • CMR: command error

    • DTE: DFEC-DFE communication error

    • CFR: Compact Flash Card (CFC) error

    • FNF: File not found in the CFC

    • FUL: No left space in the CFC

    Dfec controls
    DFEC Controls

    Right click to access DFEC commands:

    • Update status – updates DFEC status

    • Download – downloads firmware to the DFEC CFC

      • do not use unless you are an expert!

    • Clear DFEC Error – recovers DFEC from error status

    Dfec controls cont
    DFEC Controls (cont.)

    View boards: permits to get standard status information of all DFE boards attached to the DFE Controller

    “At A Glance” will display initialization status of DFE boards

    “In Detail” will display more detailed information.

    Dfec controls cont1
    DFEC Controls (cont.)

    DFE status Color code:

    • Initialized

    • Not initialized

    • Cannot access

    “At A Glance” view:

    DFE boards

    Dfec controls cont2
    DFEC Controls (cont.)

    You can click on each DFE panel to get DFE detailed view:

    Slow monitor userbits information: important byte for DFE diagnostics

    Right click on the panel will let you execute more advanced DFEC commands (Please do not do that unless you are an expert!):

    Dfec controls cont3
    DFEC Controls (cont.)

    You can get DFE detailed status info for every DFE boards by selecting “In Detail” view:

    Dfe initialization status
    DFE Initialization status

    Click here:

    DFE status Color code:

    • Initialized

    • Not initialized

    • Cannot access

    To initialize all dfe boards on a crate
    To initialize all DFE boards on a crate:

    • Select “Initialize all boards” from the menu

      • do not use unless you are an expert!


    If firmware is being downloaded to the DFEC CFC via 1553, this LED will blink!

    In the past, DFE firmware downloads (or any heavy DFEWare 1553 traffic) resulted in unsuccessful downloads of AFE crates x50-x53!

    Thus: experts who decide to download firmware via 1553 must coordinate their efforts with CFT shifters!

    Dfec controls summary
    DFEC Controls Summary:

    • DFEC Status

      • Recover from DFEC from “Halted” status

    • Access DFE initialization status:

      • Via “DFE Status” tab

      • Via “View boards/At a Glance”

    • Initialize all DFE boards if DFE crate lost power

      • Via “Advanced/Initialize all boards”

    • Access DFE slow monitor userbits information

    Dfe monitoring tools dfeamonitor
    DFE Monitoring tools: DFEAMonitor

    Select from menu Monitoring, then DFEA Status Info:

    • Extensive DFEA information for each of 80 sectors:

    • Track found information

    • Control bits information:

      • L1Accept

      • Sync gap checks

    By clicking on each particular trigger sector, one can access more detailed info here:

    Dfe monitoring tools dfeamonitor1
    DFE Monitoring tools: DFEAMonitor

    Yellow color corresponds to changes in running conditions.

    For example: DFEAMonitor when run is paused (L1Accept is off):

    Press “Reset DFEA Monitor” to clear the display.

    Dfe monitoring tools ctocmonitor
    DFE Monitoring tools: CTOCMonitor

    CTOC Monitor is done similar to DFEAMonitor:

    Dfe diagnostic tools
    DFE Diagnostic tools

    DFEWare has a number of different diagnostic tools.

    Here is described a tool to check the status control bits that are transmitted from AFE boards to MIXR boards:

    Select “Diagnostics” from menu

    Select AFE->MIXR tests

    Select “Display AFE-Mixer Link/SYNC bits”

    Please do not run any other diagnostic tools unless you are an expert!


    DFEWare is a robust tool to configure, monitor and control SciFi DFE boards.

    Full, detailed information on DFEWare and firmware database is coming…