Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Technologies for Picosecond Timing and Synchronization
T.F.Debelle, T.F.Debelle* (National Instruments)
Accurate timing is a key aspect of large physics experiments. More and more, Commercial-Off-The Shelf (COTS) technologies are used to provide synchronization down to a few picoseconds. This approach allows a wide selection of equipment, offers a high level of flexibility, and guarantees a smooth evolution as new technologies become available. For example, Greenfield Technology proposes a picosecond timing system that provides several hundred triggers to equipments distributed over an area of thousands of square meters within a resolution of 1 ps and low jitter < 15 ps. This system is built around a central oscillator transmitter which delivers a serial data stream over an optical network to manage delay generator triggering and time base. By combining this distributed timing system and the clock and triggering synchronization features of the PXI backplane, high speed instruments, such as digitizers, can also be synchronized with picoseconds accuracy to guarantee the best measurement quality. Due to the fact that all of these timing features are built into the backplane of the PXI chassis, the need for cumbersome cabling is drastically reduced.