NGC is a modular system for IR detector and CCD readout with a backend and a basic front-end containing a complete four channel system on one card. In future additional boards like multi-channel ADC units, routers and interfaces for applications like interferometry and adaptive optics are foreseen (see Fig. 1).
There is no processor or parallel inter-module data bus on the front-end side. Advanced FPGA (VirtexPro 2VP7 ) link technology is used to replace conventional logic. The back- and front-ends are connected by fibers with high speed links (2.5 GBit/s). The modules inside the front-end are connected with high speed copper links (2.5 GBit/s). The links are derived from the Rocket I/O transceivers of the VirtexPro chip. The data rate on one channel between front and back-ends is ~200 MByte/s. The module functions on the boards are addressed directly from the FPGA without glue logic. Results are minimum disturbance for the anticipated low noise operation on the low level detector signals, small size and low power consumption. The power consumption of the basic front-end is less than 10 Watts (excluding power supply). Thus the front-end system does not require big cooling boxes.
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