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Title: A novel digital pulse processing architecture for nuclear instrumentation

Abstract

The field of nuclear instrumentation covers a wide range of applications, including counting, spectrometry, pulse shape discrimination and multi-channel coincidence. These applications are the topic of many researches, new algorithms and implementations are constantly proposed thanks to advances in digital signal processing. However, these improvements are not yet implemented in instrumentation devices. This is especially true for neutron-gamma discrimination applications which traditionally use charge comparison method while literature proposes other algorithms based on frequency domain or wavelet theory which show better performances. Another example is pileups which are generally rejected while pileup correction algorithms also exist. These processes are traditionally performed offline due to two issues. The first is the Poissonian characteristic of the signal, composed of random arrival pulses which requires to current architectures to work in data flow. The second is the real-time requirement, which implies losing pulses when the pulse rate is too high. Despite the possibility of treating the pulses independently from each other, current architectures paralyze the acquisition of the signal during the processing of a pulse. This loss is called dead-time. These two issues have led current architectures to use dedicated solutions based on re-configurable components like Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) to overcomemore » the need of performance necessary to deal with dead-time. However, dedicated hardware algorithm implementations on re-configurable technologies are complex and time-consuming. For all these reasons, a programmable Digital pulse Processing (DPP) architecture in a high level language such as Cor C++ which can reduce dead-time would be worthwhile for nuclear instrumentation. This would reduce prototyping and test duration by reducing the level of hardware expertise to implement new algorithms. However, today's programmable solutions do not meet the need of performance to operate online and not allow scaling with the increase in the number of measurement channel. That is why an innovative DPP architecture is proposed in this paper. This architecture is able to overcome dead-time while being programmable and is flexible with the number of measurement channel. Proposed architecture is based on an innovative execution model for pulse processing applications which can be summarized as follow. The signal is not composed of pulses only, consequently, pulses processing does not have to operate on the entire signal. Therefore, the first step of our proposal is pulse extraction by the use of dedicated components named pulse extractors. The triggering step can be achieved after the analog-to-digital conversion without any signal shaping or filtering stages. Pileup detection and accurate pulse time stamping are done at this stage. Any application downstream this step can work on adaptive variable-sized array of samples simplifying pulse processing methods. Then, once the data flow is broken, it is possible to distribute pulses on Functional Units (FUs) which perform processing. As the date of each pulse is known, they can be processed individually out-of-order to provide the results. To manage the pulses distribution, a scheduler and an interconnection network are used. pulses are distributed on the first FU which is not busy without congesting the interconnection network. For this reason, the process duration does not result anymore in dead-time if there are enough FUs. FUs are designed to be standalone and to comprises at least a programmable general purpose processor (ARM, Microblaze) allowing the implementation of complex algorithms without any modification of the hardware. An acquisition chain is composed of a succession of algorithms which lead to organize our FUs as a software macro-pipeline, A simple approach consists in assigning one algorithm per FU. Consequently, the global latency becomes the worst latency of algorithms execution on FU. Moreover, as algorithms are executed locally - i.e. on a FU - this approach limits shared memory requirement. To handle multichannel, we propose FUs sharing, this approach maximize the chance to find a non-busy FU to process an incoming pulse. This is possible since each channel receive random event independently, the pulse extractors associated to them do not necessarily need to access simultaneously to all Computing resources at the same time to distribute their pulses. The major contribution of this paper is the proposition of an execution model and its associated hardware programmable architecture for digital pulse processing that can handle multiple acquisition channels while maintaining the scalability thanks to the use of shared resources. This execution model and associated architecture are validated by simulation of a cycle accurate architecture SystemC model. Proposed architecture shows promising results in terms of scalability while maintaining zero dead-time. This work also permit the sizing of hardware resources requirement required for a predefined set of applications. Future work will focus on the interconnection network and a scheduling policy that can exploit the variable-length of pulses. Then, the hardware implementation of this architecture will be performed and tested for a representative set of application.« less

Authors:
; ;  [1];  [2]
  1. CEA, LIST - Laboratoire Capteurs et Architectures electroniques, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, (France)
  2. CNRS, Universite de Bourgogne - Laboratoire d'Etude de l'Apprentissage et du Developpement, 21000 DIJON, (France)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - IEEE, 3 Park Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10016-5997 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22531240
Report Number(s):
ANIMMA-2015-IO-187
TRN: US16V0287102181
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: ANIMMA 2015: 4. International Conference on Advancements in Nuclear Instrumentation Measurement Methods and their Applications, Lisboa (Portugal), 20-24 Apr 2015; Other Information: Country of input: France; 8 Refs.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; ALGORITHMS; ANALOG-TO-DIGITAL CONVERTERS; COINCIDENCE CIRCUITS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DATA ACQUISITION SYSTEMS; DATA PROCESSING; DEAD TIME; DESIGN; GAMMA DETECTION; NEUTRON DETECTION; PARTICLE DISCRIMINATION; PULSE DISCRIMINATORS; PULSE SHAPERS; REAL TIME SYSTEMS; SIGNALS

Citation Formats

Moline, Yoann, Thevenin, Mathieu, Corre, Gwenole, and Paindavoine, Michel. A novel digital pulse processing architecture for nuclear instrumentation. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1109/ANIMMA.2015.7465559.
Moline, Yoann, Thevenin, Mathieu, Corre, Gwenole, & Paindavoine, Michel. A novel digital pulse processing architecture for nuclear instrumentation. United States. doi:10.1109/ANIMMA.2015.7465559.
Moline, Yoann, Thevenin, Mathieu, Corre, Gwenole, and Paindavoine, Michel. Wed . "A novel digital pulse processing architecture for nuclear instrumentation". United States. doi:10.1109/ANIMMA.2015.7465559.
@article{osti_22531240,
title = {A novel digital pulse processing architecture for nuclear instrumentation},
author = {Moline, Yoann and Thevenin, Mathieu and Corre, Gwenole and Paindavoine, Michel},
abstractNote = {The field of nuclear instrumentation covers a wide range of applications, including counting, spectrometry, pulse shape discrimination and multi-channel coincidence. These applications are the topic of many researches, new algorithms and implementations are constantly proposed thanks to advances in digital signal processing. However, these improvements are not yet implemented in instrumentation devices. This is especially true for neutron-gamma discrimination applications which traditionally use charge comparison method while literature proposes other algorithms based on frequency domain or wavelet theory which show better performances. Another example is pileups which are generally rejected while pileup correction algorithms also exist. These processes are traditionally performed offline due to two issues. The first is the Poissonian characteristic of the signal, composed of random arrival pulses which requires to current architectures to work in data flow. The second is the real-time requirement, which implies losing pulses when the pulse rate is too high. Despite the possibility of treating the pulses independently from each other, current architectures paralyze the acquisition of the signal during the processing of a pulse. This loss is called dead-time. These two issues have led current architectures to use dedicated solutions based on re-configurable components like Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) to overcome the need of performance necessary to deal with dead-time. However, dedicated hardware algorithm implementations on re-configurable technologies are complex and time-consuming. For all these reasons, a programmable Digital pulse Processing (DPP) architecture in a high level language such as Cor C++ which can reduce dead-time would be worthwhile for nuclear instrumentation. This would reduce prototyping and test duration by reducing the level of hardware expertise to implement new algorithms. However, today's programmable solutions do not meet the need of performance to operate online and not allow scaling with the increase in the number of measurement channel. That is why an innovative DPP architecture is proposed in this paper. This architecture is able to overcome dead-time while being programmable and is flexible with the number of measurement channel. Proposed architecture is based on an innovative execution model for pulse processing applications which can be summarized as follow. The signal is not composed of pulses only, consequently, pulses processing does not have to operate on the entire signal. Therefore, the first step of our proposal is pulse extraction by the use of dedicated components named pulse extractors. The triggering step can be achieved after the analog-to-digital conversion without any signal shaping or filtering stages. Pileup detection and accurate pulse time stamping are done at this stage. Any application downstream this step can work on adaptive variable-sized array of samples simplifying pulse processing methods. Then, once the data flow is broken, it is possible to distribute pulses on Functional Units (FUs) which perform processing. As the date of each pulse is known, they can be processed individually out-of-order to provide the results. To manage the pulses distribution, a scheduler and an interconnection network are used. pulses are distributed on the first FU which is not busy without congesting the interconnection network. For this reason, the process duration does not result anymore in dead-time if there are enough FUs. FUs are designed to be standalone and to comprises at least a programmable general purpose processor (ARM, Microblaze) allowing the implementation of complex algorithms without any modification of the hardware. An acquisition chain is composed of a succession of algorithms which lead to organize our FUs as a software macro-pipeline, A simple approach consists in assigning one algorithm per FU. Consequently, the global latency becomes the worst latency of algorithms execution on FU. Moreover, as algorithms are executed locally - i.e. on a FU - this approach limits shared memory requirement. To handle multichannel, we propose FUs sharing, this approach maximize the chance to find a non-busy FU to process an incoming pulse. This is possible since each channel receive random event independently, the pulse extractors associated to them do not necessarily need to access simultaneously to all Computing resources at the same time to distribute their pulses. The major contribution of this paper is the proposition of an execution model and its associated hardware programmable architecture for digital pulse processing that can handle multiple acquisition channels while maintaining the scalability thanks to the use of shared resources. This execution model and associated architecture are validated by simulation of a cycle accurate architecture SystemC model. Proposed architecture shows promising results in terms of scalability while maintaining zero dead-time. This work also permit the sizing of hardware resources requirement required for a predefined set of applications. Future work will focus on the interconnection network and a scheduling policy that can exploit the variable-length of pulses. Then, the hardware implementation of this architecture will be performed and tested for a representative set of application.},
doi = {10.1109/ANIMMA.2015.7465559},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {7}
}

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