Seven Solutions
White Rabbit Project
Español English

Science needs distributed tools and instrumentation able to accurately measure in different locations at the same time. Following an Open Hardware strategy that allows integration of design efforts of different partners, White Rabbit is the best solution for your institution.

Synchronization in industry can be the key for global acquisition and control mechanisms, instead of local loops. White Rabbit Solution is a flexible and high-tech solution designed to easily solve these problems.

Finance is a place where quick decisions have tremendous impact. White Rabbit offers an efficient solution for low latency trading and fast decision making providing global and synchronous acquisitions of market estimations.

Science Industry Finance

< > ||

What is the White Rabbit Solution ?

It provides an extension to Ethernet network with Gigabit data transfers and accurate synchronization among its different elements.
The solution is part of the White Rabbit (WR) Project which is lead by CERN and follows an “Open Hardware” strategy. By installing a WR network you can expect:
  • Time Precision

    Provides a common clock for physical layer in the entire network, allowing a nanosecond synchronization accuracy and 20 picosecond jitter time.
  • Scalability

    The WR network is designed to be highly scalable with up to thousands of nodes. It also intents to be as modular as possible and compatible with non-WR devices.
  • Distance Range

    In order to handle the majority of industrial and scientific facilities, the WR network is designed to support distance ranges of 10 km using fiber cables.
Other important features are:
  • Deterministic


    Ensures that all the Ethernet frames sent are delivered at least after a fixed delay (controlled latency). The order of the frames should be preserved.
  • Dynamic


    White Rabbit Protocol provides a dynamic solution to carry on the synchronization over time by adapting its configuration along with the surrounding conditions (e.g. temperature, humidity, etc.). It also allows a transparent approach to add or remove nodes by implementing an automatic reconfiguration of its network topology.
  • Standards


    The solution is transparent to the user and it is built over open, well known, and standard protocols: Precision Time Protocol (IEEE1588) + Synchronous Ethernet (Sync-E)
  • Robustness


    It can ensure the robustness of the transmission inside the WR network even if some switches crashed or some frames are corrupted.

How does it work?

The White Rabbit Solution is an enhanced Ethernet network with specific switches and nodes that provide the WR features. Fiber or copper cables can be used to connect and synchronize up to thousands of nodes with sub-ns accuracy over up to 10kms.

Analog to Digital Converter (ADC)

The ADC is an FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) that can convert a continuous quantity (analog signal) to a discrete time digital (digital number).

> More info

Direct Digital Synthesizer (DDS)

The DDS is an FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) that can synthesize arbitrary waveforms from a low jitter clock generator.

> More info

Time to Digital Converter (TDC)

The TDC is an FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) with a Time to Digital Converter chip to perform one-shot sub-nanosecond time interval measurements.

> More info

White Rabbit Node

A White Rabbit Node consist of the union with a SPEC (Carrier) and an FMC (Mezzanine) cards where SPEC is the master card connected to the White Rabbit network.

FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC)

FMC is an ANSI/VITA standard (ANSI/VITA 57.1-2008) that defines I/O mezzanine modules with connection to an FPGA or other device with reconfigurable I/O capability.

> More info

Simple FMC PCIe Carrier (SPEC)

The Simple FMC PCIe Carrier (SPEC) is a carrier board that can hold one FMC card and is connected through a White Rabbit network using a SFP connector.

> More info

White Rabbit Switch

It is a Modular switch board that provides high synchronization performance through the WR networks .

> More info

GPS/Cesium Clock

A reference clock that will be transmitted to the whole system. It is common to use GPS receptor or Cesium clock that output a 10MHz & PPS signals

> More info

Application example:

The White Rabbit solution can emulate a distributed instrumentation such as an oscilloscope:
  • Common clock in the entire network: no skew between ADCs
  • Ability to sample with different clocks via Distributed DDS
  • External triggers can be time tagged with a TDC and used to reconstruct the original time base in the Operator's PC.

Technical details:

For more technical details about the White Rabbit Project you can checkout:

The White Rabbit Switch Board

A modular switch board that provides high synchronization performance through the WR networks

Features

The FPGA is a Virtex-6

The Virtex-6 Family comes with internal and deterministic transceivers (GTx) that allow the switch to perform high-speed data management (higher bandwidth and performance).


ARM Processor

The switch includes an ARM from Amtel to boost the software development and ease the firmware upgrade. Its an ARM-9 with a 400MHz clock and it is connected to the FPGA through the 32-bits EBI1 bus.

Precise Time Protocol (PTP)

A synchronization with a microsecond accuracy may be enough for some applications (i.e. industry). As the WR switch is built over the PTPv2 protocol (IEEE 1588-2008) it is perfectly compatible with other PTPv2 devices, e.g. network card, switch, ...

Switch Management

It can handle the most advanced switch protocols (including White Rabbit Protocol) such as: SNMP, IEEE1588, IEEE 802.1Q (IEEE 802.1w, IEEE 802.1s), VLAN Tagging, etc.

Standalone Switch

The switch exists in a standalone version by using a mini back plane interface. It comes with 18 SFPs* (Optic Fiber) connectors to use the WR gigabit connections. To facilitate the management for the administrator it also comes with RS-232 and USB ports.

(*) A version with 8 SFPs also exists.

uTCA Rack connection**

The MicroTCA (uTCA) standard is targeted at supplying a chassis that will allow to easily interconnect different uTCA cards between them. The switch can therefore be connected directly to its different nodes in the same RACK to improve the maintenance and the space of your installation.

(**) Future development

The Carrier Board: SPEC

The Simple FMC PCIe Carrier (SPEC) is a carrier board that can hold one FMC card and is connected through a White Rabbit Port using a connector.

Features

Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA

The uses of Spartan®-6 FPGA delivers an optimal balance of low risk, low cost, and low power. It offers up to 150K logic cells, 250MHz DSP slices, and 3.2Gbps low-power transceivers.

PCIe Interface

The PCIe, with its 4-lane interface, eases the communications with the PC and allows the following tasks: debugging, configuration of the FMCs, access to the elements of WR network, etc...

FMC Connector

The FMC slot, with a low-pin count connector, is mounted to optimize cost and usability.
It is compatible with most of the FPGA Mezzanine Cards (FMCs) designed within the OHWR project such as ADC cards, Fine Delay, TDCs, DACs, digital I/O.

For more information you can contact us: info@sevensols.com.

The FMCs Mezzanines Boards

The FMCs mezzanine boards provides the front-end to your equipments and each one is specific to a proper application.

FMC DIO (Digital I/0 5Ch)

The fmc-dio-5chttla 5-channel digital I/O module is a simple board for digital I/O on LEMO connectors. It has been designed for testing White Rabbit functionality as part of the SPEC Demonstration Package for White Rabbit, and it can be used for other general purpose applications too.

Technical specifications
  • 5 input/output ports (Lemo 00 connectors)
  • Output levels: LVTTL (+3.3 V over a 50Ω load).
  • Input levels: Logic standard (Vih = [1-5]V)
  • Output Rise/fall times: max. 2 ns
FMC TDC (Time to Digital Converter - 5ch)

An FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) with a Time to Digital Converter chip to perform one-shot sub-nanosecond time interval measurements.

Technical specifications
  • 5 inputs, TTL (selectable 50Ω termination).
  • LEMO 00 connectors for all inputs.
  • External inputs need to be protected against +15V pulses with a pulse width of at least 10us@50Hz.
  • Time tags apply to rising edges of inputs.
FMC DEL (Fine Delay 1ns - 4ch)

An FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) created to produce pulses delayed by a user-programmed value with respect to the input trigger pulse. It has 4 output channels and one input trigger. The delay from the trigger input to each of the outputs can be set independently in a range from 600 ns to 120 seconds with a trigger-to-output jitter of 80ps rms.

Technical specifications
  • LEMO 00 connectors for all input/outputs.
  • FMC mezzanine using a Low Pin Count (LPC) connector.
  • 4Ch TTL outputs: capable of driving a 50Ω load
  • 1Ch Trigger. TTL/LVTTL3.3 (selectable 2/50Ω termination)
  • Timing: +/- 2.5 ppm on-board oscillator accuracy,
    or WR master oscillator accuracy

The Starting Kit: SPEC & FMC-DIO

The Starting Kit has been designed to ease the process to enter inside the "White Rabbit" world. It is declined in various packages according to your need.

Package Features:

  • Standard: 7SKITSPEC-S

    The standard starting kit has been conceived to perform different tests and experiments with White Rabbit protocols. It includes:

    • 2x SPEC boards
    • 2x FMC DIO cards
    • 1x Pair of SFPs transceivers (one plugged into each SPECs)
    • 1x LC-LC Optical Fiber 2m
    • 2x LEMO-00 Cable 2m
    • 2x LEMO-BNC (male) adapter
    • Shipping costs
  • Basic: 7SKITSPEC-B

    This kit has been designed thinking that some facilities already have all cables, SFPs and they don't want to buy them again. It only includes:

    • 2x SPEC boards
    • 2x FMC DIO cards
    • Shipping costs
  • Advanced: 7SKITSPEC-A

    The ADVANCED starting kit has been conceived to test the dynamic auto calibration of White Rabbit protocols under variable external conditions by heating the fiber reel. It includes:

    • 2x SPEC boards
    • 2x FMC DIO cards
    • 1x Pair of SFPs transceivers (one plugged into each SPECs)
    • 2x LC-LC Optical Fiber - 2m
    • 1x Optical Fiber Reel - 5 km
    • 2x LEMO-00 Cable 2m
    • 2x LEMO-BNC (male) adapter
    • Shipping costs
  • Ask for a quote: info@sevensols.com

  • SKSPEC-X: download brochure

What can we offer?

... An integrated solution!

Seven Solution is not JUST a manufacturing company, it also offers consulting and support to deploy the White Rabbit Solution for your installation.
  • Our company is composed of a group of engineers in the area of information technology with a long experience in hardware design, embedded software and technology deployment.
  • An open company, avoiding vendor lock-in strategies. 7S provides full open sources to the hardware and software design. Therefore customers could manufacture the products by themselves, modify designs or repair the equipments if they have the required expertise. In this framework 7S becomes your partner based on a trust relationship towards mutual benefits.
  • As we run a strong collaboration with CERN and its other partners in the design process of White Rabbit System (manufacturing and designing circuit, implementing IP-Cores, etc.) we have knowledge that other companies cannot offer.
  • We offer full support with all the WhiteRabbit products we are selling (not included in the price) to help you with their integration or adaptation regarding your needs.
  • NOT ALL OPEN HARDWARE DESIGNS ARE THE SAME!
    By adopting Seven Solutions, you will also sign for the guarantee of quality. Take advantage of our long experience and expertise in the manufacturing process to obtain the best service in each step: PCB fabrication, assembly, testing, etc.
  • We can also design a specific Mezzanine board for a particular application that you need to set up in your facility.

Why choosing the White Rabbit Solution?

Other solutions that bring precise timing and high synchronization already exist in the market, but most of them are limited or not standard. We believe that White Rabbit Solution is the best investment for a long term approach:
  • The WR Switch and the SPEC use FPGAs, therefore their hardware can be easily reprogrammed to be up to date.
  • As the WR Switch and the SPEC are designed following an "Open Hardware" strategy, you are not limited by the decisions of our company and you are free to improve or redesign the boards.
  • The WR protocol is conceived by CERN, one of the best scientific institutions in the domain of research, and it actively collaborates in the design of the board we manufacture. The implication of CERN consolidates the durability and the quality of the whole solution.
  • All the elements in the White Rabbit Solution are designed to be as modular as possible in order to reduce the cost of maintenance and upgrade.
  • It allows a hybrid network: the WR Switch can be used as a normal switch to connect directly your PC in order to be quickly linked in the network. If you do not need the specific features of WR protocol, you do not need to use a specific network card. You can also use only the PTP features of the WR switch if you only need millisecond accuracy.
  • The WR protocol is open and enhances already existent protocols such as, Precision Time Protocol (IEEE1588) or Synchronous Ethernet (Sync-E). You are not stuck with the problems that can bring a proprietary solution (security updates, mislead APIs, poor documentation, closed system, ...).