Dear Mr. S. Ritt
The following is my confusion about the trigger of DRS4. It mainly concertrates on the generation of trigger signal to stop DRS4 sampling process for readout of sampled waveform.
As metioned in the datasheet of DRS4, the chip samples the analog input every domino sampling period. After finished sampling a waveform, the sampling process can be stoped by lowering the DWRITE while keeping DENABLE high. But the analog input is asychronous to the Domino CLK. Then, how can we know when to stop the domino sampling process to read out the sampled waveform? Of course, a trigger can be used. But from my present knowledge of DRS4, trigger can only be generated from analog input. Analog input is splited into two channels, one to DRS4 analog input, the other to FPGA as the trigger. However, splitting analog inputs increases the system design complexity, and may lower the total performace. So what is your suggestion?
In our system, there are 8 analog inputs to a signal DRS4 chip, the outputs of DRS4 chip are connected to an 8-channel 14 bit ADC ( AD9252). It wold be kind of you to inform me about the most applicable approach for readout of DRS4 sampled wavefrom.
Jinhong Wang (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Indeed you have to make an external trigger. The evaluation board uses the "transparent mode" of the DRS4 to "mirror" the input signal at the output, then puts a comparator there. The schematics of the evaluation board is in the manual. This does then not degrate the analog performance. You can of course also split the signal at the input, this will only add a minor additional load to the input signal, since the load of the DRS4 chips itself is much bigger than that of any comparator.
An alternative is to turn on the transparent mode and continuously digitize all 8 outputs with your AD9252. Then you make the trigger purely digital in your FPGA. You can put there a comparator, or even more complex logic like multiplicity etc. Note however that this causes some latency, since the ADC has a pipeline which is quite long, so you have to buffer the latency of your trigger in the analog window of the DRS4 sampling cells. Like if you run the DRS4 at 1 GSPS, you can accomodate 1024 ns of sampling depth, which is good for maybe 500 ns of trigger latency plus 500 ns of the waveform of interest.
Thank you. The transparent mode can be really helpful. Can you provide me in more details of the chip's transparent mode? I am still confused about the following aspects.
I notice that DRS4 samples the analog wave in the way "clear before write", and in the transparent mode, there will be certain delay before the trigger logic stops the sampling process. So,does it mean that the waveform recording process per Domino sampling cycle will not degrade the amplitude of the analog signal? Hence, for two idential analog inputs, one with a trigger latency of 500 ns and the other of 510 ns, the sampled waveform is identical, what differs is the starting number of the first active sampling cell, where the reading process considered to be started. Is that right? Looking forward to your insight.
Jinhong Wang (email@example.com)
Fig.1 typical dimension of QFN package
Above is the typical dimension specification for QFN package. I cann't find the corresponding "T1" as in Fig.1 in the DRS4 documents, nor any of the tolerance of the dimensions, which are usually expressed in the form of a range between a min. value and a max. value.
So will you specify the dimension of "T1" and "W1", and the dimension tolerance of them?
Thanks and best wishes!
Jinhong Wang University of Science and Technology of China
Please find attached the complete dimensions.
No. It shifts about ROFS-0.25V. So only if ROFS=1.55V, the shift will be 1.3V.
Just read the datasheet under "ANALOG OUTPUTS". I'm sorry if I did not describe this clearly, but the U+ voltage is fixed (only dependent on ROFS), and U- can be calculated using Uofs as written in the datasheet.
OUT+ is 0.8V~1.8V, OUT- is 2*Uofs-OUT+. So you can only change the OUT- level, not the OUT+ level.
Dear Mr. Stefan Ritt.
Thank u for your timely response on "DSR4 Full Readout Mode", I received it from Professor Qi An, who is my PhD supervisor.
I am currently going through the DRS4 datasheet. Well, can you give some specification on the usage of "BIAS" pin of DRS4? It is just metioned in the datasheet as bias of internal buffer. What is the internal buffer exactly reffered to here? The MUXOUT buffer of channel 8 or else? Does it have some relationship to O_OFS? I mean, if the reference voltage to BIAS is changed, how will the output be influenced?
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Fast Electronics LAB. of University of Science and Technology of China.
"internal buffers" are all internal operational amplifiers in the DRS4 chip. Every OPAMP needs a bias (just look it up in any electronics textbook), which determines the linearity and the speed of the OPAMP. When designing DRS4, I was not sure if the required BIAS voltage changes over time, or between chips, so I made it available at a pin, which is a common technique in chip design. But it turns out now that this voltage is not very critical, so just keeping the pin open will work in most cases.
Hello Mr. Stefan Ritt
In DSR4 DATASHEET Rev.0.8 Page13, I noticed you metioned the samping should occur after 38 ns after the rising edge of SRCLK when the multiplexer is used. So what is suggested value(delay time between sampling and the rising edge of SRCLK) for the parallel mode,in which the multiplexer is not used?
The clock-to-output delay is the same if one uses the multiplexer or not. I found however that in most cases the delay of 38 ns needs some fine tuning to get optimal performance. So I typically use a shifted clock generated by the FPGA clock manager with a programmable delay (+-5 ns for Xilinx) and optimize this in the running system.
For the users using a Macintosh,
after several hours the Evaluation Board is working on my Macintosh (intel).
1) install the development package with xcode, its on the OS X installation DVD
2) install the libusb binary from http://www.ellert.se/twain-sane/
3) modify the makefile for compiling drs_exam (attached) afterwards it's running perfect!
It turned out that the VDD switch off speed plays some important role. On our VME board, we have a linear regulator, then a 4.7 uF capacitor, then the DRS4 chip (DVDD and AVDD). When switching off the VME power, it takes quite some time to discharge the 4.7 uF capacitor, since the DRS4 chip goes into a high impedance mode if VDD < ~1V. This gives following VDD trace:
Rising edge is power on, falling edge is power off. Note the horizontal time scale of 2 s/div. So to get below 0.3 V or so, it takes up to 30 seconds. If the power is switched back on when AVDD is above 0.3V, the DRS4 chip can get into a weird state, where probably many domino waves are started and the chip draws an enormous amount of current. Typically the linear regulator limits the current, so the 2.5V drops to ~1.5V, and the board is not working. If people are aware of this and always wait >30sec. before turning the power on again, this is fine, but people might forget.
So the solution is to put a resistor (typically 100 Ohm to 1 kOhm) parallel to the 4.7 uF capacitor in order to have some resistive current load of a few mA. The discharge then looks like this:
Note the horizontal scale of 10ms/div. So after 30 ms AVDD is discharged and powering on the chip again does not do any harm. The same should be done to DVDD.
It has turned out that the stability of the AVDD and DVDD power supplies for the DRS4 are very critical. On the evaluation board I use a REG1117-2.5, on our VME board I use a ADP3338-2.5 for the DVDD power supply. When the domino wave is started, the power consumption of the DRS4 chip jumps up by ~40 mA, which has to be compensated by the linear regulator. Following screen shot shows what happens:
The blue trace is the DWRITE signal indicating the sampling phase when high. The yellow is the SRCLK showing when the readout takes place. The pink is now the DVDD power. It can be clearly seen that there is a dip of ~50 mV when the domino wave starts, a positive dip when it stops and another smaller dip when the readout starts. This causes strange effects: If the trigger arrives during the first dip, the actual sampling takes place when the DVDD is ~50 mV smaller, which leads to a baseline shift of a sampled 0V DC input voltage of about the same amount (-50 mV).
The obvious improvement is to put a huge capacitor on the power supply, but that does not help much:
The dip gets a bit smaller, but it's still there. So a better solution would be to use a faster LDO regulator. Please take care of this if you plan a new design.
Furthermore, I believe that the chip internally has some "warmup" phase, where the die heats up a bit when the additional 40 mA are drawn. So a "good" solution is to wait some time after starting the domino wave until one allows for triggers. Tests showed that a few milliseconds are necessary to keep the baseline shifts below a few millivolts. This of course decreases the dead time of the system significantly, so one has to choose the proper balance between increase dead time and increased base line shift. On some applications where a baseline shift is not an issue, one could opt for the minimum dead time.
The current version of the DRS readout example program drs_exam.cpp has two problems:
Both problems have been fixed and the fix will be contained in an upcoming software release.
Maybe some of you have experienced that the DRS4 chip can get pretty hot after power up. After it's initialized the first time, the power consumption goes back to normal. I finally found the cause of this problem and have a remedy. Here is the new paragraph from the updated data sheet:
During power-up, care has to be taken that the DENABLE and DWRITE signals are low. If not, the domino wave can get started before the power supply voltages are stable, which brings the DRS4 chip into a state where it draws a considerable amount of current and heats up significantly. This can be problematic if the signals are directly generated by a FPGA, since most FPGAs have internal pull-up resistors which get activated during the configuration phase of the FPGA. In such a case, the DENABLE and DWRITE signals should be connected to GND with a pull down resistor. This resistor should be much smaller than the FPGA pull-up resistor in order to keep the signals close to GND during the FPGA configuration. A typical value is 4.7 kOhm.
The attached schematics shows the location of the two required resistors.
A new software verison for the DRS4 Evaluation Board has been has been released. Version 2.1.3 adds a switch for the input range of the DRS4 board. Once can choose between -0.5V...0.5V and 0V...1V:
A board firmware update is not necessary for this. It was originally planned to have even a negative range -1V...0V, but this is not possible with the current board design. People who want to record negative pulses have to use an inverter to produce positive pulses. In a future version of the board it might be possible to include this functionality since this is determined by the analog front-end and not the DRS4 chip.
Several people asked for s simple application to guide them in writing their own application to read out a DRS board. Such an application has been added in software revions 2.1.1 and is attached to this message. This example program drs_exam.cpp written in C++ does the following necessary steps to access a DRS board:
I know that we are still missing a good documentation for the DRS API, but I have not yet found the time to do that. I hope the example program is enough for most people to start writing own programs. For Windows users (MS Visual C++ 8.0) there is a drs.sln project file, and for linux users there is a Makefile which can be used to compile this example program.
One note: The program drs_exam.cpp published in the previous message needs the current version of the DRS library in DRS.cpp and DRS.h. They are contained in the software release 2.1.1 which has to be downloaded. For simplicity, I attached the two files to this message.
This is a quick notification to all users of the current DRS4 evaluation board.
As you all know, the DRS4 chip needs some calibration for each individual cell which corrects the offset and the non-equidistant width in time. While the first evaluation boards have been shipped without this calibration, the current version of the software implements a full amplitude and timing calibration. The offset correction reduces the noise of the board by almost an order of magnitude to below 1 mV RMS. The timing calibration using an on-board reference clock allows a timing accuracy in the order of 10 ps. To illustrate that the following two pictures show a reference clock signal before and after timing calibration:
The integral temporal nonlineairy at 5 GSPS before timing calibration is about 600 ps as can be seen by the jitter of the overlaid waveforms.
In order to do a timing calibration, the firmware revison 13297 or later is required. The current software package 2.1 contains an updated firmware, but unfortunately one needs a Xilinx download cable to flash this new firmware (see http://drs.web.psi.ch/download/ under "Software Versions"). If some people want an update but do not want to buy such a cable, we offer a free update at our institute (just the postage has to be paid). The old evaluation board (Rev. 1.0, plastic housing) can unfortunately not be updated.
After the offset calibration is made, there are small (~20mV) short spikes left. They probably come from some cross-talk between the USB interface and the analog part of the board. This is currently under investigation. If new updates become available, they will be announced in this forum.
April 27th, 2009,