The missions of the Electronics Department of the engineering pole are the study, development, production and integration of specific electronic instrumentations meeting the needs linked to the experiments in which the different physics poles are involved and to the developments of the IJCLab research platforms.
Design activities range from analog electronics interfacing with detectors, primarily preamplifiers, to digital signal conditioning and acquisition systems.
The department is organized into three departments: Analog Development and Microelectronics, Digital Systems and Acquisition and CAD – Prototyping – Realization. These services cover all the electronics domains (discrete analog electronics, digital electronics, microelectronics, card routing, cabling, electronic purchasing and electrical engineering). The department is equipped with CAD CADENCE tools for the design of integrated circuits and printed circuits and Vivado, Quartus and Libero for the development of FPGAs.
Analog and Microelectronics Developments
The mission of the service is to meet the needs of experiments of all sizes in the field of discrete analog front-end electronics and mixed micro-integrated systems, compatible with the radiation levels of experimental environments. The resulting activities include the prototyping of electronic cards, some of which have high integration density, the design of specific integrated circuits (ASICs) in CMOS or BiCMOS technologies (350nm to 65nm), and the development of test benches to ensure the characterization and qualification of demonstrator and series productions. One of the strengths of the service lies in its ability to direct its developments towards electronic solutions either discrete or integrated, depending on the different needs of the experiences (number of channels, environment, deadlines, costs). The service is currently involved in national and international projects such as GRIT, AGATA, SIRIUS, PIONEER, DAMIC, RD53, Cherenkov Lab, Lojic130, SAMPIC, ALICE upgrade, COMPTON CAM.
Digital Systems and Acquisition
The mission of the service consists in designing, building and integrating digital or mixed electronic signal processing and acquisition systems to meet the needs of IJCLab poles and platforms. These systems include specific developments of very high density electronic cards, but also of test or characterization benches and more generic interconnection systems. They require an expertise in the definition of the hardware architecture, the firmware programming of integrated circuits such as FPGAs, or software for user interfaces, the use of data transmission buses (VME, USB, PCI express) and communication protocols (Ethernet, UDP). These systems are the subject of projects, which are mainly part of large international collaborations at CERN, DESY, GANIL, SLAC, FAIR, but also within the framework of specific R&D programs carried out within the laboratory. The service works in close collaboration with the Analog and Microelectronics Development Service for the integration of ASICs developed in the laboratory as well as with the CAD – Prototyping – Realization Service for the design of cards and their realizations.
CAD – Prototyping – Realization
The activity of this service is divided into three main areas. On the one hand, the CAD group studies the printed circuits and related developments necessary for the entire electronics department, using in particular Cadence software. It also addresses the creation of front panels and the implantation of micro-bonding (“chip-in-package”) and it makes the junction with mechanical integration by the use of 3D for modeling and display of the maps produced. On the other hand, the wiring-prototyping group is involved in the assembly, wiring and prototyping work necessary for electronic developments. To meet the demands of physicists and electronics designers, the group relies on the skills of cable-prototypists, as well as on specific technical resources allowing the wiring of traditional components and CMS. Finally, the electrotechnical group is involved in the design, development and perfecting of electrotechnical devices. It provides testing, acceptance and commissioning of these systems and their implementation on the experimental sites. It is also involved in defining interconnections for large physics detectors, carrying out studies and piloting their implementation.