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Timing and Fast Control System

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The Timing and Fast Control (TFC) controls the entire readout of the LHCb detector from the Front-End electronics up to the distribution of events to the processing farm. Together, the Experiment Control System (ECS), the Data AQuisition system (DAQ), and the Timing and Fast Control (TFC) system make up the LHCb Online system.

The TFC system consists of four different types of main modules: 

  • ODIN (Readout Supervisors): TFC master
  • THOR (TFC Switch): Programmable TFC signal distribution panel to handle partitioning.
  • MUNIN (Throttle Switch): Programmable trigger throttle switch. 
  • HUGIN (Throttle OR): Throttle signal fan-in near the FE electronics

The TFC distribution network is based on the CERN TTC system developped in the RD12 project. The LHCb TFC system deploys the following TTC components:

  • TTCmi: LHC machine interface for timing signals
  • TTCtx: Optical transmitter
  • TTCoc: Optical fan-outs 1:32
  • TTCrx: Receiver chips



In addition, the TFC system requires the following components:

  • FREJA: TFC test and monitoring board
  • GlueLight: Mezzanine with glue logic for interfacing ECS system to board control resources
  • BPIM: Beam Phase and Intensity Monitor
  • Trigger Splitter: L0 trigger fan-out

Below is a detailed picture of the TFC architecture.



  • 1 MHz Readout, A Barczyk et al., LHCb 2005-62, Sep 2005 (paper)

  • Driving the LHCb Front-End Readout, Z. Guzik, R. Jacobsson and B. Jost, IEEE-TNS 2004 (paper)

  • Implementing the L1 Trigger Path, R. Jacobsson, LHCb 2003-80, Aug 2003 (paper)

  • The LHCb Timing and Fast Control System, R. Jacobsson et al., LHC Electronics Workshop, 2001(paper)

  • Timing and Fast Control, R. Jacobsson and B. Jost, LHCb 2001-16, June 2000 (paper)