RapidIO for data acquisition
We are exploring RapidIO interconnect technology and working to determine its suitability for data-analysis and data-acquisition applications.
RapidIO is an open-standard system-level interconnect, which is today used in all 4G/LTE base stations worldwide. RapidIO is often used in embedded systems that require high reliability, low latency, low energy consumption, and scalability in a heterogeneous environment. The collaboration with IDT, a major provider of RapidIO technology, ran from mid-2015 to mid-2017.
High-bandwidth, low-latency interconnects are currently not used much at CERN. However, developments with the online data acquisition-systems used at the LHC experiments have driven our desire to investigate this technology. It also holds potential for use in the analysis of large sets of unstructured data (text files, logs, monitoring data, etc.) in the CERN data centre.
During 2016, we ported ROOT — a data-processing framework created at CERN and used widely in the high-energy physics community — to RapidIO. We also ported the LHCb experiment’s benchmark DAQPIPE (an interconnect-agnostic application that emulates the behaviour in the LHCb data-acquisition network) to RAPIDIO. In early 2017, we finalised our benchmarking and scalability measurements for each of these areas of work.
Through our investigations, we have found RapidIO to be a promising technology in terms of delivering high-bandwidth, low-latency fabric interconnects. As such, based on the roadmaps currently set out for this technology, it could potentially play a future role in the demanding data-acquisition infrastructure of the LHC experiments. However, it is important to note that at the time we carried out our investigations, the effective bandwidth provided by available and planned routers/cards was still lower (< 100 Gb/s) than that expected to be required by the LHC experiments in coming years (> 200 Gb/s).
- S. Baymani, K. Alexopoulos, S. Valat, Exploring RapidIO Technology Within a DAQ System Event Building Network, Real Time Conference (RT), 2016 IEEE-NPSS (2017), Vol. 64. cern.ch/go/SR7G
- S. Baymani, K. Alexopoulos, S. Valat, RapidIO as a multi-purpose interconnect, Journal of Physics: Conference Series (2017), Vol. 898. cern.ch/go/6qZq
- S. E. Fitsimones, A monitoring and management utility for RapidIO clusters (11 August), Presented at CERN openlab summer students’ lightning talks, Geneva, 2017. cern.ch/go/XF6w
- O. Bärring, IDT RapidIO data acquisition (21 Seprember), Presented at CERN openlab Open Day, Geneva, 2017. cern.ch/go/hdd6