Analog Devices’ Signal Processing Technology Helps CERN’s Large Hadron Collider Achieve Highest Possible
Superconducting Magnet Performance
-- Magnetic field measurement instrument board achieves 100 times greater frequency bandwidth and resolution
than previous design, contributing to ultra-high-precision beam-forming in world’s most powerful particle
NORWOOD, Mass.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)-- The
European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland and the University of Sannio, Benevento, Italy,
have collaborated on the design of an advanced instrument for measuring magnetic fields in
CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC)
superconducting magnets. Called the Fast Digital Integrator (FDI) board, this measurement device uses Analog
A/D converters, analog multiplexers and DSP components to provide the LHC with the highest possible
performance achieved to-date in measuring magnetic fields.
The new FDI board enables 100 times the
resolution and frequency bandwidth of the previous generation digital integrator. This significant improvement in
dynamic range enables scientists to detect even more minute artifacts that contribute to magnetic field
variations, field decay and other time dependent phenomena typical in high-field superconducting accelerator
magnets that all negatively affect the quality of particle beams under study. The new FDI boards are used at CERN
to measure magnetic flux at 10 revolutions per second through fast-rotating calibrated coils that evaluate the
magnetic field produced by the LHC’s 8 Tesla accelerator magnets.
“Prior to the FDI board, the available
electronic components were not suitable in terms of accuracy or resolution, which in the case of the Large Hadron
Collider easily approaches 10 parts per million,” said Pasquale Arpaia, professor of engineering at the University
of Sannio. “We chose to work with Analog Devices because the quality of the company’s products, documentation and
support are all very high. This helped make it possible for the FDI to reveal new magnetic investigation regions
that we were not able to explore before.”
The LHC is the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, as well as the biggest machine
ever built by humans. Construction started in 2003 and the LHC was operational in 2008. Its mission is to probe
some of the most fundamental questions of physics and advance the understanding of the most fundamental laws of
nature. Watch videos to learn more about CERN:
Analog Devices Components Deliver Speed, Power and Low-noise Performance
Researchers specified the following ADI components for use on the FDI board:
A/D converter (AD7634): this 18-bit analog-to-digital converter delivers superior 101-dB signal-to-noise and
distortion ratio (SINAD) at the maximum sampling rate of 670 kS/s (thousand samples per second).
Multiplexer (ADG406): this multiplexer features a combination of high switching speed, low power dissipation
and low on-resistance.
SHARC DSP (ADSP-21262): this 32-bit/40-bit floating-point processor is optimized for high-performance signal
processing applications with two computational units, 2-Mbit dual-port on-chip SRAM, multiple internal buses to
eliminate I/O bottlenecks, and an innovative digital applications interface.
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