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January 7, 2023

Sci-Compiler SMART (SCISMART) is a hardware + software kit for non-expert users who are approaching the open FPGA programming. We introduce them to an innovative method to simplify the firmware development using Sci-Compiler software, a block-diagram-based programming interface consisting of a prebuilt set of functions (for example oscilloscope, TDC, MCA, charge integration, etc.) specifically developed for physics/engineering applications. Placing and interconnecting the available blocks on a diagram, SCI-Compiler is able to automatically generate a VHDL piece of code that implements the required function and deploy it to the FPGA. In this way, even a non-expert user can write his own firmware code without having any knowledge of the VHDL/Verilog programming language. SCI-Compiler SMART is composed of a SCI-Compiler license and a basic hardware (DT1260 unit), designed for the exact purpose of evaluating the software and learning how to design custom firmware using the block diagram method.

It includes:

  • 1x DT1260, 2 Channel, 65 MS/s, 12 bit ADC unit with Open FPGA
  • 1x SCI-Compiler Lite license working with the DT1260 unit only

The kit allows to develop both FPGA firmware for custom digital pulse processing and software application for data readout, using the generated libraries. It is therefore possible to access registers of the DT1260 and transfer data to the PC in list, waveform or user-customizable format. A basic, ready-to-use default firmware and readout software is provided for free and open source. The default firmware manages the basic waveform digitization and Pulse Height Analysis. The user can take advantages of examples firmware diagram available in SCI-Compiler, in order to start learning how to program the FPGA and take confidence with the software.