Recently, a researcher approached XIA looking to interface aspects of their Pixie-16 data acquisition system to external equipment. While each Pixie-16 module can produce custom logic signals based on user-defined criteria, accessing and combining such signals from multiple Pixie-16 modules requires external hardware. In this case, the user wanted real-time access to the custom logic signals from multiple modules, such that the signals could be viewed on an oscilloscope or interfaced to an external multiplicity counter or other equipment.

XIA responded by developing an interface accessory which solves the researcher’s problem and provides real-time access to Pixie-16 logic signals in a flexible manner. Code-named MZTIO (MicroZed-based Trigger I/O), this accessory is, in essence, a ‘breakout’ board for the Pixie-16 PXI chassis backplane. Clock and logic signals generated by the Pixie-16 system are routed to a Zynq SoC supporting 1588 PTP time synchronization, where they can be combined in a user-programmable fashion via open source firmware/software, before being output to LVDS connections on the front panel. Alternate output connections can be accommodated via custom I/O daughter cards.

The MZTIO accessory enhances the Pixie-16 data acquisition system by providing a flexible and customizable real-time interface to external systems. A draft brochure, manual, and firmware & software is available for download. For more information, please contact XIA.

For more information about how this board is used in the field please see
the NIM-A Paper by H. Y. Wu et al.