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<== Date ==> <== Thread ==>

Subject: RE: VME to CAMAC interface module
From: Mark Rivers <RIVERS@cars3.uchicago.edu>
Date: Thu, 4 May 1995 19:43:18 -0500 (CDT)
> Which is the best VME to CAMAC interface module to use in the EPICS
> environment?
> 
> Are there any modules to avoid?
> 

Thanks for asking this question, since I was just about to post something
related to this.  The following is based on my knowledge of the situation, and
others may know of additional supported modules.

In the very near future there will be support for two VME to CAMAC interfaces:

    - Hytec 2922 driver for serial crate controllers. I don't believe this does 
      DMA, but because it is driving the serial highway it can support many
      crates over long distances.

    - Kinetic Systems 2917. This is a driver for the Kinetic Systems 3922 
      parallel bus crate controller.  It supports up to 8 crates over a
      distance of up to 300 feet.  It supports DMA on block transfers, and I
      have measured transfer rates of nearly 1 MB/second.

Let me summarize what I know of what is happening with regard to EPICS support
for these:

The present EPICS 3.12 Beta releases include sources for CAMAC device support 
(devAiCamac.c, etc.).  They are commented out in the makefiles. These device
support routines require an underlying CAMAC library which contains the ESONE
standard CAMAC routines (cdreg, cfsa, etc.). The present EPICS releases do not
include such a library (at least not that I could find).

CEBAF have been using the Hytec 2992 VME serial highway crate driver with
EPICS.  They also use the Kinetic Systems 2917/3922 parallel bus crate
controller, but with their other data acquisition system CODA, not EPICS. They
have written ESONE compliant libraries for both of these hardware types.

Eric Bjorklund and Rozelle Wright (LANL) have been working on improving the
EPICS CAMAC support, based upon the work of Marty Wise (CEBAF) and Ying  Wu 
(Duke University).  They are also providing the ESONE routines, but with
improved error checking and a number of other enhancements over the existing
libraries.  They have broken the support into two files, camacLib.c
(device-independent) and a device-dependent include file.  They have written
an include file (ht2992.h) for the Hytec 2992 serial crate controller.

Last week I took what Eric and Rozelle had done and created an include file
(ksc2917.h) for the Kinetic Systems 2917/3922, based in part on the earlier
library from CEBAF. It supports block mode transfers with DMA.

Eric and Rozelle have also created new EPICS CAMAC device support (devAiCamac,
etc.) based on the work of Dave Barker & Johnny Tang (CEBAF).  These device
support modules use the PARM field differently from the existing versions, and
are generally more flexible and have better error reporting. Their file does
not currently support the Waveform record, but I beleive it will in the final
release.

The work described above is still in progress, but will hopefully be released
into the official EPICS distribution soon.  The LAM support still needs some
work, but the EPICS device support does not presently use LAMs.

Based on my experience I think I would recommend the Kinetic Systems 2917/3922
for applications with fewer than 8 crates and distances less than 300 feet,
and the Hytec 2922 for applications with more crates or longer distances.

Comments? Flames?

____________________________________________________________
Mark Rivers                             (312) 702-2279 (office)
CARS                                    (312) 702-9951 (secretary)
Univ. of Chicago                        (312) 702-5454 (FAX)
5640 S. Ellis Ave.                      (708) 922-0499 (home)
Chicago, IL 60637                       rivers@cars3.uchicago.edu (Internet) 




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