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FPGA based detector signal processing

Module PH2101

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2017/8

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
WS 2021/2SS 2021WS 2020/1SS 2020WS 2019/20SS 2019WS 2018/9SS 2018WS 2017/8WS 2015/6SS 2011

Basic Information

PH2101 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered every semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Focus Area Bio-Sensors in M.Sc. Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 75 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2101 in the version of WS 2017/8 was Stephan Paul.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Detector data acquisition and online signal processing with programmable logic / field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).
  • Introduction to the FPGA design process (modeling, simulation, synthesis, Xilinx design tools)
  • Introduction to the VHDL hardware description language (modularity, concurrent/sequential statements, synchronous/asynchronous logic)
  • Electronic design with VHDL and FPGAs (pipelined data processing, data flow control, counters, state machines)
  • Signal processing basics (signal sampling, FFT, digital filters)
  • Detector readout concepts (analog pipeline ASICs, sampling ADCs)
  • Debug and measurement equipment (oscilloscope, logic analyzer)
  • Design of a data acquisition system based on Xilinx FPGAs for a particle detector. (frontend ASIC configuration and readout, signal baseline correction, trigger decision, amplitude detection, ...)

Learning Outcome

no info


Der Kurs hat keine besonderen, über die der Masterstudiengänge hinausgehenden Voraussetzungen.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

The course is divided into a lecture part and an applied laboratory part. The basic theory is covered by the lecture which can be applied immediately to the design software in the laboratory part. The different tasks for the final data acquisition project are shared between the students and can be implemented besides the course. The Xilinx FPGA design software is also available for installation on student laptops.


accompanying internet site


no info

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In an oral exam the learning outcome is tested using comprehension questions and sample problems.

In accordance with §12 (8) APSO the exam can be done as a written test. In this case the time duration is 60 minutes.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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