CompactPCI/Linux platform in FTU slow control system

F. Iannone, L. Wang, C. Centioli, M. Panella, G. Mazza, V. Vitale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


In large fusion experiments, such as tokamak devices, there is a common trend for slow control systems. Because of complexity of the plants, the so-called 'Standard Model' (SM) in slow control has been adopted on several tokamak machines. This model is based on a three-level hierarchical control: 1) High-Level Control (HLC) with a supervisory function; 2) Medium-Level Control (MLC) to interface and concentrate I/O field equipments; 3) Low-Level Control (LLC) with hard real-time I/O function, often managed by PLCs. FTU control system designed with SM concepts has underwent several stages of developments in its fifteen years duration of runs. The latest evolution was inevitable, due to the obsolescence of the MLC CPUs, based on VME-MOTOROLA 68030 with OS9 operating system. A large amount of C code was developed for that platform to route the data flow from LLC, which is constituted by 24 Westinghouse Numalogic PC-700 PLCs with about 8000 field-points, to HLC, based on a commercial Object-Oriented Real-Time database on Alpha/CompaqTru64 platform. Therefore, we have to look for cost-effective solutions and finally a CompactPCI-Intel x86 platform with Linux operating system was chosen. A software porting has been done, taking into account the differences between OS9 and Linux operating system in terms of Inter/Network Processes Communications and I/O multi-ports serial driver. This paper describes the hardware/software architecture of the new MLC system, emphasizing the reliability and the low costs of the open source solutions. Moreover, a huge amount of software packages available in open source environment will assure a less painful maintenance, and will open the way to further improvements of the system itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2535 - 2540
Number of pages6
JournalPlasma Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Iannone, F., Wang, L., Centioli, C., Panella, M., Mazza, G., & Vitale, V. (2004). CompactPCI/Linux platform in FTU slow control system. Plasma Science and Technology, 6(6), 2535 - 2540.