The BE-CO-HT section is responsible for the development, production and support of most of the BE-CO custom electronic modules. It also provides know-how for the technical choice of commercial modules to suit the needs of equipment groups in the Accelerator Sector. Both the custom developments and the selected off-the-shelf modules make up the BE-CO-HT standard hardware kit, for which the section provides full support. In addition, a small mechanics workshop is available for quick prototyping of patches, cables, etc. Many of the hardware designs of the section are hosted in the Open Hardware Repository, a place on the web for collaborative electronics design.
The section is also in charge of the development and support of low-level software for the control of the electronic modules under its responsibility. This software comes mainly in the form of Linux device drivers, C/C++ libraries and associated test programs.
BE-CO-HT has gathered extensive experience in a number of areas, for which it offers support to other hardware and low-level software developers in the Accelerator Sector:
- High quality assurance for the design, production and automated testing of printed circuit boards in collaboration with industry.
- HDL development for FPGAs, including soft CPU cores supported by standard C development tools.
- Linux device driver development.
- Design of networking and synchronization solutions.
- Design of systems based on standardized electronic modules such as PCI/PCIe and VME.
Finally, the section also has an important outreach activity, advocating the use of free-as-in-freedom solutions for software, firmware, gateware and hardware. This includes strong interaction with the Knowledge Transfer group, such as for the development of the CERN Open Hardware Licence.