The L0TP+ initiative is aimed at the upgrade of the FPGA-based Level-0 Trigger Processor (L0TP) of the NA62 experiment at CERN for the post-LS2 data taking, which is expected to happen at 100% of design beam intensity, corresponding to about 3.3 × 10^12 protons per pulse on the beryllium target used to produce the kaons beam.
Although tests performed at the end of 2018 showed a substantial robustness of the L0TP system also at full beam intensity, there are several reasons to motivate such an upgrade: i) avoid FPGA platform obsolescence, ii) make room for improvements in the firmware design leveraging a more capable FPGA device, iii) add new functionalities, iv) support the ×4 beam intensity increase foreseen in future experiment upgrades.
We singled out the Xilinx Virtex UltraScale+ VCU118 development board as the ideal platform for the project. L0TP+ seamless integration into the current NA62 TDAQ system and exact matching of L0TP functionalities represent the main requirements and focus of the project; nevertheless, the final design will include additional features, such as a PCIe RDMA engine to enable processing on CPU and GPU accelerators, and the partial reconfiguration of trigger firmware starting from a high level language description (C/C++). The latter capability is enabled by modern High Level Synthesis (HLS) tools, but to what extent this methodology can be applied to perform complex tasks in the L0 trigger, with its stringent latency requirements and the limits imposed by single FPGA resources, is currently being investigated.