Katherine: Ethernet Embedded Readout Interface for Timepix3

The Timepix3—the latest generation of hybrid particle pixel detectors of Medipix family—yields a lot of new possibilities, i.e. a high hit-rate, a time resolution of 1.56 ns, event data-driven readout mode, and the capability of measuring the Time-over-Threshold (ToT – energy) and the Time-of-Arrival (ToA) simultaneously. This paper introduces a newly developed readout device for the Timepix3, called “Katherine”, featuring a Gigabit Ethernet interface. The primary benefit of the Katherine is the operation of Timepix3 at long distance (up to 100 m) from computer or server, which is advantageous for the installation at beam lines, where the access is difficult or where radiation levels are too high for human interventions. The maximal hit-rate is limited by the bandwidth of the Ethernet connection (peer-to-peer connection; up to 16 Mhit/s). Since the Katherine interface is equipped with a processor of high computational power (ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor), it permits the use as a stand-alone (autonomous) radiation detector. The key features of the device are described in detail. These are the implemented high voltage power supply offering both polarities of bias voltage (up to ± 300 V), the automatic data sending to a sever via SSH, the automatic compensation of ToA values from columns with shifted matrix clock, etc. A dedicated control software was developed, which can be used for the detector preparation (sensor equalization, the DACs dependency scan, and the THL scan) and measurement control. Measured energy spectra from photon fields are shown.

Burian, P., Broulím, P., Jára, M., Georgiev, V., & Bergmann, B. (2017). Katherine: Ethernet embedded readout interface for timepix3. Journal of Instrumentation12(11), C11001.

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