Project Proposal for the Continuation of HIPPI test activities for GSN
Arie Van Praag, Ben Segal, (CERN),
April 7, 1998


GSN Lab Projects:

1: The Netstore Project

Activities and Objectives

Conditions of

to Industry

The HIPPI Lab Experience.

Project Managment

This is a proposal for a project to set up a test facility for the new high performance network technology called GSN. It is an extension of earlier collaboration projects, and is as such worked out primarily with Digital Equipment Corporation. The project name will be CERN GSN Lab. The GSN Lab will be open for computer manufacturers and equipment makers to participate under equivalent conditions

What the Test Activities Involve.

Compliant to the GSN specifications.

Compatibility and performance tests in a multi vendor environment.

Compatibility tests with network equipment available.

Interaction with GSN and HIPPI switches. Etc.

The migration HIPPI to GSN


Objectives of the GSN Lab for CERN.

Get experience with GSN.

Get Test and Measurement equipment for verifying operability.

Get equipment on loan from the major players in GSN.

Verify Interoperability with equipment available in the Lab and in the CERN Computer Centre

Evaluate the possible use of GSN equipment in DAQ systems.

Conditions for Participation

The project management attends that equipment to be tested in the GSN Lab is as good in a working condition as can be expected from well tested Beta equipment and software.

It is expected that equipment tested in the GSN-Lab environment will stay for a reasonable time in the Lab for compatibility tests with other vendors products

Measurements on GSN will be done with specialised measuring equipment available in industry. If no adequate instruments become available, the GSN-Lab management may decide to develop some very simple additional test devices based on the experience with HIPPI and S-Link.

Computer systems not available at CERN or available at CERN but used by other projects should be made available to the project by the concerned manufacturer.

Test results can be kept confidential or made available in the GSN-Lab Web entrees as wished by the concerned manufacturer(s).

At CERN the start of the Project is foreseen for 1 July 1998

Participating in the project can be by an appointment for test activities. However the project management likes to receive a message of intention as early as possible.

There will be no other charges for participation as mentioned in point 2.


Organisation: People Involved and workload

The GSN Lab managedment:

Arie Van Praag

CERN EP div.

Data Acquisition


Ben Segal

CERN IT div.

Computer Centre


Alberto Guglielmi



Assistance from Outside CERN:

Tzvetomir Anguelov


Assistance for hardware development

Manpower involved will depend on several factors such as the learning curve for the new technology. The average is estimated to be less than 20 % of the above people. CERN will propose a participation contract. The details of this can be discussed and modified in the individual contracts, however the general terms will stay the same for all participants.

What is GSN ?
Gigabyte System Network is a new technology for switched networks. The speed is 800 MByte/s in each of the full duplex directions. It uses four multiplexed channels called Virtual Channels 0-3, each foreseen for different file and packet sizes. The transfer mode uses very small packets, such that large file transfers will not block the link. In addition, transparent connections can be made to HIPPI-800 connections. For more detailed information see:

General introduction to GSN

CERN/ECP 97-007

CERN GSN homepage


Status of GSN
GSN is the interconnect bus of the SGI Origin series of machines of 1997. The Network interface was designed using the SuMaC chip. Products and interfaces will become available on the market from the from middle 1998. Details

Current CERN Contacts to Industry
Contacts have already been established with the following companies:  


Alberto Guglielmi, Ed Benson and Bob Willard.

H.P. Convex:

Mike Chastain.

ODS Essentiel

Michael McGowen and Dru Popper.


Henry Brandt.


Carl Pick and Don Woelz.

Raytheon Systems.

Roger Ronald.


Dick Wilson.


Jan Hauser.


Greg Chesson, Joe Gervais and Igor Zacharov.


Proposal Background: The HIPPI Lab Experience.
In Text

Reports and Conference Presentations as Result of the HIPPI Lab.

HIPPI Developments for CERN experiments. CERN/ECP 91-28 ( Acrobate .PDF)
Studies on RIO/HIPPI based Event Building. RD13 Note 70: 1993
Evaluation of the CES HIPPI interfaces into the RD13 system. RD13 Note 83: 1993.
EAST94-04-HIPPI. HIPPI for detector data transmission: experience in the field
Overview of the use of the PCI Bus in Present and Future High Energy Physics Data Acquisition Systems, CERN/ECP 95-4.
The HIPPI/D firmware for the RD13 EB System Prototype RD13 Note 129 1995
User library for the RD13. RD13 Note 130 1995
L3: Lightweight Transport Protocol. 1995
Evaluation and Simulation of Event Building Techniques for a Detector at LHC. 1995, (These)
Testing HIPPI Switch Configurations for Event Building Applications, CERN/ECP 96-15.
PCI-HIPPI Interface Modules. CERN/ECP 96-14
What is GSN and can it be used for high-energy physics data acquisition? CERN/ECP 97-007.



HIPPI to Digital TurboChannel Interface used in the NA 48 experiment.

Used in Physics Data taking in 1995, 1996 and 1997


HIPPI to VME Interface used in RD31.
NEDDI; the never ending destination.


HIPPI to H.P. Appolo Series 700 Interface.
Influenced the HIPPI Network Forum to make Serial-HIPPI an ANSI standard
HIPPI Demonstration Network at HPCN 94 in Munich

HIPPI Lab Status in 1994


Fibre Channel and HIPPI Demonstration Network at HPCN 94 in Milano
8 Km. Serial-HIPPI connection from the NA 48 Experiment the computer centre.
First HIPPI connections in the CERN Computer Centre.
Founding of
EHUG with first meeting at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland

HIPPI Statistics in the computer centre


HIPPI to PCI Interfaces ( Optimised for large data file transfer ).
EHUG Meeting at the University of Stuttgart Germany.


Short Distance Serial-HIPPI products made compatible between multiple vendors
Storage Server in the computer centre connected with short distance Serial-HIPPI.
HNF-EHUG Meeting at HPCN-97 in Vienna.

HIPPI Network early 1997


HIPPI to PCI Interfaces ( Optimised for TCP/IP transfers.
EHUG Meeting at CSCS in Lugano.

This is one of the
CERN High Speed Interconnect pages - Modified 25 Mai 1998 - Arie van Praag