Project for developing a low cost and high performance version of EPICS

T. V. Salikova1, A. D. Oreshkov1, Ying Wu2, John M. J. Madey2
1Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics, 2Duke University

The development of an integrated control systems for complex industrial and research facilities has proven to be a challenging problem given the need to provide for flexibility in the architecture, a rapid response for the real time control, and an easy-to-use GUI interface capable of effectively conveying information to update the configuration, status, and data. At present time, the architecture of the Experimental Physics and Industrial Control system (EPICS) developed by a consortium of USA national and university laboratories, has addressed these needs in a rather successful manner. As a result, EPICS has been widely and enthusiastically adopted as the basis for accelerator control in the United States and Europe. In the proposed research, we plan to modify EPICS to allow its use on PC computers, thereby substantially reducing the cost of the hardware and software required to implement this system. This development is crucial to the enhancement of the capabilities of research and industrial facilities both in Russian and in United States. With the advance of the computer technology, PCs have become highly powerful computers with comparable or higher computation power than workstations but with much lower prices thanks to the huge PC market and the fierce competition.
The planned porting process will include the following steps:
1) Porting of EPICS Operator Interface (OPI) traditionally running on Unix workstations to a Intel x86 based PC running LynxOS;
2) Porting of EPICS Input Output Controller (IOC) to the LynxOS/x86 platform to replace a VME/VXI based IO system with a PCI bus based system;
3) Testing and the debugging of ported EPICS in a homogeneous environment with LynxOS/x86 PCs.

(posted 13-Nov-97 jw)