In particle accelerators hundreds to thousands of power converters are necessary to feed magnets and RF systems, which must be controlled and monitored in an efficient and coordinated way. For this purpose and to reduce costs, a standardized controller able to comply with the functional requirements of all of the power converters is a must. CERN has developed its own power-converters controller – the function generator controller (FGC) – which is dependent on the CERN control environment. The controller must be placed into a communication environment which includes both electronics hardware and software.
The synchrotron light-source community has developed two common control environments, namely TANGO and EPICS, which are not used at CERN. The aim of this project is to modify the FGC software to be compatible with the TANGO and/or EPICS environments. With a generic FGC, all power converters developed at CERN could be much easily transferred to partner laboratories and to industry. The potential applications apart from physics are medical and biological. Currently, the requirements are being defined and discussions are ongoing with the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, which provides expertise in the TANGO environment, to decide about which is the best way to proceed among the several possible options.