The ALICE Silicon Pixel Detector (SPD) is the innermost detector of the ALICE experiment at LHC. It includes 1200 front-end chips, with a total of ~10 pixel channels. The pixel size is 50 x 425 μm. Each front-end chip transmits a Fast-OR signal upon registration of at least one hit in its pixel matrix. The signals are extracted every 100 ns and processed by the Pixel Trigger (PIT) system, to generate trigger primitives. Results are then sent within a latency of 800 ns to the Central Trigger Processor (CTP) to be included in the first Level 0 trigger decision. This paper describes the commissioning of the PIT, the tuning procedure of the front-end chips Fast-OR circuit, and the results of operation with cosmic muons and in tests with LHC beam. I. SYSTEM DESCRIPTION ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) is one of the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, optimized to study the properties of strongly interacting matter and the quark-gluon plasma in heavy ion collisions [1][2]. The ALICE experiment is designed to identify and track particles with high precision over a wide transverse momentum range (100 MeV/c to 100 GeV/c). ALICE will also take data with proton beams, in order to collect reference data for heavy ion collisions and to address specific stronginteraction topics for which ALICE is complementary to the other LHC detectors. The Silicon Pixel Detector (SPD) is the innermost detector of the ALICE experiment, providing vertexing and tracking capabilities [5][6][7]. As shown in Figure 1, the SPD is a barrel detector with two layers at radii of 3.9 cm and 7.6 cm, respectively, from the beam axis. The minimum distance between the beam pipe and the inner layer is ~5 mm. The SPD consists of 120 detector modules, called half-staves. Each of them includes two silicon pixel sensors, flip chip bump bonded to 10 front-end readout chips realized in a commercial 0.25 μm CMOS process. One front-end chip contains 8192 pixel cells organized in 32 columns and 256 rows. The pixel dimensions are 425 × 50 μm (z × rφ); in total there are 9.83 × 10 pixels in the SPD. In order to maintain the material budget constraint of 1% X0 per layer, the sensor chosen thickness is 200 μm and the pixel chips are thinned to 150 μm. Signal and power connections for the chips are provided by an aluminium multilayer bus, glued on top of the ladders. The 10 front-end chips of each half-stave are connected to a Multi Chip Module (MCM). The MCM contains 4 ASICs and one optical transceiver module: they provide timing, control and trigger signals to the chips. The MCM performs the readout of the front-end chips sending the data to the offdetector electronics in the control room [8]. The MCM is connected to 3 single mode optical fibers; two of them are used to receive the serial control and the LHC clock at 40.08 MHz, and the third is used to send the data to the offdetector electronics. Figure 1: SPD (right) and one half-stave (left) Each of the 1200 front-end chips of the SPD may activate its Fast-OR output every 100 ns when at least one pixel inside the chip is hit by a particle. The 1200 Fast-OR bits are sampled and transmitted to the off detector electronics by the MCM. The Fast-OR generation capability is a unique feature among the vertex detectors of the LHC experiments. It allows the SPD to act also as a low latency pad detector that can be added to the first level trigger decision of the ALICE experiment. The Pixel Trigger (PIT) system [9] was designed to process the Fast-OR bits and produce a trigger output for the Level 0 trigger decision. It is composed of 10 OPTIN boards that receive the data streams coming from the 120 modules of the SPD and extract the Fast-OR bits; the OPTIN boards are mounted on a 9U board, called BRAIN, with a large FPGA (called Processing FPGA, type Xilinx Virtex4) that can apply

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