vmusbcaenupgrader -- CAEN cvUpgrade ported to VM-USB interface


vmusbcaenupgrader ConfFile PCI_OPTLINK config-options device-options

vmusbcaenupgrader -KeyInfo PCI_OPTLINK device-options

vmusbcaenupgrader -License PCI_OPTLINK device-options license-options

vmusbcaenupgrader -Key key-value PCI_OPTLINK device-options


The CAEN firmware maintenance command line utility has four invocation forms shown in SYNOPSIS above. These respectively.

  1. Load firmware configurations into the flash memory that programs the FPGA on power up.

  2. Retrieves the per board key information required for CAEN to generate a license

  3. Remove a license key from the board

  4. License a board to use firmware

Note that some firmware require licenses or else they will operate in demo mode and go catatonic after 30minutes.


Command line options come in three categories:

Configuration Options


Loads the firmware into the backup image location. Avoid doing this. The backup image is intended to rescue you if you load firmware that leaves the board unusable.

-key key-value

Provides a license key for the firmware that is being loaded. Some of CAEN's firmware will only run in demo mode (30minutes) unless a license key is purchased and loaded.


Only load the firmware don't verify the firmware image after load.


Don't load the firmware only verify that the contents of the firmware file match those in the flash memory.

Device Options

-param filename

Specifies the paramete file for the device being manipulated. If not specified, this defaults to cvUpgrade_params.txt. Parameter files for many common CAEN modules are also distributed in the etc/caenfw diretory of the NSCLDAQ installation.

-link crate-num

The serial number of the VM-USB that contols the crate in which the module lives. Note that VMUSB serial numbers are of the form VMnnnn where nnnn is a zero filled for digit integer. Supply only the nnnn (leading zeroes omitted). e.g for serial number VM0123 supply 123 as the link number.

If only one VM-USB is attached you can ommit the link number or use 0. In multi-crate systems an omitted or zero link number will match the first enumerated crate.

-VMEbaseaddress address32

The 32 bit base address of the board being manipulated. This is an 8 digit hexadecimal value without the leading 0x e.g. 32100000 NOT 0x32100000.

License Options


Specfies that the -License operation is being performed to remove the license key from the module.


These examples are lightly modified from the CAEN README for their application. Major differences are only how the link is specified.

Load firmware file into a V1724 base address 0x32100000

vmusbcaenupgrader V1724_rev1.6_6.6.rbf PCI_OPTLINK -link 0 \
    -VMEbaseaddress 032100000 \
    -param /usr/opt/daq/11.0/etc/caenfw/CVupgrade_params_Digitizers.txt

Retrieve the ID code for the board above

vmusbcaenupgrader -KeyInfo PCI_OPTLINK -link 0 -VMEbaseaddress 3210000 \
    -param /usr/opt/daq/11.0/etc/caenfw/CVupgrade_params_Digitizers.txt

The information needed for CAEN to construct a license key is written into the file BoardInfo-MN-SN.dat where MN is the model number and SN is the serial number of the board.

Load firmware and license it.

vmusbcaenupgrader v1495vme_rev1.0.rbf PIC_OPTLINK -link 0 -key ABCDWEF1234568789 \
    -VMEbaseaddress 33220000 \
    -param /usr/opt/daq/11.0/ec/caenfw/CVupgrade_params_V1495_VME.txt

The license key value ABCDWEF123456789 is obtained from CAEN after providing them with the key information file gotten using the -KeyInfo option as shown above.

Retrieve license information from a digitizer.

vmusbcaenupgrader -License PCI_OPTLINK -link 0 =-VMEbaseaddress 32100000 \
    -param /user/opt/daq/11.0/etc/caenfw/CVupgrade_params_Digitizers.txt

Un-license a digitizer's firmware:

vmusbcaenupgrader -License PCI_OPTLINK -link 0 -VMEbaseaddress 32100000 \
    -param /user/opt/daq/11.0/etc/caenfw/CVupgrade_params_Digitizers.txt -delete