CERN Accelerating science


Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community
Research Executive Agency
Support For Training and Career Development of Researchers
Marie Curie Programme

The ICE-DIP project has now come to a close (more info:


ICE-DIP, the Intel-CERN European Doctorate Industrial Program, is a European Industrial Doctorate scheme hosted by CERN and Intel Labs Europe. ICE-DIP offers research training to 5 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in advanced Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The technical goal of this program is to research and develop, through a public-private partnership, unparalleled capabilities in the domain of high throughput, low latency, online data acquisition. The interdisciplinary and interconnected research themes are the usage of many-core processors for data acquisition, future optical interconnect technologies, reconfigurable logic and data acquisition networks.

These topics form a solid foundation for future cutting-edge data processing technologies of high interest to a broad range of industries. CERN, which has recently produced exciting new physics with its Large Hadron Collider, is planning for future upgrades of its facilities. The research themes addressed by ICE-DIP are critical to the sustained forward momentum of European High Energy Physics and numerous other disciplines of science and technology.

The results of this research will allow the partners to maintain technological leadership and produce significant transferable expertise which will be disseminated via the ESRs to the research and business communities. The unrivalled research experience and training resources of the partners guarantee a highest quality network for research and training. CERN and Intel, through their longstanding relationship in CERN openlab, have a track record of effective multidisciplinary and intersectoral actions. Xena brings expertise in high speed networking. Academic rigour and training quality are ensured by the associate partners, National University of Ireland Maynooth and Dublin City University, where the ESRs will be enrolled in doctorate programmes. The network’s combined training program provides a unique environment for the ESRs to enhance their research potential, competitiveness and employment opportunities while accelerating European science.


ICE-DIP will prepare the techniques necessary for acquiring and processing many terabits per second using and expanding the most innovative concepts available in the ICT industry today. It will explore new, untested ideas such as silicon photonics for network links in harsh operational conditions, tight integration of reconfigurable logic with standard computing and new approaches to data acquisition. Specifically, the scientific and technical objectives are:

  • Develop a power efficient, low cost silicon-photonics based ultra-high bandwidth data link capable of operating in harsh environments
  • Tightly integrate commodity CPUs and FPGAs to design a high-performance data preprocessing system
  • Assemble a cost effective, high bandwidth data acquisition network capable of multi-terabit loss-less throughput using commodity components
  • Design and prototype a massively scalable data filtering system that fully exploits the parallelism of many core processor architectures and is programmable using industry-standard x86 models