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Functional Overview

This chapter provides the overview of the features provided by the SHFPPC Instrument. The first section contains the description of the functional diagram and the hardware and software feature list. The next section details the front panel and the back panel of the measurement instrument. The following section provides product selection and ordering support.


The SHFPPC Instrument consists of two or four pump and control channels for operating parametric amplifiers. Each Parametric Pump Channel consists of Pump Tone Generation and a Readout Signal Conditioning unit processing analog signals (dark blue color), and additional internal units that process digital data (light blue color). Here, the Pump Tone Generation unit generates both pump and probe tones for the control and characterization of Josephson parametric amplifiers, while the Readout Signal Conditioning unit consists of an amplification stage for the measurement readout signal as well as an interferometric pump tone cancellation circuit. The interface units that connect to the front panel are depicted on the left-hand side and the units at the back panel are depicted on the right-hand side of the Figure. Arrows between the panels and the interface units indicate selected physical connections and data flow.

Figure 1: SHFPPC instrument functional diagram

Parametric Pump Channels

The Parametric Pump channel has signal generation and signal conditioning functionality.

Pump Tone Generation

  • Low-noise pump tone outputs, recommended frequency range 4 - 12 GHz
  • Calibrated output power, up to 20 dBm
  • Integrated probe tone, recommended frequency range 4 - 8.5 GHz, combined with pump tone on a single output

Readout Signal Conditioning

  • Low-noise readout signal amplification stage with 10 dB amplification, recommended frequency range 5 - 9 GHz
  • Interferometric pump tone cancellation, recommended frequency range 5 - 10 GHz

High-speed Connectivity

  • SMA connectors on front and back panel for triggers, signals, and external clock
  • LAN/Ethernet 1 Gbit/s controller interface
  • USB 2.0 controller interface
  • Clock input/output connectors (10/100 MHz)

Software Features

  • LabOne Graphic User Interface: Web-based with multi-instrument control
  • Zurich Instruments LabOne Q software for high-level programming of quantum computing experiments.
  • Data server with multi-client support
  • LabOne APIs, including Python, C, LabVIEW, MATLAB, .NET
  • Turnkey software and firmware features for fast system tune-up

Front Panel Tour

The front panel SMA connectors and control LEDs are arranged as shown in Figure 2 and listed in Table 1.

Figure 2: SHFPPC Parametric Pump Controller front panel

Table 1: SHFPPC Parametric Pump Controller front panel description
Position Label / Name Description
Soft power button
Power button with incorporated status LED
Instrument off and disconnected from mains power
  • dim: Firmware is starting
  • bright: Instrument ready and active connection over Ethernet or USB
B Channel LED Status indication for Parametric Pump Channel
RF Synthesizer disabled, no RF signal on Pump Out port
RF Synthesizer enabled, pump tone or probe tone applied at Pump Out port
RF Synthesizer enabled, in use to generate probe tone for twin channel; No RF signal applied at Pump Out port
C Signal Out Readout signal output
D Signal In Readout signal input
E Pump In External pump tone input
F Pump Out Parametric Pump Output

Back Panel Tour

The back panel is the main interface for power, control, service and connectivity to other ZI instruments. Please refer to Figure 3 and Table 2 for the detailed description of the items.

Figure 3: SHFPPC Parametric Pump Controller front panel

Table 2: SHFPPC Parametric Pump Controller front panel description
Position Label / Name Description
A AC 100 - 240 V Power inlet, fuse holder, and power switch
B Trigger In SMA: unidirectional CMOS/TTL ports for trigger input, 3.3 V
C Trigger Out SMA: unidirectional CMOS/TTL ports for trigger output, 3.3 V
D DIO 16-bit digital input/output (DIO) connector
E Maintenance Universal Serial Bus (USB) port for maintenance → do not use for standard operation
F USB 2.0 Universal Serial Bus (USB) port for instrument control
G LAN 1GbE 1 Gbit LAN connector for instrument control
H Sync Sync Input; no user functionality
I Reference Clock Out External Reference Clock Output (10 MHz/100 MHz)
J Reference Clock In External Reference Clock Input (10 MHz/100 MHz)

Ordering Guide

Table 3 provides an overview of the available SHFPPC products and options.

Table 3: SHFPPC Instrument product codes for ordering
Product code Product name Description Field upgrade possible
SHFPPC2 SHFPPC Parametric Pump Controller 2-Channel Configuration Base instrument with 2 PPC channels no
SHFPPC4 SHFPPC Parametric Pump Controller 4-Channel Configuration Base instrument with 4 PPC channels no
Table 4: Product selector SHFPPC
Channel Feature SHFPPC2 SHFPPC4
Parametric Pump Readout Channels 2 4
  Synthesizers 2 4
  Frequency range recommended: 4-12 GHz  
Shared resources Total number of Markers/Triggers 4/4  
  ZSync capability no  
  USB 2.0 yes  
  LAN 1 Gbit/s yes