Skip to content

Functional Overview

This chapter provides the overview of the features provided by the SHFQA 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.

Features

The SHFQA Instrument consists of several internal units that process digital data (light blue color) and several interface units processing analog signals (dark blue color). The front panel is depicted on the left-hand side and the back panel is depicted on the right-hand side. The arrows between the panels and the interface units indicate selected physical connections and the data flow. Information indicated in orange is linked to options that can be either ordered at purchase or upgraded later. The SHFQA Quantum Analyzer 8.5 GHz comes in a 2-channel and a 4-channel variant, providing either 2 or 4 readout channels, respectively. The Ordering Guide details the available upgrade options for each Instrument type and whether the option can be upgraded directly in the field.

Figure 1: SHFQA Instrument functional diagram

Each channel has signal generation (Readout Pulse Generator, Oscillator) and signal analysis (Sweeper, Qubit Measurement Unit) functionality, as well as common shared modules such as the 4-channel Monitor Scope, the Hardware Trigger Engine or shared communications (32-bit DIO, ZSync). The digital, complex-valued signal from the signal generation is up-converted to microwave frequencies in the analog domain using the Signal Output Module. After passing through the device under test, the analog signal is first down-converted and then digitized in the Signal Input Unit before the complex-valued signal is being analyzed.

The SHFQA can be configured in two modes:

Readout

In the Readout mode, the Readout Pulse Generator outputs the sum of up to 16 individual, user-defined arbitrary waveforms that are stored in separate Waveform Memory blocks. In the Qubit Measurement Unit, the signal is then first integrated using up to 16 user-defined, complex-valued Integration Weight Memories. The results of the integration are then discriminated between different qubit states, and the results are forwarded to other Instruments in real time using either the 32-bit DIO or the ZSync links.

Spectroscopy

In the Spectroscopy mode, the Sweeper (Python API ShfSweeper class) controls an Oscillator, hence a single frequency microwave signal is sent to the experiment. The Qubit Measurement Unit then correlates this signal to the original oscillator signal and displays transmission data in the Sweeper module.

Super-high-frequency Signal Inputs

  • Low-noise SHF Inputs, 0.5 - 8.5 GHz frequency with 1 GHz bandwidth when using the RF path, DC - 800 MHz when using the LF path
  • Broadband double superheterodyne frequency down-conversion, mixer calibration free
  • Calibrated (Input) Power Range, selectable from -50 dBm to +10 dBm when using the RF path, from -30 dBm to +10 dBm when using the LF path

Super-high-frequency Signal Outputs

  • Low-noise SHF Outputs, 0.5 - 8.5 GHz frequency range with 1 GHz bandwidth when using the RF path, DC - 800 MHz when using the LF path
  • Broadband double superheterodyne frequency up-conversion, mixer calibration free
  • Calibrated (Output) Power Range, selectable from -30 dBm to 10 dBm when using the RF path, from -30 dBm to +5 dBm when using the LF path

Readout Pulse Generator

  • Arbitrary Waveform generation
  • Up to 16 waveform memory blocks with 4 kSa (total 64 kSa) memory per channel, freely configurable
  • Advanced sequencing including looping and branching

Qubit Measurement Unit

  • Up to 16 complex integrators with programmable Integration Weight (for SHFQA2, SHFQA-16W option is required)
  • Weighted integration and state discrimination
  • Result Logger with real-time averaging and data logging
  • Power spectral density

Scope

  • 1 Scope channel per Channel
  • Time and frequency domain data monitoring
  • Hardware averaging and segment measurement

Hardware Trigger Engine

  • Multiple choices of internal triggers
  • Route internal and external triggers for different toolsets

Connectivity

  • USB 3.0 high-speed host interface
  • Maintenance USB connection
  • LAN/Ethernet 1 Gbit/s connection
  • 32-bit Digital Input and Output (DIO) port
  • ZSync connection for clock synchronization and fast data transfer

Software

  • 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, QCoDeS and Labber
  • 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: SHFQA Quantum Analyzer 8.5 GHz front panel

Table 1: SHFQA Quantum Analyzer front panel description
Position Label / Name Description
A Aux In analog Auxiliary Input, max. 10 V
B Out single-ended waveform Signal Output, DC-8.5 GHz, max. 10 dBm
C Mark TTL Marker Outputs A and B
D Trig TTL Trigger Inputs A and B
E In single-ended waveform Signal Input, DC-8.5 GHz, max. 10 dBm
F Aux In Over unused
G Output On
off

Output disabled

blue

Output enabled

H Input Signal Over
off

power of input signal within the input power range

red

power of input signal exceeds the input power range

I Multicolor LEDs
off

Instrument off or uninitialized

blink

all LEDs blink for 5 seconds → indicator used by the Identify Device functionality

  Busy unused
  Ext Ref
off

External Reference Signal not present/detected

blue

External Reference Signal is present and locked on to

yellow

External Reference Signal present, but not locked on to

red

External Reference Signal present, but lock failed

  ZSync
off

no connection

blue
  • steady: ZSync fully connected AND synchronized

  • blinking: ZSync synchronized but not yet fully connected

yellow

ZSync plugged in, but not connected

red

ZSync interface error

  Status
off

Instrument off or uninitialized

blue

Instrument is initialized and has no warnings or errors

yellow

Instrument has warnings

red

Instrument has errors

J
Soft power button
Power button with incorporated status LED
off

Instrument off and disconnected from mains power

blue
  • flashing rapidly (>1/sec): Firmware is starting

  • flashing slow (<1/sec): Firmware ready, waiting for connection

  • constant: Instrument ready and active connection over USB or Ethernet

red
  • breathing: Instrument off but connected to mains power → safe to power off using the rear panel switch, or restart using the soft power button

  • flashing: Instrument booting up

  • constant: Fatal error occurred

Back Panel Tour

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

Figure 3: SHFQA Instrument back panel

Table 2: SHFQA Instrument back panel description
Position Label / Name Description
A />
Earth ground
4 mm banana jack connector for earth ground, electrically connected to the chassis and the earth pin of the power inlet
B AC 100 - 240 V Power inlet, fuse holder, and power switch
C MDS 1 SMA: bidirectional TTL ports for multi-device synchronization
D MDS 2 SMA: bidirectional TTL ports for multi-device synchronization
E Maintenance Universal Serial Bus (USB) 3.0 port for maintenance and Instrument control
F LAN 1GbE 1 Gbit LAN connector for Instrument control
G DIO 32bit 32-bit digital input/output (DIO) connector
H USB Universal Serial Bus (USB) 3.0 port connector → do not use for standard operation
I ZSync Secondary Secondary inter-Instrument synchronization bus connector
Attention: This is not an Ethernet plug, connection to an Ethernet network might damage the Instrument.
J ZSync Primary Primary inter-Instrument synchronization bus connector
Attention: This is not an Ethernet plug, connection to an Ethernet network might damage the Instrument.
K External Clk In External Reference Clock Input (10 MHz/100 MHz) for synchronization with other Instruments
L External Clk Out External Reference Clock Output (10 MHz/100 MHz) for synchronization with other Instruments

Ordering Guide

Table 3 provides an overview of the available SHFQA products. Upgradeable features are options that can be purchased anytime without the need to send the Instrument back to Zurich Instruments.

Table 3: SHFQA Instrument product codes for ordering
Product code Product name Description Field upgrade possible
SHFQA2 SHFQA2 Quantum Analyzer Base 2-channel Super-High-Frequency Quantum Analyzer -
SHFQA-16W SHFQA-16W Integration Weights Extension Option Option for SHFQA2 yes
SHFQA4 SHFQA4 Quantum Analyzer Base 4-channel Super-High-Frequency Quantum Analyzer -
Table 4: Product selector SHFQA
Feature SHFQA2 SHFQA2 +
SHFQA-16W
SHFQA4
Number of Readout Channels
(Readout Channel = Readout Pulse Generator + Qubit Measurement Unit)
2   4
Number of integration weights per channel 8 16  
Number of integration weights total 16 32 64
Oscillators 2   4
Number of Scope Channels 2   4
Mixer-calibration-free analog frequency conversion
(double super-heterodyne)
yes    
Frequency range DC-8.5 GHz    
Total number of Markers/Triggers
(2 each per channel)
4/4   8/8
Vertical resolution Input/Output 14 bit    
Digital IQ modulation yes    
ZSync capability yes    
Sequencing yes    
USB 3.0 yes    
LAN 1 Gbit/s yes