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Functional Overview

This chapter provides the overview of the features provided by the SHFSG 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 SHFSG Instrument consists of several internal units that generate digital signals (light blue color, referred to as Digital Signal Units or DSUs) and several units that transform the digital signals into analog signals with the appropriate center frequency (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. The SHFSG 8.5 GHz Signal Generator comes in a 4-channel and an 8-channel variant, providing either 4 or 8 output 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: SHFSG instrument functional diagram

Each channel has signal generation (AWG, Modulation) functionality, as well as common functionality such as the shared communications (32-bit DIO, ZSync). The digital, complex-valued signal from the Digital Signal Unit is up-converted to microwave frequencies in the analog domain using the Signal Output Module.

Super-high-frequency Signal Outputs

  • Low-noise Outputs, DC - 8.5 GHz frequency range, 1 GHz modulation bandwidth
  • Broadband double superheterodyne frequency upconversion
  • Calibrated (Output) Power Range, selectable from -30 dBm to 10 dBm when using the RF path and from -30 dBm to 5 dBm when using the LF path

Advanced Pulse Sequencer

  • Arbitrary Waveform Generator capability
  • Advanced sequencing
    • looping, branching
    • command table
    • advanced trigger control
  • Digital modulation

Hardware Trigger Engine

  • 1 Trigger Engine per Channel
  • 1 Marker Output and Trigger Input per Channel

High-speed Connectivity

  • SMA connectors on front and back panel for triggers, signals and external clock
  • USB 3.0 high-speed host interface
  • Maintenance USB connection
  • LAN/Ethernet 1 Gbit/s controller interface
  • DIO: 32-bit digital input-output port
  • 2 ZSync connectors for clock synchronization and fast data transfer
  • Clock input/output connectors (10 MHz)

Software Features

  • Web-based, high-speed user interface with multi-instrument control
  • 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: SHFSG 8.5 GHz Signal Generator front panel

Table 1: SHFSG Signal Generator front panel description
Position Label / Name Description
A Trig TTL Trigger Input
B Mark TTL Marker Output
C Out single-ended waveform Signal Output,
DC-8.5 GHz, max. 10 dBm
D Aux In analog Auxiliary Input, max. 10 V
E 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

F
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 orEthernet

red
  • breathing: Instrument off but connected to mains power → safeto power off using the rear panel switch, or restart using the softpower 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 ZI instruments. Please refer to Figure 3 and for the detailed description of the items.

Figure 3: SHFSG Instrument back panel

Table 2: SHFSG 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 SHFSG products. Upgradeable features are options that can be purchased anytime without the need to send the Instrument back to Zurich Instruments.

Table 3: SHFSG Instrument product codes for ordering
Product code Product name Description Field upgrade possible
SHFSG4 SHFSG Signal Generator Base 4-channel Super-High-Frequency Signal Generator (SHFSG) -
SHFSG8 SHFSG Signal Generator Base 8-channel Super-High-Frequency Signal Generator (SHFSG) -
SHFSG-RTR SHFSG Output Router and Adder Option Option for all variants of the SHFSG Yes
Table 4: Product selector SHFSG
Feature SHFSG
4 channels
SHFSG
8 channels
Number of Output Channels 4 8
Number of analog RF synthesizers 4 4
Digital oscillators per channel 8 8
Mixer-calibration-free analog frequency upconversion
(double super-heterodyne)
yes yes
Frequency range DC-8.5 GHz DC-8.5 GHz
Total number of Markers/Triggers
(1 each per channel)
4/4 8/8
Vertical resolution Output 14 bit 14 bit
Digital IQ modulation yes yes
ZSync capability yes yes
Sequencing yes yes
USB 3.0 yes yes
LAN 1 Gbit/s yes yes