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) 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.

shfsg functional diagram
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 signal generation is up-converted to microwave frequencies in the analog domain using the Signal Output Module.

Super-high-frequency Signal Outputs

  • Low-noise SHF Outputs, DC - 8.5 GHz frequency range, 1 GHz modulation bandwidth

  • Broadband double super-heterodyne frequency up-conversion

  • 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

  • APIs for C, LabVIEW, MATLAB, Python based instrument programming

  • 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.

shfsg8 front panel with letters
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

on off

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 ZI instruments. Please refer to Figure 3 and Table 2 for the detailed description of the items.

shfsg back panel with letters
Figure 3. SHFSG Instrument back panel
Table 2. SHFSG Instrument back panel description
Position Label / Name Description

A

safety chassis gnd

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

SHFSG

SHFSG Signal Generator

Base 4-channel Super-High-Frequency Signal Generator (SHFSG)

-

SHFSG

SHFSG Signal Generator

Base 8-channel Super-High-Frequency Signal Generator (SHFSG)

-

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