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Arbitrary Waveform Generators

Arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs) offer solutions to measurement challenges that require drive signals of higher complexity than that of standard periodic signals. The full freedom to define the shape of a signal sample by sample allows users to tailor spectral or temporal properties and engineer the response of a device under test. This is required in quantum technology, notably, where signal shapes are optimized to achieve maximum fidelity when manipulating quantum states, or in electrical engineering to test a device exposed to a real-world signal including noise and imperfections.

The speciality of a signal generator such as the Zurich Instruments SHFSG is the synthesis of high-purity signals with precise frequency and phase control. The SHFSG Signal Generator includes the key functionalities of an AWG to generate pulse shapes directly up to 8.5 GHz based on its double superheterodyne frequency conversion scheme. The SHFQC Qubit Controller includes both signal generator and readout capabilities to realize a tailored measurement solution for superconducting qubits. The HDAWG Arbitrary Waveform Generator, with its large waveform memory, can reproduce a large number of realistic experimental conditions in a single run. The UHF-AWG is an upgrade option for the UHFLI Lock-in Amplifier that combines pulsed signal generation and measurement in one instrument.

8.5 GHz Signal Generator

8.5 GHz Qubit Controller

750 MHz Arbitrary Waveform Generator

AWG for 600 MHz Lock-in Amplifier

Zurich Instruments SHFSG 8.5 GHz 4-channel Signal Generator
  • 1 GHz bandwidth and free from mixer calibration
  • Low phase noise and low spurious tones for high-fidelity gates
  • High output power for short gate pulses without external amplification
SHFQC 8.5 GHz Qubit Controller Frontpanel
  • 1 GHz bandwidth and free from mixer calibration
  • Combines signal generation with readout capability for superconducting qubit applications
  • Low phase noise and low spurious tones for high-fidelity gates
HDAWG 750 MHz Arbitrary Waveform Generator
  • 2.4 GSa/s, 16 bits, up to 8 channels
  • Low 1/f noise for high fidelity in signals down to DC
  • Ultra-low trigger latency
  • Dual-channel AWG with digital modulation capability
  • Optimal phase coherence and minimal jitter between generated and measured signals
  • Multiple detection options: lock-in amplifier, pulse counter, scope/digitizer


Zurich Instruments' AWGs offer an intuitive programming experience through the LabOne® AWG sequencer programming language. It is possible to combine waveform shape definition and sequence instructions in a single, easily readable program. LabOne gives users straightforward access to advanced sequencing capabilities for looping, branching, and controlling signals dynamically in real time.

Waveforms on the Zurich Instruments AWGs

AWG envelope signals can be digitally mixed with oscillator signals, which removes limitations imposed by the strict sampling rate grid when working with sinusoidal carrier signals. With real-time control of the carrier phase, digital modulation enables the reuse of waveform envelopes and memory optimization even when the carrier phase needs to vary dynamically. The real-time precompensation capability of the HDAWG, for instance, makes it possible to account for signal path imperfections and ensure that the signals arriving at the sample are exactly as intended.

The SHFSG and the HDAWG are designed for scaling the channel number to 100 and beyond through automatic synchronization and a scalable software architecture. In connection with their low-latency sequence branching capabilities, this makes these instruments an excellent fit for large-scale quantum computing applications.

Lines of code in the LabOne AWG sequencer


AWG real-time precompensation

A fast and scalable approach to controlling 100 qubits and more

SHFSG overview

HDAWG overview

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