HDAWG-MF Multi-frequency

The HDAWG-MF option extends the number of oscillators, enhancing the amplitude modulation capabilities of the HDAWG multi-channel AWG. With the multi-frequency option, you benefit from faster waveform upload and higher flexibility in tuning the carrier frequencies. This is particularly useful for applications that require many superimposed carrier frequencies.

HDAWG-MF Key Features

  • 4 digital oscillators per AWG channel pair, instead of 1
  • Output adder for advanced modulation: digital I/Q, phase, amplitude, frequency
  • Individual frequencies up to 750 MHz
  • Independent envelopes for separate carriers on one channel: phase cycling, frequency-domain multiplexing

HDAWG-MF Upgrade and Compatibility

  • Option upgradeable in the field
  • Compatible with all other HDAWG options

HDAWG-MF Applications

  • Trapped ion quantum computing
  • Frequency-agile RADAR / LIDAR
  • NMR and EPR spectroscopy

HDAWG-MF Functional Diagram

HDAWG-MF Description

Adding the HDAWG-MF option gives 4 independent carrier frequencies per channel pair, which can be used in combination with the digital modulation functionality of the Zurich Instruments HDAWG Arbitrary Waveform Generator

The HDAWG-MF option reduces waveform upload time and increases flexibility in multi-frequency applications where rapid frequency changes are required. Using digital oscillators to generate the carriers, rather than programming them into the waveform memory, has many advantages; frequencies can be changed rapidly without reprogramming the memory, pulse envelopes can be used multiple times in long patterns, and envelope signals can be generated at significantly lower sampling rates than the carrier in narrow-band applications such as NMR.

The HDAWG-MF option includes 3 additional oscillators per channel pair and an Oscillator Selector, giving the flexibility to connect any of the oscillators to any AWG envelope signal. With the Output Adder, HDAWG-MF enables free linear combination of all modulated signals on the 2 Wave signal outputs of a given channel pair (4 or 8 Wave outputs in total depending on the model variant). Thanks to the advanced modulation mode, the envelope signals for all 4 carriers can be programmed independently and added up on one output.

Without the HDAWG-MF option, one oscillator is permanently connected to the two Wave signal outputs associated with it. This configuration is suitable for generating an I/Q signal pair for external frequency up-conversion. In any option configuration, signals with many arbitrary frequencies can be generated using sample-by-sample waveform programming in plain output mode.


What is a digital oscillator?
It is a digital sine wave generator based on direct digital synthesis (DDS) technology. Its frequency is a high-resolution fractional multiple of the instrument's clock frequency.
How and when can I save waveform upload time with the help of digital oscillators?
When the signal to be generated contains parts with a sinusoidal component, the use of digital oscillators can sometimes save enormously on waveform upload time. For example:
  • when the carrier signal is incommensurate with the repetition period of the envelope
  • when there are multiple carriers with incommensurate periods
  • when the carrier frequency or phase needs to be adjusted frequently
  • when the signal contains very long bursts

In such cases, the LabOne AWG Sequencer provides you with the tools to minimize waveform memory:

  • by using one or few pulse envelope waveforms repeatedly
  • by using a reduced sampling rate for the envelope signal
  • by avoiding waveform upload in favor of a fast and simple change of the oscillator frequency or phase
What is digital I/Q modulation?
Digital I/Q modulation is the realization of the following combination of digital signals:
I(t) cos(ωt) - Q(t) sin(ωt)
Here, I(t) and Q(t) are waveform signals generated by the AWG, and cos(ωt) and sin(ωt) are signals generated by a digital oscillator running at angular frequency ω. Digital I/Q modulation enables full control of a carrier's amplitude and phase over time.
Does digital I/Q modulation allow me to realize FM, AM, PM, PSK, QPSK, and other modulation schemes?
Yes. All these modulation schemes require partial control of a carrier's amplitude and phase, or equivalently its in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) component. Digital I/Q modulation with each of the quadratures independently defined by a waveform from the AWG provides full freedom to realize any analog (FM, AM, PM), or digital (PSK, QPSK.,...) modulation technique within the bandwidth of the D/A conversion stage.
Can I change the oscillator frequency from the LabOne AWG Sequencer?
Yes, the Sequencer on the instrument is able to change the frequency with low latency (< 100 ns) and with deterministic timing.

call +41 44 515 04 10
or leave us a message.

To help with your request and to comply with data protection legislation we will need to confirm that you agree for us to collect and use your personal data:

See here for details of the data that we hold on our customers and what we do with it. If you have any questions please contact privacy@zhinst.com