Upgrading multichannel event timers with event filters

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Credit: PicoQuant 

With the release of a free gateware and software update, PicoQuant adds a new feature to the MultiHarp 160 and 150P event timers: multifunctional on-board event filters. These user-definable filters are hardware-based and enable the filtering of events in real-time. 

This feature is particularly aimed at demanding application scenarios that make use of information spread across several channels, such as coincidence counting in quantum sciences. 

The event filters allow for a reduction in the amount of data sent to a computer, especially for experiments that require working at high count rates. Under such conditions, the raw data rate might exceed the bandwidth of the device’s USB interface, while the information of interest, e.g., coincidence counts, are relatively sparse. The user can select which channels are subjected to the filter as well as the ones that always pass the filter. The filter offers many degrees of freedom: the length of the coincidence time window can be set from 0 to 160 ns in steps of 5 ps and the filtering-order can be adjusted up to 6-fold coincidence events. Thus, the on-board filters can be used to obtain a data stream for efficient on-the-fly coincidence analyses. To cover an even broader range of applications scenarios, the filter logic can also be inverted, e.g., to eliminate bursts of events or coincidences.

Devices from the MultiHarp product line are easy-to-use and versatile USB 3.0 tabletop units with either 4, 8, 16, or up to 64 independent detection channels. An ultrashort deadtime of 650 ps and a sustained time tagging rate of 85 * 106 counts per second over USB makes them a great choice for many time-resolved applications in life and materials sciences, as well as metrology and single photon based quantum technologies. The devices are also prepared for use in White Rabbit timing networks for multi-device synchronization over long distances. PicoQuant's confidence in the quality and robustness of the MultiHarp product line is underpinned by a 5-year warranty.